Ensuring that new patients find you can be a challenge. Many factors contribute to how people select their dentist, such as word of mouth, being in a network for reimbursement, and distance from home. But in the digital world, nothing has greater influence than online patient reviews and star ratings — your online reputation depends on them.
Positive online reviews increase your visibility and discoverability on search engines and convince new patients to make a first appointment. They are also a major deterrent for new customers if the majority of the reviews are negative.
“70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist.” 1-800-Dentist Study
“Once more positive reviews were posted on important review sites, we noticed an increase in foot traffic and web traffic, which resulted in 40% growth in new patients from 2014 to 2015.”
Director of Marketing
Annandale Smiles Dental had many satisfied patients who were not sharing their positive experience on third party review web sites. The practice didn’t have the internal resources to ask for reviews in an efficient and scalable way.
The prior solution that Annandale Smiles Dental was using “did a few things reasonably well, but nothing great,” said Jason Billingsley, Director of Marketing. “We’d only feature reviews to our proprietary web site, and none were requested for third party review sites. We might as well have been invisible on Google.”
Jason started to look for an easy-to-use solution to generate the best possible reviews and star ratings on the web sites that their prospective patients would be looking to for recommendations.
They needed a way to automatically solicit reviews from patients, monitor reviews on third party web sites, send alerts on new reviews, and provide an easy-to-use platform to respond to reviews. They were also looking for a solution that could be easily set-up and would then run on its own.
After looking at many different online reputation management vendors, they selected Reputation because it offered an all-in-one platform solution. Once they started using Reputation, Annandale Smiles Dental was quickly able to grow the number of positive reviews on the sites that matter via an automated, easy-to-use process to solicit reviews from patients.
Collecting reviews at the practice via a kiosk solution: Annandale Smiles Dental placed the Reputation Kiosk at the front desk near the check out location. This approach allows patients to submit genuine feedback right as they walk out of the practice.
Once a review is submitted, Annandale Smiles Dental’s marketing team receives an email alert, which gives them the opportunity to address the issue quickly. Annandale Smiles Dental has observed that capturing and addressing the feedback sooner will, in may cases, avert a negative review being posted on a third party review web site.
Publishing the best reviews: Annandale Smiles Dental uses Reputation to automatically publish to their testimonial page, a unique landing page, to promote their best reviews. They also write a monthly newsletter where they highlight the best reviews and explain to patients the importance of sharing their feedback.
Asking patients to write reviews: Reputation connected with Annandale Smiles Dental’s practice management application, Dentrix, to automatically trigger an email sent by Reputation to ask patients to write a review based on when a new patient had their appointment.
They chose to focus on six review web sites used by patients to look for a dentist, including Google and RateMDs. This encouraged patients to share their experience on a variety of review web sites, some of which require an account to leave a review and some do not. This process allowed Annandale Smiles Dental to take control of their reviews and ensure that their online reputation would truly echo their patients’ satisfaction.
Monitoring reviews on third party websites: Through review alerts, the marketing team was able to stay on top of all new reviews, and then easily forward reviews to the right people within the organization when any corrective action was needed.
Having direct access to all the reviews and being able to post responses through one single interface made it easy for Annandale Smiles Dental to thank satisfied patients and address the occasional issue in a timely manner — enhancing their online reputation considerably.
- Annandale Smiles Dental saw their Reputation Score — a comprehensive online reputation benchmark — increase 184% from 262 in May 2014 to 745 in November 2015, while the industry average for dental practices is at 303.
- They quadrupled their reviews from 16 in 2013 to 62 in 2014, and then 104 in 2015 — resulting in an average star rating that improved from 4.4 stars to 4.9 stars.
- By taking control of the review generation process, Annandale Smiles Dental saw a 75% increase in average monthly positive reviews, year over year (from 4 to 7) and a 60% decrease in average monthly negative reviews, year over year (from 5 to 2).
- Through these and other steps, the marketing team was able to increase new patient volume by 40% in 2015 compared to 2014.
Annandale Smiles Dental saw their Reputation Score — a comprehensive online reputation benchmark — increase almost 2x(184%) from 262 in May 2014 to 745 in November 2015.
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