Reviews for any kind of business can be a double-edged sword. Many people base their purchasing decisions based on favorable online ratings while avoiding businesses that have poor reviews. If an orthodontic practice is able to get good reviews, it can lead to new patients picking them over other offices, even if they are further away or more expensive.
One of the main struggles small businesses face is the fact that it can be difficult to get positive reviews, even if they have tons of satisfied patients. The simple fact is negative experiences tend to prompt action more than positive ones, and it may be those few people who had bad experiences at your practice that skew your online ratings towards mediocrity. The solution to this problem is to generate more reviews. But just how does a small business achieve this?
It may seem a little forward to ask for reviews, but if you do have satisfied patients, they should be happy to leave a review for you. And given that people who have had positive experiences need more of a push to leave reviews, actually generating more reviews will start to steer your rating in a better direction.
Strategies for Asking for Reviews
One of the best strategies is to simply ask your patient in person at the front desk. When training your reception staff, include a checklist of things they should cover while the patient is on their way out. This likely already includes things such as telling the patient to contact the office if there are any issues, making sure they are on your email list, and thoroughly going over relevant billing information. You can also have your reception staff politely ask your patients to leave a review online as part of their send-off. Again, this personal approach may seem a little awkward, but patients are much less likely to say “no” right to your face.
You put reminders to leave an online review on the appointment cards you send with your patients as well.
At Ortho Sales Engine, we can help facilitate the process of asking for patient reviews by creating an automated email system for you. Using our platform, your patients will receive an email after their appointment asking them to leave a review about their experience, along with links to review websites.
Important Rules to Remember
While using approved methods to ask for reviews can help generate a positive online reputation for your orthodontic practice, breaking certain rules can end up backfiring on you. Yelp is the most important review website to be cautious with when asking for reviews. In fact, you are not allowed to ask your patients for reviews at all on Yelp. They may flag your account if they notice unusual patterns with your reviews, which can tank your reputation.
Google is slightly more relaxed in the sense that they are okay with businesses asking for reviews, as long as they don’t only ask for positive reviews or send out mass emails. They will also get suspicious if they notice reviews being generated from the same location. Kiosk platforms such as ServiceGuru allow you to have your patients fill out a review at a kiosk at the front desk where it will then be emailed to them later on, allowing them to copy and paste the review and publish it to their preferred review website, avoiding mass reviews from one IP address.
Facebook is the most relaxed when it comes to asking for reviews; as of right now they don’t even have an official policy on it. Their endorsement system is more personal and lends itself to more positive reviews than other review websites.
You deserve an online reputation that matches your customer satisfaction, and asking for reviews from your patients can help you get the ratings you’re looking for.