Blog Posts

Grow Your Practice: Make Reputation Management Part of Your Dentistry Marketing Plan

November 29, 2021

Showing up as a top result in a Google search is a major marketing win for your dental practice. And increasing the number of reviews you have is one of the quickest ways to get there. Luckily, dental practices can lean on Reputation Management Software to do the heavy lifting in sourcing and managing reviews.

In marketing lingo, reviews are known as “earned media”—you can’t just sign a check to Google; you have to work for it—and they’re a huge part of digital marketing for dentists. (Luckily, the right review-gathering tool can make the work required both easy and effective.)

Let’s take a look at why reviews matter, why a few negative reviews are okay, and how to go about getting more reviews with software. 

Why Do Reviews Matter in Your Dentistry Marketing Plan?

Simple. Reviews determine whether or not someone will choose your practice for their dental work. People use reviews to inform all kinds of purchasing decisions, from retail to home services to healthcare. Here’s a jaw-dropping stat:

Reviews Mean Business

This BIA/Kelsey and ConStat report shows that 97 percent of people read reviews before giving someone their business. 90% of people who read online reviews before purchasing said that positive reviews impacted their decision.

Low Review Scores Make a Weak First Impression

It’s not enough to *have* reviews. Your overall review score needs to inspire confidence. According to SearchEngineLand, 87% of people won’t work with a business that has a 1 or 2-star rating. (If your score is in that range, don’t worry. There’s a way up.)

More Stars Make More Money

According to Harvard Business School, you can increase your revenue by 5-9% by adding a single star to your review score. 

Your reviews reflect your reputation and impact your online discoverability. Make sure your happy patients are sharing their satisfaction with the world. Before we look at how to do this, let’s dispel a few myths.

Negative Reviews Might Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth… But You Need a Few.

This study by Spiegel Research Center shows that people are skeptical of full 5-star-ratings. Patients actually see dental practices who have a few negative reviews as more trustworthy (i.e. they’re not suppressing reviews or creating fake reviews).

Not only is a negative review or two a sign of authenticity, it’s a chance for you to show off your professionalism. According to research by Power Reviews, 82% of people will read your bad reviews, but 89% of those people will read your practice’s response, according to BrightLocal. When you show that you’ve heard and considered your patients’ feedback, prospective patients feel more inclined to trust you.

When There’s Nothing Good in a Bad Review

Sometimes patients leave bad reviews about insignificant things, and unfortunately there are cases where people use reviews to attack a business for personal (i.e. non-business-related) reasons. But most folks will see these reviews for what they are, especially if you respond to them in a brief, diplomatic, and level-headed way. More often, negative reviews are constructive—they’re a window into things your practice can improve.

The best strategy for negative reviews is to respond professionally and then bury them in an avalanche of positive reviews. Check out our 7-Step Guide on How To Handle Negative Reviews.

Practices Get More Reviews With Reputation Management Software

Building reviews into your marketing plan could be seen as an additional item to add to your practice’s long to-do list. In order to get enough reviews to bring in new patients, you need to ask patients to leave a review (and then remind them, and maybe even remind them again). You’ll also want to monitor incoming reviews and respond to them in a timely manner.

Reputation Management Software can take the burden of review sourcing and monitoring off your plate. The platform you choose can automatically send out customized review requests to your patients after an appointment, direct them to a link that allows them to leave a review, and give you a dashboard to monitor and respond to reviews.

Using software will help your practice get more reviews quickly and make sure you have a steady flow of new patients who found you through your glowing online reputation.

Why Swell?

When it’s time to choose a Reputation Management Software, you’ll want to look for a flexible solution that is tried and tested by hundreds of dental practices.

Swell is a platform built for practices like yours. Here are a few things that make Swell stand out from the crowd:

  • Swell uses texting as a method of asking patients for reviews. Why? Patients simply prefer texting. 66% of consumers say they prefer receiving text notifications from a business and 98% of texts get opened, compared to much lower rates for other methods. Swell even sends texts during the best time of day to get reviews.
  • As an administrator, you’ll get access to a centralized dashboard where you can monitor and respond to reviews on all review platforms, including Google, Facebook, and Yelp. You just need one login to keep a pulse on your practice’s reputation across the web.
  • Swell has an API with Google, meaning patients can leave reviews in just two clicks. This makes it as easy as possible to submit reviews, so you’re likely to get even more. Each additional click in the review process loses 14% of respondents and other Reputation Management Platforms make it more complicated for patients to leave a review.

Want to see how easily Swell can help you manage your reviews and boost your reputation? Reach out to our team to get your free demo today.

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