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How To Handle Positive & Negative Dental Reviews

How To Handle Positive & Negative Dental Reviews

By PETE JOHNSON

It’s no secret that positive affirmations leave us feeling giddy and accomplished. On the other hand, negative reviews can send a chill down the spine. People’s opinions are louder than ever with the advent of the Internet and social media. Instead of phone calls and word-of-mouth, reviews are posted for all to see, and can’t be deleted. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can celebrate the good and come back from the bad. In fact, both can be turned into resources to better your practice.

Here’s everything there is to know about making the most of both good and bad reviews.

Bad Reviews

We’ll start with the bad news first — negative reviews sting. While criticism can be hard, it also offers an opportunity to learn from your patients and fix any weaknesses you may have. Additionally, how you handle negative feedback says a lot about your character. Therefore, take the high road and adopt these strategies:

Say Thank You

Even if a review is negative, it’s important to take a moment to thank someone for providing feedback. There may be exceptions, for instance if someone is blatantly disrespectful and their feedback is not constructive, there’s no need to condone poor behavior. Otherwise, take the time to commend a user for their honesty. Despite your feelings, this is the first step to making amends.

Respond in a Timely Manner

Timing is extremely important when responding to negative reviews. When tensions are high, patience is thin. Therefore, make sure to acknowledge a poor review as quickly as possible.

Get a Second Opinion

While you should be speedy with your response, you also shouldn’t skip over having a second pair of eyes proofread your comment. Not only will they spot any typos or errors, but they can also assess the tone and make sure it reads as cordial. If a response comes off as overly defensive, rude, or dismissive, it will make the situation even worse. Therefore, find an objective proofreader to make sure that your message is clear, concise, and civil.

Listen To Their Concerns

 When addressing a negative comment, it’s important to relay to the reviewer that you hear and understand them. This is the first step to establishing a sense of trust. Therefore, assure them that you comprehend the situation before providing your response.

Ask Questions 

In order to better your practice and get the most out of a negative review, ask follow-up questions to get to the bottom of the issue. Not only will this provide a clear picture of what needs to be done to rectify a situation, but it will also make the reviewer feel that you are taking the issue seriously. When following up, be sure not to inundate the commenter with too many questions. One or two will suffice and get the point across that you’re working towards resolution.

Ask To Speak Via Email or on The Phone

 At the end of your comment, let the reviewer know that they can contact you personally via phone or email. A long thread of back-and-forth responses doesn’t provide the best optics for your website. Additionally, by providing a direct line, you’re assuring the commenter that you’re taking their comment seriously. Some will follow up and some won’t. At the end of the day, they will feel more at ease knowing you hear them and that you’re willing to put in the work to make the situation better.

Good Reviews

We’ve saved the best for last! It’s time to talk about the always appreciated glowing review. After receiving one, make sure to take a moment to acknowledge a job well done. Afterward, there are many ways you can utilize this feedback to grow your business.

Add Quotes To Your Website

When you receive a good review, there’s no shame in showing it off! These reactions to the work you do are genuine and honest, therefore, when you display them you’re providing users with the most authentic content possible. There are many ways to work a good review into your website design. You can create a tutorial section, located near the bottom of your page. Alternatively, you can sprinkle them throughout sections of your page, and perhaps next to procedure overviews that they discussed. Before integrating them into your design, be sure to reach out to the reviewer and receive their permission. Not only will this establish trust, but they may share the site with their friends!

Turn Written Reviews into Patient Testimonials

The only thing better than a written review is one captured on camera. Therefore, reach out to those who left positive comments and see if they would be interested in being the star of a patient testimonial video. In these clips, patients discuss the treatments they have had as well as the results. It offers before-and-after visuals and captures their emotional response.

Highlight Reviews on Websites

Reviews can be left on a myriad of sites. Yelp, Facebook, and Google all are platforms where patients can tell the world how they felt about their experience at your practice. For most of these, business owners can bookmark certain reviews that they feel are helpful for people to read. When doing this, you may feel inclined to select the review that appears the loudest. While these are fantastic, it’s also important to consider those that evoke emotional responses. For example, if a patient felt cared for and comfortable throughout the experience, highlight their story as it will resonate with readers. Perhaps someone came in to get an issue fixed that they have been dealing with for years. This would be a great review to share, as it shows off your impeccable work and evokes emotion.

Share on Social Media

Sharing positive reviews on social media is simple. On Facebook, you can easily reshare positive reviews on your page. When posting on Instagram, turn short quotes into aesthetically-pleasing posts. Additionally, you could also insert a positive review into a caption. Don’t forget to tag the reviewer in the post. Not only will they appreciate this shoutout but they may also share it with their followers and spread your message.

Respond!

This is the easy part. For positive reviews, be sure to let commenters know that you appreciate their feedback. A quick thank you will go a long way and will let them know that you’re with them every step of the way — even after they leave your practice.

The Good & The Bad

There are a few things to consider for both good and bad reviews. First off, it’s important to encourage patients to leave a review no matter what. Having no reviews for your website is bad for optics. When searching for a dentist, many potential patients turn to reviews to make their decision. If there are none, they will question the legitimacy of your practice. Therefore, be sure to make it easy and simple to leave a review. You can link to Yelp and Facebook from your website and provide a cordial nudge to leave a review if they feel so inclined.

Encouraging reviews is important for dental marketing. On top of that, it’s critical to read reviews and take them to heart. For both the good and the bad, identify consistencies in the comments to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are. If reviewers often applaud your clean office and family-friendly environment, be sure to celebrate this strength in your marketing. When it comes to consistent negative feedback, be sure to thank commenters for their honesty, and begin to rectify the core of the problem so it doesn’t happen again. In certain scenarios, you can let these reviewers know you have addressed the issue and invite them back to experience improvements. They will be touched that you considered their feedback and perhaps will be swayed to become a patient once again.

Are you eager to develop a strategy for responding to online reviews? At Get Practice Growth, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today and we would be happy to loop you in on all that we can do for your practice.

Authenticity 101: How To Relate To Potential Patients

Authenticity 101: How To Relate To Potential Patients

By PETE JOHNSON

Trust is an invaluable asset when appealing to patients. In order to establish a strong connection, authenticity is key. Consumers are more discerning than ever, therefore, they can see past the smoke and mirrors many companies invest their time and resources into. The key to authenticity is simple — be yourself!

When branding your dental practice, it’s important to become clear on your values. What are your priorities? Why does your practice matter? Think emotionally and consider the big picture. Yes, your practice matters because dental health is important. On top of that, you’re also helping patients gain confidence, become more comfortable, and feel at ease with preventive treatments. You may also be using innovative techniques, paving the way for the industry. Or, you could be a family practice, that provides a necessary service to the community in a safe space. Regardless of your mission, it’s important to decipher what makes you so special and then speak on it.

Once you have reflected on your practice and its value, you can now work towards developing strategies that create transparency. Give patients a look at how you run your business, show off your personality, and let them see the results of your work. By pulling back the curtains, you’re not only attracting new patients, you’re inviting them to stay a while. Transparency not only brings people in, it also breeds longevity. It will invite new patients into your seats, and have them coming back again and again to a comforting place they trust.

Now that we’ve established the importance of trust, let’s dive into specific ways to appeal to patients in an authentic manner.

Use Authentic Imagery

Many websites, and especially dental websites, use stock photos instead of their own images. Stock photos are generic licensed images that are for sale. Marketers, businesses, and individuals often turn to stock imagery as it’s quick and convenient. These photos may be time-efficient and easy to source, but consumers can quickly tell the difference between a glossy, staged photo and an authentic image.

To stand out from the competition, it’s important to take your own photos rather than buy images from stock websites. Imagery of dentists, patients, interiors, and real results will resonate with potential patients. Users are savvy, and they know that the image of a model smiling with photoshopped teeth is inauthentic. It’s important to provide imagery they can relate to and that they will recognize when they step into your practice.

Headshots are also crucial for a dental website. We’re trained as humans to feel more comfortable when we see someone’s face. By integrating headshots into your website design, you’re providing users with a friendly face they can depend on. In an increasingly digital world, we crave human connections more than ever. Therefore, it’s important to capture the essence of who you are by showcasing the faces that make your work possible.

It may also bode well to incorporate photos of the interiors of your practice. Patients always feel more comfortable when they enter a space that is clean and comfortable. Sometimes, the appearance of a practice can be a deciding factor. By providing photos, users will be put at ease, and feel more comfortable booking an appointment knowing they will be entering a squeaky clean space.

Respond to Reviews

Whether they’re good or bad, it’s critical to respond to patient reviews. On your quest to establish trust, communication is key. If potential patients feel that you are a bad communicator, they are likely to look elsewhere for services. On top of that, a lack of communication may make patients feel you are inauthentic or perhaps hiding something. To maintain authenticity, you must remain present, open, and very responsive. The most unsettling response to users is silence.

When good reviews roll in, this offers a chance to celebrate! Let your patients know you appreciate their positive feedback. Not only will this highlight the review, but it will also inspire them and others to continue leaving glowing reviews.

Whether you’re responding to negative or positive comments, you’re letting the community know that you care about their opinions. Growth is important in any business, and the best way to evolve is to listen and adapt. Let these reviews exist as a check-in on your strengths and weaknesses. They can be utilized to benefit not only patients, but the quality of your practice.

Utilize Video

We talk a lot about video on this blog, and for good reason! Video is one of the most important marketing channels to utilize nowadays. One of the reasons it is so crucial is because it’s a platform that can be used to showcase authenticity. Videos offer a stage for moving, talking, and breathing humans to resonate with viewers. While words and imagery can have an impact, nothing relates a message and feeling more than a video. Therefore, it’s critical to weave it into your marketing strategy.

You don’t have to be an actor to produce a good video, and for the sake of authenticity, you shouldn’t be! Dental videos should be natural and approachable. They should convey a message in a manner that is warm and easy to understand.

It’s important to instill emotion into these videos. One of the most impactful ways to do this is through patient testimonials. In these videos, patients will discuss treatments they have had, the results, and how your practice has impacted them. Feelings of joy, relief, comfort, satisfaction, and gratitude are expressed through these clips. Not only do they showcase results, but they display the emotional aftermath. There is nothing more authentic than seeing real results, therefore, it’s important to intertwine this type of content into your strategy.

Additional videos you should incorporate include practice and treatment overviews. These videos lend the stage to dentists to explain why they do what they do, and in the case of treatment overviews, exactly what they do. In practice overviews, dentists pull back the curtain and talk about why they opened their practice and what inspires them daily. In treatment overviews, dentists walk viewers through dental processes, providing details in an easy-to-understand manner. Both of these videos offer a behind-the-scenes type of approach to marketing. Nowadays, consumers want to know motives and the intricacies of a company’s process. They want to give their money to a practice with integrity as well as one that’s transparent. Both of these videos provide the assurance users need to book an appointment.

Establish a Distinct & Approachable Voice

When writing your dental website copy, it’s important to establish a voice that’s approachable with a bit of personality. Avoid using language that is extra clinical and speak to users in a way that is educational and also understandable. Not only will readers quickly bounce away from this type of language, but oftentimes, people don’t trust what they don’t understand. Therefore, make sure you’re using language that is easy to absorb, so users can understand and trust your message.

You should also find a way to weave a little personality into the text. When people read copy that is written in a conversational manner, they will feel more open and comfortable. Sterile, generic copy may feel robotic to some. Alternatively, it’s easy to go overboard with personality and detract from your skill sets. Therefore, balance is key here. Weave personality in between sentences that showcase credibility. This distinct voice will separate you from the competition.

Celebrate Community

Small businesses drive communities. Therefore, your practice is a vital component of your town, city, or neighborhood. Many patients feel at home in a location that celebrates community. Therefore, make an effort to support those around you. Sponsor community runs, parades, events, and more. Not only does this make your practice more visible, it lets people in the area know your concerns extend beyond your own profits and into the betterment of the area. Create a strong social media presence, so those in the community can see what you’re up to and provide commentary easily. Community warms the heart, so by immersing yourself into it, you become part of that comforting feeling that many rely on. Most importantly, it lets patients know how much you care about the community you serve.

Are you ready to celebrate your authenticity? Contact Get Practice Growth today and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.