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The Importance of Responding to Reviews

A person sitting at a computer looking at online reviews

It’s no surprise that most of your patients are online. Do you know what they are saying about you? The internet has provided an easy medium for people to express themselves behind a curtain of data about anything or anyone. People can be unrelentless in their expression of dissatisfaction or be very kind and caring for their appreciation.

Today more and more people are becoming aware of how online reviews work. When making purchasing and services choices people are looking for recent reviews, reading reviews, and seeing how business owners respond. In today’s world, you cannot ignore what patients say about you or your practice. Opinions and reviews posted about you can make or break your practice. It is estimated between 72% of surveyed patients use online reviews as the first step in finding a new doctor¹ ². If online reviews have such an immense impact for your practice, wouldn’t you like to have more control over the conversation?
¹softwareadvice.com
²chatmeter.com

Manage Your Online Reputation

Online reputation management is not a new concept. If this is the first time hearing about “reputation management”, then it’s time to catch up. Reputation management includes processes and services for controlling your online reputation. A part of reputation management is ensuring information about you, or your practice is up-to-date and synced online. Another process of reputation management is done by requesting and responding to reviews. We find that most patients are happy with their doctors. If not, subjective criticism can help you refine your processes and help you learn how to resolve conflicts. However, happy patients are not prone to leaving fresh, positive reviews. With the right push and opportunity, happy patients will take the time to leave positive feedback. Employing a review generation service is highly recommended in today’s marketing place.

Once reviews come in, it is equally essential to reply to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to all kinds of reviews plays a vital role in building a strong digital image. Review responses show that you care for and connect with your patients. And it’s great for your SEO rankings.

Building Patient Relationships

Responding to reviews within real-time is a reliable indicator of outstanding customer service. In simpler words, giving timely feedback to a customer’s opinion makes them feel valued, which strengthens your patient relationship. According to a survey, 53.3% customers expect the businesses to respond within a week.

When you reply to a consumer query, you aren’t only helping them out, but you are also making a good impression on everyone else who reads your responses.

Increases Your Website’s Ranking

Responding to reviews can impact your SEO ranking. When utilizing Google’s platform, credibility is rewarded when properly engaging with the platform’s tools. Moreover, patients who see a practice actively engaging with reviews are more likely to share their feedback, increasing the reviews you obtain.

Responding to Negative Reviews

The best advice to avoid negative reviews in the first place is to treat every single patient as a rock star. Some negative reviews could be avoided simply from misunderstandings where the patient felt undervalued. However, even with the most refined bedside manner, some patients simply can't be pleased, are having a bad day, or are just disgruntled.

If your dental practice does encounter a negative online review, here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep calm – It may be your first instinct to immediately jump to your defense. However, a defensive response is impulsive, often offensive, and rash. Pause a moment and consider your response professionally.
  • Contact the patient – Contact the patient directly once you are ready to respond to a negative review. A simple phone call can resolve many miscommunications. If the patient is unresponsive or the concern cannot be resolved, respond online with a positive response.
  • Resolve the issue – Talking to the patient will go one of two ways. If the issue is resolved, you may be able to get the patient to agree to remove or update the negative review. If not, at least it will show prospective patients that you were able to handle the problem kindly and professionally. Naturally, some patients can become more aggravated with a connection. If at any time you feel uncomfortable for your safety or the safety of employees, you may choose to avoid the issue, or if need be, call the proper authorities. In the event aggression is a concern, it is recommended not to respond or engage the patient in any way.
  • Respond professionally – When you are ready to compose an online response, make sure it's not an emotional response. Do not mention treatments or procedures, even if the patient has done so, so you remain HIPAA compliant. Acknowledge the patient's concerns and let them know they've been heard. Include your resolution in the response if appropriate. And keep it short and straightforward.
  • False Reviews – If you receive a review from someone you have no record of, take the usual steps to respond professionally. Then "flag" the post. Each review site is different, but they all have similar procedures for reporting inappropriate reviews. Naturally, the best way to combat any negative reviews is to secure more positive reviews. Internet trolls will be less likely to target your practice if they understand the scope of work that is involved in defaming hundreds of positive reviews.
  • More Positive Reviews – At a minimum, set up procedures within your office to ask your patients to leave a review. Simply asking for a review is approximately 10% effective. A review generation service has the potential to bring in a hundred times more.

We know it can be stressful and emotional to see a negative review of your practice. However, these negative reviews can be used as a learning experience and a way to prove to potential patients that you take concerns and problems seriously.

Review Generation Services

Many doctors and dental providers struggle with obtaining reviews for their practice. Ten plus reviews a year just won’t cut it in today’s competitive marketplace. With technological advancement software services provide a bridge between doctors' and patients’ online reviews. Our software simplifies and quickens the process of posting reviews. What took years to obtain can be accomplished in months even weeks. In an age of immediate gratification, simple and quick is required. 

If you are looking for a way to automate review requests and even responses to reviews for your dental marketing, healthcare marketing, or other medical marketing contact us at (877) 484-8233. We specialize in dental and healthcare marketing strategies.

Posted on Feb 14, 2022
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