A Practical Approach to Reputation Management for Multi-location Dental Practices
I used to get really nervous before going to the dentist. Who am I kidding … I’m still among the one in five people that fear a trip to the dentist…Click to open source in a new window…. Only, my reasons today go beyond novocaine injections. I’m more worried about the potential expense.
Whatever a person’s comfort level with getting their teeth checked out, most go online to read reviews before choosing a new dentist. A report from Bright Local estimates that 86% of consumers look at reviews in the dental industry. More broadly, NRC Health estimates that nearly sixty percent of patients have decided against a healthcare provider based on negative online reviews.
Suffice it to say that a dental practice’s digital reputation matters, especially for multi-location groups and DSOs (dental support or service organization). To that end, I’ve put together a few practical tips for keeping your digital reputation in good standing.
1. Create Location-Specific Listings
Dentistry is powered by local demand. In fact, a survey by IronMonk found that 43% of people searching for a “dentist near you” on Google pick the option with the best reviews. That’s why I recommend you create localized listings for each of your group’s practices, starting with Google My Business. Whether you have a centralized marketing team that handles this for each location or you delegate it to each location, make sure each listing is complete with the following:
- Business name and address
- Operating hours and contact information
- Information about available services
- Links to dedicated web pages (services, about, etc.)
- Appointment availability and scheduling
You can further optimize a Google My Business listing by frequently posting content, photos, promotions, and other information that might be useful to new and existing patients. Above all, remember that your Google My Business listing will be where people leave reviews. Keep tabs on these reviews, respond where appropriate, and invite patients to review your practice by sharing out your review link…Click to learn more in a new window….
Other listing sites to consider:
- Facebook Business
- 1-800 Dentist
2. Develop a Review Solicitation Strategy
A steady flow of reviews can increase a practice’s digital presence considerably. Would you be more likely to trust a practice with five reviews left last week, or one with 500 reviews left over the course of five years? You can improve the frequency and quality of your reviews by establishing a process for regularly soliciting patient reviews.
First and foremost, look for points across the patient journey where it makes sense to ask for reviews. Some practices will include a survey link in the automated email they send after an appointment. Others rely on automated text messages to solicit reviews after routine visits.
I’ve even seen some practices include review links in the personalized letters, reminders, and notices they send by mail. You can also instruct staff members to ask for reviews at reception or even on the phone. Make it easy by providing scripts for how to ask patients for reviews.
3. Automate Digital Reputation Management
Of course, digital reputation management becomes a lot more difficult to execute across a multi-location group. There are ways to automate review solicitation, management, and reporting. Some integrate review solicitation with existing email marketing and SMS solutions. Most importantly, these solutions centralize reputation management across all group practices, making it far easier to keep your reputation in good standing even as you add new practices.
Here are the digital reputation management solutions I recommend:
Finally, Give Your Digital Reputation the Energy It Deserves
The numbers don’t lie: we know that people looking for a dentist will search their local area and make decisions based on digital reviews. In my own experience working with DSOs, I find that many have a smattering of digital reviews but no cohesive strategy for digital reputation management.
This can be a missed opportunity. Digital reputation is an essential part of each dental practice’s digital presence, especially when you consider the trends in consumer behavior.
To make a good impression on both prospective and existing patients, the time is now to build a formalized, scalable review management strategy.
About the Author
Alex Membrillo is a successful entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Atlanta, GA. Cardinal specializes in dental marketing – focusing on increasing patient volume in private practices and DSO.
Mr. Membrillo has been named “Small Business Person of the Year, Rising Star” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a Georgia State University Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 honoree, as well as the “Digital Marketer of the Year” by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). Additionally, Cardinal Digital Marketing has been a multi-year recipient on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held US companies.
In 2017 Membrillo released his debut book, The Anatomy of Medical Marketing, which offers practical advice and strategy on how to grow your medical practice. He has also been featured in leading publications including Becker’s Hospital Review, Physicians Practice, Medical Economics, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and Healthcare and IT Community.
- The one in five people that fear the dentist…Click to open source in new window.
- Report from Bright Local…Click to open source in new window.
- NRC Health estimates…Click to open source in new window.
- Survey by Ironmonk…Click to open source in new window.