How to Get More 5-Star Google Reviews for Dentists
Reviews are “make or break” for dentists. Not only do dentist reviews help motivate potential patients to call your practice and book an appointment, but reviews also play a critical role in determining your dental practice’s success on the Google search engine results page (SERP). In particular, if you want your dental practice to appear in the all-important “Map Pack” (the small group of 3-5 dental practices that appear next to the local map at the top of Google’s local search results), you’d better have lots of 5-star reviews and a decent average (think 4.5 or greater). In this post, we’ll break down exactly how to get more 5-star reviews for your dental practice.
You Need a Proven System
The biggest problem with most dental practices’ approach to getting more reviews is that they don’t have a system in place. If you want to consistently generate 5-star reviews from satisfied patients, you need a proven process in place. It’s not enough to occasionally ask patients for reviews when you or your office staff have a free moment. And let’s be honest — who has time for that? You need a process for getting more dentist reviews that you can automate and ensure that satisfied patients don’t fall through the cracks.
Choose a Reviews Platform
There are many software platforms that you can use to consistently generate more reviews for your dental practice — (nearly) on autopilot. Some of our favorites include:
These dentist review platforms make it super easy to send review requests to patients after successful treatments. We strongly recommend that dental practices take advantage of SMS texting over email — open rates for texts near 100% vs. roughly 20-30% for emails, and texts make it simple for patients to respond with any questions.
One of the commonalities that these platforms share is that they can “filter” for patients likely to leave a 5-star review by starting with a survey, sometimes called an NPS or “net promoter score” survey. In what’s known within the industry as “review-gating,” these platforms first text or email patients a simple survey, in which they are asked to rate their experience with your dental practice on a scale of 0-10. If the patient answers “10,” (or maybe “9,” depending on your settings), they are then sent a follow-up request to leave a review on Google or another dentist reviews site.
Design Your Review Request Messaging
It’s not enough to simply choose a review platform for your dental practice. You also need to craft your review request messages to ensure maximum conversion. In today’s business environment, patients may be receiving 2, 3, or even more review requests from businesses per week. It’s critical that your dental practice make your review request stand out.
At DentalScapes, when we design reviews and reputation management campaigns for dentists, we always ensure that text message-based review requests delivered to patients are:
- Friendly (show off your practice’s unique personality)
- Empathetic (make it clear you value your patients’ time)
- Conversion-optimized (emphasize how reviews impact your practice and ability to help others and/or incentivize reviews with a small thank-you)
Follow-ups are also important — most patients, in fact, won’t leave a review after the first request. They’re busy, after all. To get more reviews for your dental practice, it’s critical that you set up multiple follow-ups. At DentalScapes, we typically advise 2-3 follow-ups as part of any review request sequence. That’s enough to boost conversion rates without annoying your patients (which is far worse than missing out on their review).
Consider an Incentive or Thank-You for Dentist Reviews
Google doesn’t necessarily love promising thank-you gifts in exchange for reviews in advance. That said, we always encourage our dental practices to consider sending patients who leave 5-star reviews a thank-you gift — without earlier prompting.
One of the most effective strategies we’ve used to help generate goodwill among patients (and in turn, fuel new patient referrals to your dental practice) is to send those who leave a 5-star review a t-shirt branded with your practice. Gift cards for local businesses also work well.
Respond to EVERY Review for Your Dental Practice
Your dental practice must respond to every. single. review. Period. No matter if it’s an enthusiastic 5-star review from your best patient ever, or a “nasty-gram” from a dissatisfied patient, responding to reviews shows that your dental practice cares.
Responding to Positive Reviews
By adding a personal response to every positive review, your practice shows its personality — not only to the patient who left the review, but also to other potential patients who may be considering your dental practice. Don’t share anything overly personal (certainly anything protected by HIPAA), but be sure to thank them for their review and also make it clear that you’re here to help no matter what.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Responding to negative reviews — whether legitimate or unfounded — shows to other, potential patients that your practice truly cares, and helps add context to the initial review. Never criticize or attack a patient for a negative review published online, but be assertive in letting them and others know that there are two sides to every story.
Most important, always close your comment with an opportunity to address the issue offline and 1:1. Give your contact information and let the dissatisfied patient know that you’re ready to talk and help resolve the issue.
Empower Your Staff
Review requests are generally best made after a successful treatment. But that doesn’t mean your dental practice shouldn’t ask for reviews at other points in the patient journey. If a potential patient has an exceptional experience during the first appointment booking process, for instance, your practice’s staff should be empowered to ask for a review at that point. The review and reputation management platforms above all include templates that can easily be customized for this exact purpose.
Want More 5-Star Google Reviews for Your Dental Practice?
If you’re serious about consistently generating more 5-star reviews for your dentist office, schedule a free strategy call with DentalScapes today. We’ll talk about your current marketing efforts, review your objectives, and put together a customized plan for your practice. Don’t wait — book a FREE strategy call today.