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What can reputation management for dentists do for your practice? Contact an Online Reputation Specialist today to learn more.
Anyone who works in the dental industry would do well to understand what reputation management for dentists has to offer. If you aren’t familiar with the term, read on to discover what it is and how it can ensure your success both now and in the future.
What is Reputation Management for Dentists?
According to Merriam-Webster, one’s reputation is the overall quality of character of a person as seen or judged by people in general. It also means one’s good name or his/her place in public esteem.
Reputation management, as the name implies, is the use of promotional tools and strategies to maintain and/or improve your reputation.
The internet has drastically changed the way in which medical professionals promote themselves. In the past, billboards, newspaper, and magazine advertisements were good enough to build one’s reputation.
When coupled with word-of-mouth recommendations, dentists could easily be successful while paying little or no attention to marketing and advertising.
Now, the overwhelming majority of people use the internet to find the best dentist in any given area.
What’s more: online reviews continually change, either enhancing or diminishing your online standing.
Reputation management is an ongoing process that involves monitoring what people say about you online, promoting positive content about your business, and attempting to have negative content removed before it can do too much damage.
Why Do Dentists Need to Manage Their Online Reputation?
If you aren’t sure reputation management for dentists is worth your while, consider the following statistics:
- 47% of consumers say a dentist’s reputation matters the most to them when they look for medical services.
- 80% of prospective patients trust online reviews as much as they would trust a word-of-mouth recommendation.
- 60% of consumers feel they need to read at least four reviews to form an opinion about a dental practice.
However, the average physician rating is based on fewer than three reviews. Put simply, quantity matters when it comes to generating leads through reviews.
Prospective patients care more about positive reviews than where you studied.
What are the Most Important Aspects of Dentist Reputation Management?
It’s important to note that online reviews, though vital, are only a part of online reputation management. You’ll also want to expand your presence on the internet to make it easy for people to find your business.
A dental office with no online presence will not inspire confidence in patients who want to learn more about you before booking an appointment.
Some of the most important aspects of online reputation management include:
Getting active on social media
A vibrant presence on at least one social media platform is crucial. Good options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
As part of your online presence, you need to not only put up posts regularly but also answer questions and address concerns of current and prospective patients. Social media platforms were built for two-way communication.
Updating your blog
Start a blog. A blog can improve your rank in relevant search engine results, making it easy for your target audience to find you online.
What’s more: a regularly updated blog shows you are an industry leader who can be trusted to provide accurate, helpful insight.
Managing your business profiles
Claim your dental office on Yelp and Google.
Doing so enables you to manage your business profile on these sites and address both positive and negative reviews.
Responding to patient reviews
Regularly read reviews and respond to them in an appropriate manner. You don’t need to answer all positive reviews, although it’s a good idea to thank at least some of your happy customers.
On the other hand, you should address every single negative review you find.
Promoting your practice (online & off)
Use promotional tools to bring in potential clients. If your dental office is relatively new, use online promotional tools to showcase your business in a positive light.
Email marketing, Groupon discounts, and Google/Facebook ads can help people get to know you and feel comfortable doing business with you.
Building a positive review presence
Ask patients for reviews. Offer an incentive (ethically, of course) to anyone who is willing to leave an honest review (be it positive or negative).
How Do I Start Monitoring My Online Reputation?
The first step in managing your online reputation is knowing how to keep tabs on it. There are two ways you can go about assessing your current online reputation.
One method is to simply search for your business name on Google and check the results from the first page or two.
If your business is prominently listed and showcases mostly positive information, you probably don’t have much to worry about.
But if you notice negative information pop up on the first page of search engine results, you’ll need to take action to address the negative posts.
And if Google doesn’t display much information about your business, it’s time to create positive content to improve your standing online.
Alternatively, you may want to consider using an online reputation management tool. These tools not only search Google but also social media platforms and forums to see what people are saying about your business on these sites.
There are both free and paid tools to pick from. However, some offer more comprehensive services than others. Choose tools with care to ensure you’re getting the full picture at all times.
Reputation Management for Dentists: What Should be Done About Negative Reviews?
A single negative review can deter one out of ten potential patients from booking an appointment with your office. Needless to say, the losses from even a single bad comment online will add up, costing your practice tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.
There are several courses of action you can take to mitigate the damage from a negative review:
Analyze the review
Assess the review to see why a patient was unhappy with your service.
Does the review show ways in which you can improve? If so, work to improve your services.
In some cases, even simple improvements such as streamlining the appointment process or providing toys and/or reading materials in the waiting room can make a big difference.
In other instances, you may need to take drastic action such as upgrading equipment or firing an unfriendly receptionist.
If you made a mistake or provided less than stellar service, apologize to the person who wrote the negative review.
Offer a freebie or discount on future service and explain the ways in which you are improving customer service.
Discuss the problem, politely
If you are not at fault, explain the issue.
Perhaps you don’t have much parking space, but there is nothing you can do about it at present. Maybe a nearby business is remodeling and the area is dusty.
Offering an explanation will help potential patients see you care about their experience and enable them to judge the negative review accurately.
Check your info
If the review is the result of a misunderstanding, check your website and social media platforms to ensure you’re providing fully accurate information.
Make sure anyone who books an appointment with you knows which forms of insurance you accept, what services are offered, and the cost of the services provided.
Remove reviews, when possible
In some instances, you can have negative reviews removed from the internet. Check the platform the review is posted on to review the rules and procedures for requesting the removal of a review.
If the reviewer uses foul language and/or threatens you and/or your employees, you can often have it removed.
And if you bought a practice from a former dentist, you may be able to have negative reviews about the former dentist removed by showing the practice is now under new ownership.
Flag fake reviews fast
In cases where you believe the review is fake, contact the platform to ask about its removal.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for unethical competitors to hire people to write fake reviews about other practices.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Reputation Management for Dentists to a Professional?
It takes time and work to manage your online reputation. That’s why many dentists partner with branding companies that specialize in reputation management for dentists.
At NetReputation, we offer a variety of professional reputation management services, including:
- Content creation
- SEO services
- Social media platform management
- Review management
- Content suppression/removal services
Looking for reputation management that can grow your practice and reach more patients online? Contact us today to learn more!