Table of Contents
- Dental Reputation Management
- 3 Tips To Managing Dental Practice Online Reputation
- What is online dental reputation management?
- Decide On A Dental Reputation Management Activist
- Reputation Management Crises And What To Do
- Using Real-Time Communication to Improve Dental Reputation
- Facebook Messenger Will Improve Your Dental Reputation
- Online Reviews and Your Practice Response Time
- Add Webchat to Your Website
- Make Your Phone Number Textable
- Your Practice Solution for Dental Reputation Management
- DSO With 50,000+ Google Reviews: Local Dental SEO Interview
- [Interview] Local Dental SEO – #1 Most Google Reviewed Practice in the USA
- [Interview] This Dental Practice Has So Many Reviews They Made A “Review Wall”
Dental Reputation Management
3 Tips To Managing Dental Practice Online Reputation
What is online dental reputation management?
Dental practice reputation management is the process of monitoring your online dental practice brand, comments, and opinions of your dental practice on the internet. It’s the overall perception of your practice within your local community.
Because of the easy access to information online, reputation management for dentists is managed chiefly online. To improve your online reputation, focus on these three aspects.
- Assign a team member to be your reputation activist
- Subdue reputational crisis issues
- Use real-time communication to improve reputation
Decide On A Dental Reputation Management Activist
Implementing strategies that will create a favorable online reputation is the most crucial aspect of managing your dental reputation. Reputation management activities begin with an activist in the practice that has been assigned to the task. This team member’s duties would include acquiring positive reviews from patients; setting up and managing real-time software to communicate with current and potential patients.
The activities of your reputation activist will require time. So, this job mustn’t be something that is on the back burner for the team member. This should be a task that is just as important as answering your phone.
If you’re the owner/doctor of the practice of the office manager, realize that this takes a few hours a week to manage. So, let the team member know that they are expected to manage your practice reputation and have time allocated to perform the tasks.
Once you have your reputation activist assigned, you find that you’ll start receiving much more feedback from your patients. Regardless of whether this feedback is positive or negative, the information will help you make changes to processes and improve the patient experience in the office.
Not only will your new reputation activist gather feedback from patients, but you’ll also see that this position will be a channel for scheduling new patients.
Of all your reputation management team members’ activities, the most critical task is to acquire more Google reviews. This can be done manually or through an automated system. It’s a simple process of asking patients to leave an online review. Your Google review goals should include the following:
- A minimum of 40 Google reviews
- A minimum star rating of 4.5
- A least as many reviews as your main competitors
- A minimum of 2 new reviews per week
Assign your reputation management activist these review goals. Within a short period, you’ll start noticing more new patient phone calls coming from your improved rankings in Google maps.
Reputation Management Crises And What To Do
A reputation management crisis is any negative online comment about your practice, the people in your practice, or the dental services that you offer. The most common reputational problem for a dental practice is usually a bad online review. Most unhappy patients will go directly to Google or Facebook to leave a personal recommendation, and these recommendations (reviews) show up in search engines and search results and discourage new patients from calling your office.
A single negative review, a low star rating, or not enough reviews on review sites, are the most common forms of a reputational crisis for a dental practice. Approximately ⅔ to ¾ of all new potential patients will check out your online reviews before calling to schedule an appointment.
All social surveying has shown that patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, suppose you have low star reviews, negative comments in reviews, or a low number of reviews. In that case, you’ll end up decreasing the total number of new patient phone calls that your dental practice receives.
To improve your online reputation, you should focus first on acquiring more Google reviews. Google reviews are tied to your Google My Business account, which is the listing for your practice in the Google database. Check out this article to learn more about optimizing your Google maps presence for local dental SEO.
Using Real-Time Communication to Improve Dental Reputation
Today’s patient is not constantly picking up the phone and calling your office. Statistics show that more than 60% of your patients use real-time communication software. Examples of real-time software include Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, texting systems, live chat, and social media to reach out and communicate. These forms of communication are as necessary as your dental practice phone. Imagine running your office without a phone! Suppose you’re not paying attention to real-time communication systems. In that case, it’s kind of like trying to run your practice without a telephone.
Here are a few real-time communication systems that you’ll want your new reputation activist to manage
Facebook Messenger Will Improve Your Dental Reputation
Facebook Messenger is Facebook’s real-time communication app, and it’s tied directly into your dental practice’s Facebook page. Communicating with your patients through Facebook messenger will inspire trust in your brand. Consumers in the USA were surveyed, and 69% of them say that message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.
Messenger will help you to acquire new dental patients simply by being available. It also drives awareness through creating meaningful conversations with your dental practice.
Online Reviews and Your Practice Response Time
When a patient leaves a review, your activist should respond to that review within 24 hours. Your practice response time sends a message to Google that you’re concerned about your Google My Business reputation, which impacts your local dental SEO rankings.
Facebook is another online reputation management channel. You should respond to reviews, messages, and comments on the day that the comments come in. This means that your activist needs to be checking this channel throughout the day. We recommend checking in the morning, at lunch, and just before you leave the office.
Add Webchat to Your Website
Webchat is increasingly becoming a way for patients to ask questions and schedule appointments. If you don’t have webchat on your dental website, you should seriously consider adding it. According to multiple studies, live chat on your website will improve website visitor conversions by more than 100%.
For some practices, managing Webchat can be difficult. One of these reasons is because so many potential patients prefer to text rather than call. This creates a problem with staff members who feel like managing the phone is difficult enough for some practices. I’ve spoken to some practices who have removed webchat from their practice website simply because they want to force patients to call instead. It seems counterintuitive to a marketer like myself that a dental practice would try to force consumers to behave in a way that makes their job simple.
If you have team members that don’t want to manage webchat, give another team member the responsibility. If you don’t have web chat on your website, you’re missing out on new patients. A great dental marketing practice will accommodate their patients rather than force patients to contact them how the practice would like.
If you’re a dental practice that simply cannot manage live chat, implement a chatbot. The artificial intelligence behind chatbot software is exponentially improving. If you don’t have a reputation activist on your team and don’t have the time to manage live chat, then a chatbot is your answer.
Make Your Phone Number Textable
89% of your dental patients prefer texting over email and phone calls. All you have to do to give them what they want is make your phone number textable.
Your Practice Solution for Dental Reputation Management
Managing all of these tasks and channels is a big job, and it takes time. But, you’ll find that assigning a reputation activist will increase your dental practice’s overall growth and profitability.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and the VP of My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a digital dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that on our speaking page. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here. Also please read our Google My Business reviews.