Understanding the Importance of Online Reviews for Your Office
In this age of technology, online reviews are important to the success of any business, but ever since the pandemic hit, online reviews have taken on a much larger role. If you are unfamiliar with this type of “word of mouth” make ‘em or break ‘em online reputation, it’s time for a little lesson.
First, if you have not given your existing and prospective patients the opportunity to leave a review or read reviews, you might want to make this a priority moving forward. Marketing isn’t just about promos and deals, it’s about the type of first impression you make. And, in addition to how you present your staff and clinic in the office, first impressions can now come in the form of online reviews.
In this post, I’m going to explain what online reviews actually are, why they are so important (especially right now), and what you can do when it comes to negative reviews (unfortunately, there is no getting away from these).
What are online reviews (when it comes to your practice)?
Online reviews are the first impression your dental clinic makes right out of the gate, whether your practice is brand new or has been around for decades. It is a chance for existing patients to leave a comment on what they thought of you, your staff, and your clinic. Some can be a few words, while others can span paragraphs.
Remember that all decisions you make and the service you provide affect your online reputation. Factors usually include:
- Customer service
- What you’re doing to keep patients safe (especially now)
- Patient care
This is just to name a few. I would recommend checking out some reviews of clinics online to learn more about what patients are and are not looking for in the dental practice they choose.
Three of the most common places you will find reviews are Yelp, Google, Facebook, and clinic websites.
Just as an aside: when I go out looking for reviews on a company or product, I do not go to the website. I feel that the website is already biased and will not want to be hosting negative reviews. I go to Yelp or Google for real reviews.
Why are online reviews so important?
As mentioned before, reviews are playing the role of your first impression and either make or break your online reputation. Let’s face it, no one is going out and pounding the pavement in search of a good dentist right now. Most people prefer to check out their options online.
And, though it can be a little bit of a downer at times, I go right for the negative reviews. First off, those reviews are probably the most honest when it comes to the clinic and the staff. It’s my go-to, and I’ll tell you why. I’m not there to check out the negative reviews for the negative reviews, I’m there to see the responses to those negative reviews and learn just how well a company can handle them.
Negative reviews are going to happen. Not all humans can be satisfied a hundred percent of the time. We are all different and have different needs.
If there are no negative reviews, I get suspicious and I tend to look more closely at the positive reviews. What can I say? I’m paranoid.
What to do about negative reviews
Negative reviews do not reflect as badly on you as you might think. Negative reviews provide you with an opportunity for improvement, for growth. What is going wrong in the clinic that maybe you don’t know about? How is the customer service in the clinic? How’s the patient care? Is the clinic safe in this unpredictable time?
Take a look at your negative reviews and use them to reflect on what you and your staff could be doing to better take care of your patients.
When it comes to negative reviews, it’s not about the review but your response. You cannot control how people react or what they’ll say, you can only control your response. As someone who focuses on negative reviews, the companies I will most likely trust are the ones that respond to every negative review, no matter how bad.
How to respond without anger to negative reviews
Before you even attempt to respond to a negative review, take a step back, and breathe. If you’re angry, that anger will come through in your writing. Write your response with empathy and compassion, then offer a solution to any problem they might have.
Some negative reviews are written in spite, which is unfair to you and your staff; unfortunately, these are still reviews that you should respond to with the same empathy and compassion as the others. As with customer service, you still want to provide the best service and care you can, despite the person’s bad mood. This is not so much for their benefit but for yours as you come out looking like the bigger person.
Currently, our company has partnered with Blue Jay Reviews and Chekkit, both of which are devoted to bolstering your online reputation.
Blue jay Reviews – automates review requests via email and text message, making it easier for clinics to boost their online star ratings and seamlessly manage their online reputation. Increasing the number of reviews is a challenge many clinics face. Once increased, there is an increased overhead of managing the reviews and replies, but Blue jay’s integration can reduce administrative workload on staff and ensure review requests are sent to every patient at the right time by making this mundane but crucial task automated and easy.
The Blue jay Reviews program can then help clinics track incoming reviews across multiple review sites i.e. Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. and easily (even automatically) respond to those reviews from one online dashboard and/or smartphone app.
Chekkit – Clinics can get great reviews, be the obvious choice, and win more customers — all in one place. At every step of the customer sales process, clinics will be their best. They’ll stand out with great reviews, get chosen, and make sales. On the shop floor and online, Chekkit has got clinics covered.
If you would like to learn more about these particular partnerships, give us a call at 1-800-663-7199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on our other partnerships, check out this short video: https://maxidentsoftware.com/video-clip-partnerships/