Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Recently I heard a statistic that the COVID quarantine forced 5 years of digital advancement to happen in 3 months! Although I can't imagine how one would calculate those numbers, I have personally experienced its effect in dentistry with Zoom team meetings and the increase of dental offices promoting virtual dental consults. As we continue to evolve and become more reliant on the internet, growing your business through online communication becomes increasingly more productive and important.
I work with dental offices helping to improve their digital relationships and communication through newsletters, reviews, social media and Pinterest. When I ask dentists to give me 3 areas they need help improving in their growth strategy, “reviews“ are ALWAYS on the list. Most offices I work with have made attempts in the past to increase their reviews but the focus gets lost and forgotten about in the busyness of the running a dental practice, managing a team and treating patients. Implementing systems to consistently and continuously increase your online reviews and engage your team members will set you up for long term success.
Here are 5 steps you can take right now to increase your online reviews:
1) Instigate - My favorite kind of instigation is passive.
Inspired by Smiirl’s real time Facebook counter I have started using a similar method to advertise our current review count and “challenge” our patients to help us increase that number. Email me at katie@allthedentalthings for access to my editable Canva template.
2) Automate - again, passive. As with most things in life, the easier the better.
Programs that confirm your upcoming patient appointments, send recall reminders and follow up after appointments make leaving reviews and feedback easier for the patient. EASIER is the keyword here, for you and the patient!
If you aren’t currently using a system and would like to discuss why I think this is a great idea for any office I’d love to connect with you.
3) Motivate - find a way to make it a game, incentivize your team to help increase your positive online reviews.
There is a lot of good potential in your team, you just need to find a way to engage them. Different rewards motivate different people, hopefully you know your team well enough to identify what would work well for them. If you don't, I would ask them for ideas...and you might want to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
(Rewarding patients to leave reviews is not allowed by many online platforms and they can suspend your account or remove your reviews- don’t do it!)
4) Celebrate - set goals, start small and acknowledge when you achieve them!
Celebrate weekly by sharing the reviews that are coming in- post them somewhere your team can read them, make it part of your morning meeting or share through group text. Everyone should be involved and see that their effort is noticed and appreciated. If you set up a “game” as suggested above, celebrate when you hit your goal...don’t forget, pay up!
Consistency is important, accountability is key!
To achieve consistency someone must be accountable. Assign review tracking and sharing to one of your team members. Set up clear expectations on how often you want the review count checked and how the reviews should be shared with the team.
5) Appreciate - show your appreciation for those who do take time to leave you a great review!
Respond to the review, thank the reviewer
Extra mileage: create a graphic of the review and share to your social media accounts. This sends a message to current patients that you really appreciate reviews and it extends the reach of the reviews to potential new patients.
Putting a sticky note in the chart or flag your online chart notes to personally thank the patient the next time they are in the office
Online reviews have potential to help you reach and help more patients.Setting up a system that will keep you consistent in acquiring and monitoring the reviews will prove to be time well spent!