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Clinical Practice Management

It’s critical to ensure that high-quality reviews are getting in front of your prospective patients. (Photo: Sesame Communications)
Sep 18, 2014 | Practice Management USA

Online-review rules you should follow

by Dental Tribune America

Online reviews dramatically change the way patients choose a dental care provider. Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.[1] In the highly competitive world of dentistry, online reviews can substantially impact the growth and profitability of your practice. Here are three principles to help you protect your online reputation, ensuring your high-quality reviews get in front of prospective patients searching for a dentist:

1. Make sure your published reviews get in front of prospective patients. It’s imperative that your online reviews are published to a site generating organic prospective patient traffic and has tools that convert that traffic into appointment requests. Healthgrades is an example of this, boasting over 220 million annual visitors and more than 20 million visitors looking for a dental care provider. Last year Healthgrades Enhanced Profiles from Sesame Communications were introduced in the dental industry. With an Enhanced Profile, your high-quality, verified patient reviews are automatically populated and allow prospective patients to click-to-request an appointment. A recent study by Sesame Communications found that dental care providers with a Healthgrades Enhanced Profile publish an average of more than 21 online reviews and generate 11 appointment requests every month.[2]

2. Keep track of your online reputation. There is always the possibility your profile will encounter a negative review. This is easier to track when reviews come from your verified post-appointment surveys. Keeping track of online reviews across the Internet can be a challenge. Utilize a service from a reputable vendor that can traverse major review sites and return the results to you. Also, make sure you publish a sufficient volume of positive reviews. They will put infrequent negative reviews in the right perspective.

3. Address every negative review. Dealing with a negative review isn’t easy, but quickly addressing the issue can have a positive outcome. Contact the reviewer immediately, apologize where appropriate and then ask the reviewer to re-submit their review.

The best review sites will override the negative review with the new review, ensuring the reputation of your practice is accurately represented.

Final thoughts

The weight prospective patients put on online reviews continues to grow. By publishing reviews where prospective patients search for a new dentist, keeping track of what patients are saying about your practice online and quickly addressing negative reviews, your practice can use this powerful medium to promote the value of your practice and expand your loyal patient community.

(Source: Sesame Communications)

Note: This article was published in Dental Tribune U.S. Edition, Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2014 issue. A complete list of references is available from the pubisher.


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