Should My Dental Practice Ask for Reviews?

When it comes to digital advertising, genuine customer reviews are invaluable for any business. For dental practices, however, they can also be notoriously difficult to collect. The truth is that many patients simply don't think to leave reviews after visiting their dentist.

It might seem that the obvious solution is to ask your patients for reviews, but is that really a smart strategy? More importantly, is it even permissible? Unfortunately, it depends on the platform. To manage your practice's digital presence effectively, you'll first need to master online review etiquette.

December 13, 2021

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Why Online Reviews Are Indispensable

For many, a trip to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing experience even in the best of circumstances. Choosing a new dental practice may be even more stressful, but reviews from real people can help reassure your prospective patients that they're in good hands. Think of it as a modern twist on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising.

In addition, genuine reviews play an important role in enhancing the visibility of your practice. Many of the algorithms that determine where businesses rank and which businesses are recommended on various platforms give reviews considerable weight. In other words, more reviews from patients can ensure your practice is seen by more people.

Make the Most of Google Reviews

If you haven't already signed up for a Google Business Profile, you're missing out on some invaluable advertising tools. Among other things, a Business Profile allows you to easily collect, display and reply to reviews for your practice. Google encourages all businesses to ask their customers for reviews and even provides a convenient link you can share with your patients.

In fact, the search giant recommends including review links in emails, text messages and other communications. It's important to note that you shouldn't offer incentives in exchange for reviews. You should, however, make an effort to respond to both positive and negative patient reviews. Engaging with your reviewers makes them feel heard, increases trust in your practice and encourages others to leave reviews as well.

Get Creative To Earn Yelp Reviews

For consumers evaluating businesses, Yelp is widely considered one of the most trusted sources of information. One way the platform has preserved that reputation is by enforcing a famously strict review policy that expressly forbids solicitation. According to Yelp, this is intended to ensure that only customers who feel compelled to contribute and share their experiences will leave reviews.

Of course, that doesn't mean you can't take other steps to encourage engagement. The key to attracting more Yelp reviews is to draw more of your patients to your profile. Prominently displaying the Yelp badge on your website can serve as a valuable reminder, as can placing Yelp signs or stickers in visible areas around your practice. It's also perfectly acceptable to share existing Yelp reviews on your website, on social media or as part of your marketing materials.

You work hard to deliver a great experience for your patients, so why not let them work for you? By taking the time to implement a few simple strategies, you can turn online reviews into one of your dental practice's most powerful advertising tools.