Does your clinic have a negligible online reputation?
Most dental clinics try to dot every i and cross every t when it comes to provisioning and setting up their clinic. They spend thousands on presentation and decor. But there is a surprisingly large number of dentists that forget the online aspect. And that’s too bad, because the way your office looks online is the key factor for attracting and keeping prospective patients.
We all know that in 2017 prospective patients, looking for a new dentist, start their search online. Fewer and fewer patients just walk off the street, and even if they consider your clinic because of location — they’ll look up your reputation online first!
And when prospective patients do search for a clinic in their area, they are typically presented with the best reputation first.
It’s a no-brainer which clinic a new patient would choose.
Clearly, reputation has a lot to do with how people find and choose your practice. So what’s a clinic to do to set their reputation up online?
The right mix
Typically, a clinic is advised to have reviews on at least 3 of the major social reputation networks: Google, Facebook, and Yelp. But at the very minimum — Google.
Having a large number of reviews on Google is a huge help for a clinic. Since Google will feature those reviews readily when presenting your clinic on a map or local search, and the Google ranking algorithm even factors reviews when choosing the order in which to present candidate clinic to someone searching.
So what must a clinic do? First, you must claim your Google Business account. This ensures that you can control the appearance of your clinic in results and ensures that you can actively respond to reviews.
Second, you must make it drop dead simple for patients to leave you reviews. You should never solicit reviews, but plenty of clinics have lots and lots of happy patients. Happy patients that somehow never end up leaving any reviews for their dentist. How come? They weren’t asked! Ask them.
And finally, bad reviews are sometimes a fact of life. In fact, we advise our users that the terrible isn’t getting a bad review. It’s not responding to it. Think about it, when you are browsing reviews and you see some people complaining about waiting too long for an appointment, when you see the clinic respond with an apology and promise to rectify that situation — that makes the clinic seem more professional and more together than one with merely mediocre reviews.
In conclusion, if you aren’t being found online or are having trouble getting prospective online patients to visit your clinic then you need to take a good look at your reputation. If you’re just getting started you should start with Google and focus on 1) claiming your business, 2) getting new reviews, and 3) responding promptly and honestly to any bad ones you may have.
It’s not difficult to start building your online reputation. The important thing is to start.