I hope you’re not sick of me talking about online reviews, because I’m about to do it again. Why? Because they can have a huge impact on your practice and bottom line.
91% of consumers between the ages of 19 and 34 trust reviews, and clients are more likely to trust your practice if you have at least 40 reviews. If you don’t already have a solid review presence, it’s time to get serious about building one.
The great news is that 68% of clients who are asked to leave a review are willing to do so. Here’s how to ask them.
1. Asking For Reviews In Person
For any brick-and-mortar types of businesses like dental practices, asking for reviews in person may be the way to go. The trick is doing it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or put undue pressure on your client.
Conversational flow is important. One option is to have your receptionist(s) engage with patients when they pay after their appointment. They can start by asking if the patient was happy with their experience. Any client who praises your practice represents a positive review.
That said, it’s not a good idea to ask for a review as soon as the client says something positive. Ask a few follow-up questions. Then, as you end the conversation, say something like “We really appreciate feedback from our patients because it helps people learn about us. Would you be willing to write an online review?” You can plug in your platform of choice, whether it’s Yelp, Google, or Facebook.
2. Asking For Reviews Via Email
In some cases, sending an email may be the right way to ask for reviews.
My recommendation is to segment your client list and send out staggered emails accordingly. Getting too many reviews all at once may not be helpful, since there’s evidence to suggest that Google and Yelp may ding you if you have a massive influx of reviews.
On a related note, it’s also not wise to link directly to your Yelp page in your email since their algorithm might penalize you for doing so. Instead, mention your preferred review site if you have one, and suggest that the client Google “Your Practice Name + Yelp” to find your page.
However, if you are asking people to leave reviews on your page, you may link directly to the website page.
3. Asking For Reviews On A Thank You Page
Does your practice have an online store where clients can buy dental supplies? If so, you may want to use your Thank You page to ask clients for a review.
It’s important to remember that first-time clients aren’t going to be able to review your products if they’ve just ordered them. However, they can review their experience on your site, and they may be able to offer insights on your customer service if they’ve interacted with you.
Of course, some clients who land on your Thank You page will be buying a product for the second or third time. That’s why it’s important to ask because those people will be primed to leave you a review. If you don’t have a Thank You page, you can also ask for a review on a confirmation page or in a confirmation email.
4. Asking For Reviews In A Text Message
Text messaging has become an increasingly popular form of marketing, and you can use it to ask for reviews too.
Text messages have nearly a 100% open rate. If you’re already sending text messages to your clients, then following up a purchase with a request for feedback can be a great way to generate more reviews.
Since it’s a text message, it should be brief. You can try something like this:
We hope you’re happy with your purchase. Please leave a review on Google and let us know how we did!
Here again, you should be wary of linking directly to your Yelp page. You may want to add brief instructions like the ones mentioned in the section about emails to help clients find your review pages.
5. Asking For Reviews On A Receipt Or Card
Not everybody is comfortable asking for a review in person. Whether you have only a brick-and-mortar practice or you’re also shipping products to clients at home, including a card or a note on your receipt can encourage them to leave a review of your practice.
You can use a tool like Canva to create and print message cards that ask clients for reviews. You can even put the URLs of your review pages to make it easy for clients to find them.
Another option is to give your patients a comment card when you process their payment. While they’re not the same as a review on Yelp, you can aggregate the comments and feature the ratings on your website.
Invoices are another option. You can program your invoices to include a brief message at the bottom asking clients to write reviews.
6. Asking For Reviews On Social Media
Finally, you may want to ask your social media followers to review your practice. Facebook reviews are important for local practices since many people use Facebook to search for dentists near them. You have the option of asking for reviews in a Facebook post or using a chatbot in Facebook Messenger to ask.
Keep in mind that you’ll still need to be careful about linking out to your Yelp pages from social media. You may link directly to your Google page.
If you decide to use a chatbot, you may want to consider setting up a survey directly within the chatbot if you want to collect reviews to post on your site. Otherwise, you can simply ask people to leave a review elsewhere.
One final note about reviews. While it might sound odd, clients are more likely to trust practices that have some negative reviews. It’s not realistic for any dental practice to get 5-star reviews across the board. That said, you should respond to negative reviews immediately and do your best to make the clients who leave them happy.
A Reviews System For Your Dental Practice
Did you know that nearly everything we’ve talked about here can be systematized and automated so that your online reviews and ratings process runs on auto-pilot? From an email or SMS reviews campaign, to automatically streaming your patient reviews directly to your social media sites, to filtering and ‘catching’ negative reviews so you can respond to them right away – our Reviews Hero System will get your dental practice on track to become an online reviews hero! Contact us today at 905-251-8178 for more details!