5 Tips to Get More Great Reviews for Your Dental Practice
Working in a dental office every day is an opportunity to leave an indelible mark on people’s lives. For example, when a full-mouth implant or cosmetic makeover breathes new life into a patient’s smile, they radiate confidence and joy.
However, the reality is that experiences like these are not typical. The lion’s share of our profession revolves around routine general dentistry. Routine dentistry is a mosaic of standard procedures that, more often than not, don’t elicit grand expressions of gratitude. Even then, you can leave a lasting impression on your patient’s day and even their life.
The key to leaving an impact doesn’t necessarily depend on a dramatic dental overhaul. Instead, it’s hidden in the genuine compassion and care expressed in our routine work. It’s about transforming the expected into an experience that exceeds all expectations in every patient interaction. That’s where real reviews, glowing with satisfaction and warmth, are born.
Why is it important to receive great reviews?
Positive reviews…Click to open link in a new tab… are the fabric of every successful business and must be cultivated, not expected. People depend on reviews like hotel rooms or restaurants to choose dental providers. After all, dentistry is an intimate service. Patients select a provider who meets their standards and expectations for care.
Google and Yelp are popular with people looking for a new dentist, and a strong presence on these platforms will be rewarded with a prominent search engine ranking.
Reviews on Facebook indirectly build your practice. Although prospective patients don’t generally look for a dentist on Facebook, a Facebook review could be an indirect referral when people “like” your practice. There are special interest groups that discuss dentistry on their Facebook pages. Joining one of these groups may promote dentistry and, indirectly, your practice.
Other sites that can help to boost your dental office ranking in search results include Angi, RateMDs, and Healthgrades.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to reviews:
- People are more likely to visit your website or your business if they see good reviews raising your business profile online.
- Good reviews help search engine optimization to access your site.
- You should focus on building the star rating based on your average rating that appears under your company name in your Google Business Profile.
- Reviews provide critical feedback on your practice that you can use to improve your patients’ experiences.
- Good reviews improve brand trust.
Now that we’ve covered why reviews are important let’s dive into some actionable tips to help you get more of them.
5 tips to get more positive reviews
Tip #1 Ask for the review at the time of service
Many practices fail to get reviews from delighted patients because they don’t ask for them when the service is complete. The opportune moment is when the patient is checking out at the desk or is being dismissed at the chair, provided the team has the time to ask.
An email or a text after the fact is another way to receive a review, but email surveys inundate most people, and yours gets lost in the stack. The best time is when the patient is still in the office.
TIP #2 Create a system to encourage positive reviews
This system can either be during service (recommended) or online after the appointment. Whatever you decide, you need to outline the procedure and encourage every team member to implement it.
- During the morning huddle…Click to open link in a new tab…, encourage your team to give the ultimate effort in customer service and patient care. Discuss ways to make patients more comfortable and more welcome in the practice.
- Be transparent about wanting the review and valuing the patient’s opinions. Without their views and feedback, you are less likely to improve services that are lacking.
- Make it easy for the patient to review you. Provide a clear path to give a review. Don’t send them long forms or ask for reviews on multiple sites.
- Ensure that the review is HIPAA compliant.
- Ensure you are active on all the relevant third-party review sites, such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp.
- Respond immediately to an unfavorable review and resolve the matter satisfactorily.
Masterminding a process to get more reviews and writing it down will help you and your team follow it.
TIP #3 Make the time to ask for reviews
Every day, you and your front office team answer the phones, schedule patients, discuss insurance and treatment, and take payments. The assistants turn over, set up rooms, assist the dentist, and dismiss the patients. The hygienists clean the teeth and give oral hygiene instructions. Everyone is often too busy to stop and ask for a review. You must make the time by scheduling it into your appointment book. Make it part of your daily routine, which will be easier to implement.
TIP #4 Outsource administrative tasks
Outsourcing administrative tasks such as dental insurance billing…Click to open link in a new tab… frees time to ask for the review while the patient checks out. By outsourcing, you can save time and money. The time to verify insurance coverage and benefits, follow up on unpaid claims, write appeal letters and spend hours on the phone waiting to speak to a claims representative can now be spent getting patient reviews of your services and discussing the benefits of treatment. Additionally, you can ensure accuracy and compliance with industry regulations by having a third-party provider…Click to open link in a new tab… handle all aspects of dental billing.
TIP #5 Build relationships and measure success
Instead of looking at the schedule for the day and thinking of each patient as a procedure, look at it as an opportunity to share with another human being who is an individual worth getting to know. The great reviews come from excellent personal service! This means that If you need help, hire an expert to do the following:
- Insurance verification…Click to open link in a new tab…: verifying insurance ahead of time is crucial to creating accurate treatment plans and preventing surprise patient payments. This plays a key role in producing a positive customer experience. Nothing feels worse than getting a bill you weren’t expecting!
- Patient billing…Click to open link in a new tab…: your patients need to be able to ask questions about their bills. Answering patient billing calls and how you handle requests for payments are great opportunities to provide white-glove service.
- Website management: keep your website/blog content fresh and relevant to your audience’s interests. List your services and specialties and your contact information for after-hours also. Your website blog is an excellent opportunity to share new knowledge and trends in dental care. It can debunk myths and enlighten patients with new and better dental care available.
- Monitor reviews: you need to set goals for the number of positive reviews you’d like to receive each month. Then, you need to measure how well you are meeting these goals. If you don’t have the bandwidth to do this, consider hiring a dental marketing expert.
You will receive more positive online reviews when you deliver superior patient service. Listen to what your patients need and want from you. By dedicating your time to them and their care, the 5-star ratings and reviews will come effortlessly – even without asking for them.
About the Author
Penny Reed is the Chief Growth Officer at eAssist Dental Solutions and the author of the book Growing Your Dental Business. Penny has 30+ years of experience as a speaker and dental business coach and has been designated a Leader in Dental Consulting by Dentistry Today from 2007 to the present.
Penny supports the marketing department at eAssist, the nation’s leader in outsourced dental billing. She speaks at dental meetings about team coachability, effective revenue cycle management, and practice growth.