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The importance of reputation management for your dental practice

Feb. 5, 2018
Don't let negative online reviews turn away potential dental patients. Staying on top of your reputation management can help you keep any less-than-positive reviews from becoming a problem.
You’re about to book a family vacation so you check out some hotel review sites. You’ve heard good things about Hotel A, but when you look at the reviews, the first three reviews are not favorable. Do you take a chance? Probably not. You move on to Hotel B.

This same scenario can happen when people research your dental practice. As Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said, “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation,” and he knows a thing or two about both. No matter what you’re doing to market your practice, if you don’t focus on reputation management, your marketing efforts could be a waste of time.

What we know is irrelevant

In the above scenario, the negative reviews could have been the result of something completely out of the hands of hotel management, for example, problems with credit card processing, a power outage, or miscommunication between the booking agent and hotel. But none of that matters. What matters is how the experiences were perceived by the guests who left reviews, and the impressions that their perceptions left on those who read the reviews.

You may have had a similar experience with your practice. A patient may be pleased with the results of his or her treatment, but if the person becomes frustrated with something like insurance coverage, this could influence the tone of the person’s review. If you’re not actively seeking patient feedback, the negative reviews will stand out, even if you and your team had nothing to do with the patient’s frustrations. By placing a greater emphasis on reputation management, both you and Hotel A could preserve your good reputations by burying the negative reviews in a virtual pile of positives.

The data

Bright Local conducted a recent study on the impact of reviews on Google click-through rates. The study had 6,283 participants and yielded the following results:
● Businesses with an overall positive rating got more clicks and visits to their sites, while negative reviews resulted in fewer clicks and visits.
● A jump from three to five stars resulted in 25% more clicks.
● Businesses with negative reviews had fewer clicks than those with no reviews at all.
● Of the 6,283 participants, 56% said that positive reviews were what led them to click on a site.

If the data doesn’t convince you that reputation management is a crucial part of your marketing plan, then consider what the Google Help Center states. It says, “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.”

As the number one search engine on computers, phones, and tablets, Google knows better than most how reviews can influence the success of a business.

Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.” No matter how good your deeds, if your competitors have a higher review count and more positive reviews, then you’re already falling behind. Stay on top of your reputation by soliciting reviews from your favorite patients.

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With over a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Jackie Ulasewich took her passion for dental marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. She and her team have helped practices throughout the nation focus their message, reach their target patients, and grow their practice through effective marketing campaigns. When she isn’t helping dental practices reach their full potential, she can be found at the beach with her three dogs or immersed in everything food-related with her large Italian family. For more information, call (800) 689-6434.