Why Your Dental Practice Needs an Online Reputation Management Strategy

More dental practices are starting to realize the importance of online reputation management in their digital marketing.

Potential patients want to know, like, and trust you before they choose you as their provider. Passing this test could earn you a lifelong customer.

To achieve this, your practice must have a good online reputation. One of the deciding factors of this? Online reviews.

Reviews: A Way that Customers Get to Know You

Consumers look to third-party review sites to narrow down their purchasing options, including:

  • Google My Business
  • Healthgrades
  • Yelp

A positive brand image goes a long way. According to Yext.com, 87% of consumers won’t consider a local business with low ratings.

Consumers want to know what their neighbors think about their surrounding businesses. As a result, they look for any and all clues to assess a business’s reputation. These clues range from customer stories to average ratings.

Needless to say, reviews have the power to build or tarnish your reputation. Existing feedback about your practice speaks volumes to your potential patients.

Prospects put a lot of stock into your patients’ reviews. Why? Because your patients have already experienced what you have to offer.

Customers don’t sugarcoat how they feel. That’s why it is every dentist’s goal for their patients to leave appointments with smiles on their faces. But as the saying goes, you can’t please everybody.

Sometimes, you will encounter those patients who always have something to complain about. While their dissatisfaction might not be a direct reflection of you, you might get blamed for it. And guess what? Third-party review sites are one of the first places an unhappy customer runs to.

You might not be able to dictate what your patients have to say about you. However, you can still shift your reputation in a favorable direction.

It’s never too late to take control of your dental practice’s online reputation, even if you’ve been putting it on the back burner for a while.

First things first: it’s important to acknowledge the reviews that come your way. Some businesses think that it’s good to ignore a negative review (or even a good one), but it’s not.

Why You Should Address All Reviews (Good & Bad)

Reviews portray only one side of the story, and it will remain one-sided without a response from your end. By ignoring a bad review, you give up the right to protect your good name.

They also say that no response is a response, which signals that you turn a deaf ear to customer feedback. That’s a surefire way to turn people away from you and point them towards your competitors.

You get the point. When in doubt, reply to your patients’ reviews—good and bad. It humanizes your brand and shows that you’re invested in customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, responding can support your dental SEO efforts. According to Google, it can increase your online visibility on the platform.

The Best Way to Respond to a Review

Second, be conscious of the way you respond to a review. There will be some reviews that you don’t agree with. It’s still best to avoid a back-and-forth argument with your customers. That could play out like a blame game of hot potato (which is a bad look).

There are a couple more things you should keep in mind before you hit reply. Number one, show empathy in your responses. Number two, try your best to take conversations offline.

All this might be too much for you to remember. That’s why online reputation management plans exist. They lead to consistency with your company’s review responses. They also serve as a guideline of what to say and what not to say. We encourage you to have one developed for your entire company.

Turn to our dental practice consultants for proven online reputation management strategies. Trusted solutions are waiting on the other line.

Fake Reviews = Fake News

Every now and then, local businesses run into a sticky situation. It’s called fake reviews.

On one hand, a jealous competitor or spammer might give you a negative review to make you look bad.  

On the other, some companies try to cheat their way to success by “beating the system.” To take matters into their own hands, some founders and employees write their own reviews.

They may even hire and pay people to write raving reviews about them, to take things a step further.

These are huge violations to Google’s policies. Why? They are unethical strategies that lead to biased reviews. These tactics could result in a hefty penalty that filters you out of the search results. And in case you weren’t aware, many third-party review sites follow Google’s lead.

If you ever spot a fake review that could harm your reputation, don’t panic. With enough proof, you might be able to have it removed. Most third-party reviews sites have a page where you can flag and report them.

Core Dental Solutions can do the legwork to help you protect your online reputation. Click here to schedule a free consultation.

Flaws Humanize Your Business—Embrace Them.

No business is perfect, and consumers know that. Being an authentic business means celebrating the good and learning from the bad.

It’s good to show the people that you can turn a negative situation into a positive one. That’s how you’ll earn a consumer’s respect.

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