Many factors come into play when a prospective patient chooses a new dentist or a current patient decides between visiting their regular dentist or switching to a new one. And reading online reviews has become an integral part of the decision-making process.
86% of dental patients checked reviews for their dentist before booking the first appointment. According to research, a few reviews scattered on various platforms are not sufficient.
The volume of reviews matters for at least 2 reasons. Firstly, 5-star ratings based on a couple of reviews don’t look credible. A survey on the influence of online reviews shows that high star ratings should be backed up by over 30 reviews to be considered trustworthy. Secondly, reviews older than 2 months carry no weight for the majority of patients.
So, to attract and keep patients your dental practice should have a good quantity of recent reviews. Find out how to get more testimonials from patients with 5 quick tips:
- #1: Ask for reviews regularly
- #2: Use incentives responsibly
- #3: Don’t wait until the last appointment
- #4: Use a specialized review platform
- #5: Share reviews on social media
Ask for reviews regularly
Think of inviting for reviews as a healthy habit for your dental practice. To generate a volume of reviews, you need to be proactive. Don’t leave it to patients to take the initiative. Every member of your team should understand the importance of online ratings and be on board with this task.
It is good to mix different means of requesting reviews to increase the success rate. For instance, you can send a review invitation by email and ask patients to rate their experiences in person. Also, consider including a link to your profile on a selected review platform in appointment cards or other give-away materials. It is a great way to keep reviewing on patient’s mind in a discreet manner.
Use incentives responsibly
Offer a small reward to patients for taking the time to rate your practice. It can be a discount coupon, a promotional give-away, or a complementary checkup.
Incentives don’t have to be expensive. Dentacoin Trusted Reviews offers an interesting alternative. For their genuine reviews, patients get rewards in Dentacoin tokens, distributed directly by the platform. The rewards are at no cost for your practice and the tokens can be used by patients in a variety of ways. Yes, it’s possible. Find out more here.
Don’t wait until the last appointment
Get the timing right. It is more likely that patients will feel like rating your practice while they are still on the topic. If you wait for the end of their treatment, you are very likely to miss the opportunity. Ask for reviews before the last appointment and remind them with a follow-up at the end.
Use a specialized review platform
As mentioned in tip#1, you need a volume of review invites to generate a volume of reviews. A specialized review tool will provide more ways to manage the process. You can save time and efforts with features like automated review invites, options to send invites to multiple patients at the same time, a mixture of communication means – email, WhatsApp messages, SMS, etc.
Even more, some review platforms highlight genuine feedback from real patients. For instance, with Dentacoin Trusted Reviews, patient testimonials submitted after your invitation are clearly labeled as ‘’Trusted Reviews’’, thus making them more prominent. That way potential patients can see at one glance, which reviews are authentic and which ones are by an unverified author. Note that this is not the case with general platforms and social media where literally everyone can write their opinion without having ever visited your practice.
Share reviews on social media
Inspire patients to share their feedback by sharing the best feedback on social media. Showcase outstanding ratings and show your appreciation.
This will have a double effect on your online reputation. It will not only encourage people to leave a review, but it also helps you leverage the power of social proof.
But what if patients write negative reviews?
Don’t let critical feedback bring you down. By all means, it is not pleasant to receive a negative review. However, if that happens, take into account that every cloud has a silver lining as they say. Even unfavorable feedback can have useful aspects. It makes your overall rating more trustworthy. If all patient testimonials and ratings are 5-star, they may be questionable. Actually, responding to negative reviews can increase the number of reviews, as well as, the overall star rating score, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.
So, it’s better to focus on crafting a well-thought response in a timely manner.
And finally, a word of warning: Do not resort to fake reviews! They are easy to spot by patients even when you think they are well-written and will only backfire!