8 Ways to Get Online Reviews for Your Practice

Carrie Dyer 25th September 2014
 

We’ve been advocating reviews for dental practice businesses for some time now with a laptop woman happymixture of enthusiasm when it comes to retrieving them. The problem is that it’s hard to ask people to praise your good work without sounding trite.

Why, I hear you ask, do we keep going on about them? Because:

  • Google tells us reviews are a ranking factor
  • Reviews have a hugely positive effect on click-through-rates in the search results
  • They are perfect for your online reputation

Here are some fool proof creative ways to get patients to leave you a sterling review online;

#1 – Ask patients for a review at every positive interaction.

You have to get your head around ‘selling’ yourself. The important part is to actually set the goal to ask for a review from every patient during a positive experience and do it.

#2 – Put a sign up on the reception desk.

Think about what would make you go online and leave a review. Personalise it and again, do not be afraid to ask.

How about adding a card on the reception desk saying something like ‘Nothing makes us smile more than reading your online reviews. If you like what we’ve done, please take a moment to go online and leave us one‘. You could then add some pictures of your smiling faces and logos to the best review sites, Google, Dentist Finder.

This probably isn’t going to convince someone who never uses a computer to write a review for you, but will remind and encourage an avid reviewer to write one for your business. 

#3 – Put links in your email signature

Most email programs allow you to set up an email signature which automatically shows your valediction and contact information at the bottom of your outgoing emails. If you have not set it up you really should because it’s a great way to do automatic marketing to patients you are already in contact with.

Dental Design can produce an email template for you, branded with your practice logo and all relevant contact details and incorporate a line in your signature that says something like: “Like what we’re doing? Let other’s know by reviewing us online. Click Here”. Of course you’ll replace the ‘Click here’ with an actual link to your Google, Yahoo, Bing, or Yelp Profile. You could even do all four and give the reader the choice of which they like to post reviews on.

The brilliance of this method is twofold. Once it’s set up it will be in every one of the hundreds of emails you send but it’s also great because when someone reads your email they are typically in front of a computer when providing an online review would be easy.

4# – Put links on your website

One of the most important elements of getting patients to take any action is to make it simple. If you make a page on your website that explains how much you appreciate reviews from satisfied customers and put a direct links to your page on each of the major online review websites, you’ll make it a lot easier for people to do.

Having a section of your website devoted to this also makes it easier for you to explain how to provide reviews and actually get people to do it. Rather than trying to explain to people where to go and how to do a review, you just say, “Go to our website and click on the top right where it says, “Reviews”.

#5 – Incent Reviewers

Please be careful with this. Google says it is against their guidelines for a business to pay for a positive review. There is a difference, however, between paying someone £5 to write something nice about you and putting a sign on your practice counter offering a free electric toothbrush for an “unbiased”opinion of your dental care and treatment online.

If nothing else, it gives your staff an opportunity to start a conversation with someone who already loves your practice, but needs a little nudge to make a review online.

#6 – Make Requests Through Social Networks

If you’ve already developed a following on Facebook, Twitter, etc, it shouldn’t be hard to get online reviews from the people within this network. You could post updates encouraging people to review you, but you’ll have better luck reaching out to individuals by direct messaging and asking for a review with a link to your Google Places page or a link to a page on your website that offers several links to places where people can leave reviews.

#7 – On-Hold Messaging

If you already have a service that provides information about your dental business and treatments while customers are on hold, why not include a blurb about providing online reviews? It works well because it’s something you can set and forget but can also backfire if you have a tendency to leave patients on hold for too long. Use with caution!

#8 – Get the First Review Out There

I need to be very clear about something: DON’T MAKE YOUR OWN REVIEWS! The reason I say this is because Google can often tell when a review is not genuine based on the IP address (physical location) and whether the user’s account is frequently used or commonly reviews other businesses. If you set up an account just to make a review and then never do anything with the account it sends signals to Google that you could be a spammer.

All that being said, people are social beings who look to others for direction. It is a lot easier for someone to make an online review of your dental business when they can see that others have done the same. The most surprising part is that even just one review can make a huge difference between whether someone decides to make their own or not.

I strongly encourage all my clients to get at least one review up on each major review website. Get a relative or close friend who has had treatment to make it for you, but get it up there. It will also set the tone for the ensuing reviews.

For more information, tips and advice about how to garner great reviews for your dental practice online, call Dental Design on 01202 677277.

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