Better online reviews translate to better business in every industry imaginable — and the dental sector is no exception. Based on recent surveys, online reviews are one of the most important influencers in a patient’s selection process for finding a new dentist. Taking the healthcare sector into consideration:
- 88% of patients read online reviews and base their choice of a healthcare professional, such as a dentist, on the reputation of the practice and its average star rating on sources such as Google
- 85% of patients are more likely to choose a dentist who has high star ratings and positive reviews.
- 70% of patients say that online reviews of dentists are just as important as the dentist’s professional credentials.
This data points in one direction – the average patient is likely to choose a practice that has high star rating complemented by a regular addition of positive reviews. Positive reviews can help you get more patients to your dental practice in several ways. Here are six:
1) Google loves great online reviews:
When a patient wants to find dentists in a particular location, Google turns to both reviews on its on site as well as third-party review sites to find information related to local dentists. Generally, dental practices that have more positive reviews coming in on a consistent basis rank higher than practices with fewer reviews or reviews posted a long time ago. Getting new patients is difficult if your practice doesn’t rank at the top of search results, as only 10% of people go beyond the first page of results to find a practice. Reviews help push your practice’s listing higher, giving your office more visibility, more click-throughs, and more patients.
Read also: How do customer reviews help SEO?
2) High star ratings increase conversions:
If your dental practice has several positive reviews and a high average rating on Google, you’ll most likely be shortlisted by those 94% patients who tend to choose businesses of all types, including dental practices, that have a 5-star rating. The average star rating of your practice is crucial to standing out from the competition. Research shows that even a one star increase in your practice’s average star rating can increase the number of patients visiting your practice by 9%.
3) Reviews build patients’ trust:
Over 72% of American consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations that are made by their family and friends. In the healthcare industry, the trust factor is even more crucial, as patients want to visit a practice that they can trust. If your dental practice has a large number of positive reviews, patients are likely to choose you over your competition that might not have as great an online repository of positive reviews.
4) Reviews let you connect with your patients:
Like social media websites, review websites act as communication channels that you can leverage to build lasting relationships with your patients. Satisfied patients are more likely to return to your practice for further appointments, and will likely encourage their friends to visit you when they’re seeking dental care. On top of this, if you’re responding to all your reviewers — the happy, you’re spreading the word that you care for your patients and are eager to listen to their feedback.
5) Positive reviews are free advertising:
Every review that your patients leave on a review website is a form of free advertising. This advertisement carries all the necessary stuff – including your practice’s name, the kind of services that you offer, how much you care about your patients, and what an average patient can expect when visiting your practice for the first time. Moreover, all this is coming from somebody who’s perceived as neutral and doesn’t have any vested interest in your practice. This organic and free advertisement exposes your services to fellow readers who might be looking for a dentist. Reviews can be as powerful as spending thousands of dollars on other digital marketing techniques.
6) Feedback helps you improve your practice:
While you should aim to get positive reviews from patients, you need to be prepared to receive a few less-than-awesome reviews too. If you’ve received a negative review, it isn’t the end of the world. Rather, think of it as an opportunity. Research shows that 30% of consumers assume that all your reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews published online. Just make sure that you respond to negative reviews promptly and thoughtfully, and try to resolve the patient’s concerns in as few steps as possible.
More positive reviews translates into more patients for your practice — the concept is simple, but getting new reviews on a regular basis can be difficult. Fortunately, there are tools available like BirdEye that make review generation easy and automatic so you can get new reviews without sacrificing time with your patients.
If you’re looking for a way to get new reviews for your practice, improve your search ranking, and improve your overall online reputation, try BirdEye for free to see how thousands of dentists are turning positive reviews into new patients — and how you can, too.