Why You Don’t Have More Reviews
And Why You Need Them… Now!
Being reviewed can be a harrowing experience. No one likes feeling judged, especially when online anonymity gives unsatisfied customers the ability to be honest about their experience – even when it’s not what we want to hear. However, not all reviews are bad, and learning how to encourage and procure the good ones is of the utmost importance to the growth of our practice. SmileMakers is here to help you understand why you might be short on positive reviews and why you can’t afford to neglect the bad ones.
Why reviews are necessary
- Word Of Mouth Trumps All
People have always made decisions based on the opinions of others. When we’re looking for a new restaurant to try, or a good movie suggestion, we often call on friends or colleagues whose opinions we trust. Word of mouth has adapted to the online age through the use of reviews. We now rely on the experience of the masses to guide us. And in many cases, we trust those masses just as much as our inner circle. In one study, 88% of the people surveyed stated that they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. People are also willing to pay more for products and services if they are well reviewed. In fact, 68% of consumers are willing to pay 15% more for the same product or service if they’re assured they’ll have a good experience.
- An Opportunity To Grow
Although bad reviews can be difficult to read, both positive and negative reviews can help improve your business. Typically, reviews are either compliments or opportunities to improve. Take the good reviews as a sign of success. Adopt an appropriate mindset to take the bad reviews as constructive criticism, and move forward with a plan of change if the poor reviews show a pattern of missed opportunities.
- SEO Impact
Reviews have a direct impact on SEO, making them crucial to your online marketability. All search engines will prioritize a business that has more reviews. The more reviews, the more trusted the business. Ignoring the need for online reviews will decrease your online traction. It’s that simple.
Why you’re not getting reviewed
It’s completely understandable that you’re worried about reviews. Everyone has had an experience where they’ve been hurt by a harsh critique. But the best way to overcome any fear is to face it. Reviews are just too vital in attracting new patients and growing your business. And don’t worry. If the dedication you’ve invested into your practice is obvious, the reviews will reflect it.
- Neglecting To Ask
Think about all the great customer service experiences that you’ve personally had which didn’t result in a review. From epically delicious dinners to interactions with helpful and attentive staff, there are probably many instances that you would have taken the time to give credit if only you’d been asked. The same applies to your practice. If you don’t ask, people won’t feel inclined. And remember, you aren’t imposing. It just hasn’t crossed their minds yet.
Whether done intentionally or unintentionally, writing a review for your practice may be difficult for your patients. It could be as simple as setting up a Yelp! account or taking the time to let patients know that you want their feedback in a public space. Either way, try combing through your online presence as if you were a patient. How many opportunities do you come across to write a review? If you can’t find what you’re looking for within a few clicks, consider making updates to your website or social media platforms.
How to Get More Good Reviews
- Give Patients A Platform
Go to popular review sites and make sure that you have a profile. Google Review, Yelp! and your own website are all good places to start. Google can be particularly useful because a profile will increase your SEO impact. The profile will include your location, hours of service and business number above your reviews, and contribute to SEO growth congruently.
- Get Started With Your Base
Ask loyal patients for reviews. Returning patients who appreciate your work will welcome the opportunity to help. It’s also a great way to start off on the right foot because these reviews will likely be positive. After all, there’s a reason they keep coming back!
- How To Ask New Patients
Asking new patients for reviews can be a little trickier. In the first few visits, you’re still getting to know each other, so it’s reasonable to be hesitant. But if you make the right first impression, a review from a first-time experience can do wonders. Read each new patient interaction carefully. Did you have a charming back and forth? Did they seem satisfied with your technique or communication? Did they state that they had a good experience? And there’s no harm in asking how they felt about their appointment. If they give you a positive response, you know you can ask for a review. Also, you should make a habit of sending a follow-up email or text message that includes a link to a review page. It serves as a friendly reminder that patients can respond to in their down time.
Still struggling with reviews?
When patients leave your office feeling rewarded, they’re more likely to look back on their visit fondly. Try SmileMakers stickers or lip balms along with a request for a review, and watch your rating soar!
Ross Marchant, (2014, August 04). 5 Visual Stats to Show the Power of Online Reviews. Retrieved from: https://www.brightlocal.com/2014/08/14/5-visual-stats-power-of-online-reviews/Podium (2017, June 2017). 2017 State of Online Reviews. Retrieved from: https://www.podium.com/resources/podium-state-of-online-reviews/