Responding to your practice’s Google reviews matters for two reasons: reputation and rankings.
Plus, companies responding to reviews is just the modern expectation. 53% of customers say businesses should take less than a week to respond to a review. 33% say the business should take three days or fewer for a negative review (Review Trackers).
Survey Says: 89% of searchers are ‘fairly’ or ‘highly’ likely to pick a business that responds to every review (BrightLocal).
To respond to a review, all you have to do is log in to your Google Business Profile, select “Reviews,” and click “Reply” next to your selected review. If you use reputation management software, you can reply to reviews right from your dashboard.
To get your responses right, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Insider Tip: Even some of the most successful dental practices don’t know that using keywords in your review responses gives you a big SEO boost.
For example, if you offer cosmetic dentistry, this is your opportunity to say so. If the reviewer mentions it, your response can include a line like “Thanks for your review, we love providing cosmetic dentistry!”
Then, when someone in your area searches for “cosmetic dentistry” you’re more likely to show up at the top of the Local Pack.
Before we get into specific responses, remember to stay HIPAA compliant. In other industries, businesses can say pretty much anything when they respond to a customer – including providing specific details about the person and their visit or purchase.
For dental and medical practices, it’s a whole different ball game. Just like in everything else your practice does, patient privacy is the highest priority. Don’t put your practice or staff at risk by forgetting that review responses are public and have the potential to compromise HIPAA.
The key, of course, is to avoid providing any personal information about your reviewer.
Here are some common tips for HIPAA-compliant review responses:
If you use a review management platform, you can set up a variety of HIPAA-compliant response templates so your staff can choose between options that have already been approved.
Responding to a positive review is your opportunity to respond with keywords. You can repeat any references the patient made to their service. Overall, keep it friendly and brief, always focusing on your gratitude for the reviewer taking the time to help out with your reputation.
Positive Review Response Templates:
In summary, when you get a positive review:
A few negative reviews shouldn’t keep you up at night. While a business with mainly negative reviews will scare away 94% of prospects, those numbers aren’t the same if you mostly have great reviews with one or two rotten ones (Review Trackers).
Plus, as bad as it feels to get a crappy review, maybe one will give you an idea of how to improve your practice in a way that will lead to more happy patients in the future.
Responding to a negative review is your opportunity to show who you are. In the process, you might even win over someone who reads it. In one survey, 45% of review readers said they were actually more likely to visit a business if it always responded to negative reviews (BrightLocal).
Before you type out a response, take a deep breath and confer with your team. It’s not worth sending a hasty reply in the heat of the moment that might not reflect your practice’s values.
Negative Review Response Templates:
In summary, when you get a negative review:
Responding to a review shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two, and it can make a big difference, including reducing the impact of negative reviews by 70% (Software Advice). Once you’ve gotten in the groove of getting and responding to reviews, it’s smooth sailing.