We live in a Google-driven world. This is no secret to most consumers and most business owners; the only question is how you best manage your Google presence and your digital footprint. For dentists and oral health care providers, a key component in this process is managing Google reviews. They may seem like a small thing, but your Google reviews make a big difference in attracting new patients to your practice. Building and maintaining good reviews on Google and elsewhere is an important step for your business. So how and when should you ask for Google reviews from your patients?
There’s no bad time to start building your Google reviews. Whether you’re an established presence in the health care community or a nascent dental practice just getting started, a collection of good Google reviews helps a lot in maintaining good digital status and attracting new patients. So in terms of timing, the time is now and you should start developing and implementing a strategy for building your Google review presence today. The only real question is the best way to go about it, and how to maintain it.
For most dental providers, the best way to build a collection of Google reviews is to just ask in a targeted way. Reaching out to happy and satisfied patients and asking them for a Google review is the best approach in general, but the devil remains in the details. For established practices, making a list of your long-running and loyal patients and then reaching out to them directly is likely the best approach. This can be done at the end of a patient visit with a simple, polite verbal request and maybe a flier or card explaining how to do it. Reaching out to your patients at home is another good strategy, although it comes with some additional complications. You’ll need to know your demographic and the best way to reach them. For many people, these days, a request via email or social media may be enough. Older people may respond better to a mailer or flier; it all depends on your patients. Hopefully, you know your audience and the best way to contact and connect with them.
For new practices, you’ll want to start outreach for Google reviews immediately. Including a simple “hey, please review us on Google” card or flier at the end of each patient visit is a nice touch and tends to get a good response. Following up with your patients is always a good idea; an email or online form asking them to rate their visit and give you some feedback goes a long way towards building patient rapport and ensuring that you’re providing the best quality service. A quick link at the end of the request form to Google reviews is a nice call to action that can help motivate people to post a review.
Regardless of how you go about asking for Google reviews, it’s important to express gratitude when your patients do write one. They’re doing you a favor by writing and posting one, and you need to let them know that you notice and appreciate it. The goal of every dental practice should be developing patient trust, maintaining relationships, and providing the highest quality level of care. Your Google reviews should reflect the effort you’re putting into those things and the feelings your patients have about them. Developing and maintaining a strategy for when and how to ask for Google reviews is an important part of your professional development, so let’s get started today.