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How to encourage patient reviews of dentists on Google Places

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It’s not if, but when you get a negative review on your Google Places page.  Unfortunately it’s become a too familiar part of the whole online world.  A few years ago, if you complained enough, you could get negative reviews removed from sites like Citysearch and Insider Pages.  But today is different.  Instead of spinning your wheels trying to remove negative reviews, you need to focus on getting your happy patients to post positive patient reviews of dentists.

Reactive vs Proactive

When has it ever been a better strategy to sit back and wait than to take charge of a situation? The same goes for taking control of your online reputation, especially for dental practices.  Dental Internet marketing includes managing your online reputation.  So what can you do to encourage positive patient reviews of dentists?

In-Office Marketing

[custom_frame_right]encourage positive dentist reviews[/custom_frame_right]We’re sending out in-office marketing promos to our dentists to display at the front desk where patients check in and out.  It includes QR codes for Facebook and Google Places.

QR Codes

A QR Code (“Quick Response”) is a mobile phone readable barcode. QR codes are the bridge between offline and online marketing.  In its simplest sense think “print based hypertext link” – simply encode a URL into the QR Code and then point a mobile phone (or other camera-enabled mobile) at it. If the device has QR Code decoding software installed on it, it will fire up its browser and go straight to that URL.  On of the most popular QR code generators is QR Stuff… and it’s free.

Facebook

Do your patients know you’re on Facebook?  One of the easiest ways to get your patients to like your page is to provide a QR code that links to your Facebook page.  Patients can like your Facebook page right from their smartphone.  We also recommend including the URL (website address) of your Facebook fan page for people who aren’t familiar with QR codes.  For example, in the example shown, the URL is facebook.com/StoneStoneElliott (note that URLs are not case sensitive, but it helps people remember the address).

Google Places

While Facebook is good for social engagement with your patients, we really like Google Places for acquiring new patients.  When people search on Google for dental services, Google assumes they are looking for a local business and will include Google Places listings in the search results.  There are many factors involved with rankings- which is a whole other topic- but getting reviews will help increase your Google rankings.

So when patients are checking out it’s really important to encourage your happy patients to post positive reviews.  For instance, let’s say our patient, Sally, is very happy about her experience today at your office.  She really liked your hygienist, Pam and mentioned how pleased she was with the overall experience.  This is when Pam should mention to Sally that we are thankful for her business and would really appreciate a review on Google, showing her the display (you can make copies to give to patients).

It’s important to know that you should not have a computer in the office where patients can leave reviews on your Google Places page since it may throw up a red flag to Google.  If you get a bunch of reviews from one IP address, then it looks suspicious.  Instead, have patients post reviews on their mobile device (not on your wireless network, but through their phone’s data plan) or at home.  OK, back to the display.  Just like the Facebook part, for Google Places we provide a QR code and URL.

People are searching on Google for patient reviews of dentists.  You need to be proactive and work to build up your online reviews of your dental practice.  This is a team effort- you need to work with your staff to have the mindset to ask for reviews.  I recommend the dentist not ask directly.  Instead coach your staff to ask for the review.

If you’re interested in a display like this, please give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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