How Dentists Can Leverage Their Reputation To Attract New Patients
Reputation is vital for dentists in order to build and maintain their patient base. Dentists are seen as public figures and having the right reputation is important. Obviously credentials are important, but so is the right reputation which is broader than this and reflects how patients feel and talk about a dentist and their practice. In the digital age, patients are able to write reviews on Google, Facebook, Yell, Yelp, Groupon and many other channels.
For a regional dental practice seeking to maintain and grow their patient numbers, the right reputation can help to achieve their goals faster than before. This is especially true for specialised dental treatments. Patient turnover is traditionally low for practices, so attracting patients for general dentistry is more about convenience of location and practice hours and fees, reputation is important too. However for specialised treatments, reputation is very important as patients will travel to another location for certain types of private dentistry treatments.
This includes veneers, dental implants, all on four, Invisalign, invisible orthodontics, teeth whitening and smile makeovers in general. As these are expensive treatments, it is worthwhile for dentists to have a reputation marketing strategy which can help them attract new patients without relying on expensive advertising or loss leader marketing initiatives such as deals and discounts.
Reputation can be built through sharing content about a practice and dentist, building a brand, talking about treatments and putting patients first. As reputation is based on what patients say, a proactive approach should be taken to capture new reviews on an ongoing basis. This will help to achieve a high rating, with the goal being a five star rating on a channel such as Google.
Reviews and testimonials can be captured on a practice website, but for added leverage another external platform should be used. The most suitable option would be Google reviews as these will be seen by new patients when searching for a practice or treatments. Other options include Facebook reviews, Yell and Yelp but these are much less visible and not linked to search which is the best time for reviews to be seen by new patients.
There are other paid services such as dental sites or reviews platforms such as Trustpilot, which is a paid service and therefore reviews cannot be migrated to another service. As a first step practices should ask dental patients to write a review on Google so that a rating and reputation can be built up. Out of courtesy, all reviews should be replied to so that patients can be thanked for taking the time to write a review.
Reviews posted will either be positive, neutral or negative. By having a reviews collection process there will be a steady stream of reviews which will continually build the practice reputation. Any neutral or negative reviews can be evaluated as part of a business improvement process. Over time positive reviews will continue to increase and a strong online reputation will be built up. This will be an asset which can attract new patients.