My office has become one of Google’s highest-rated full-service dental offices in all of New York City—a city filled with millions of people and one of the most saturated dental markets there is.
So, today I wanted to share the who, what, when, where, why, and how we got this done, and how you can become the highest-rated dental office in your city.
Why Google reviews are important
1. They put new patients at ease
I’m sure you know what a Google review is, but in case you don’t, Google allows customers to leave feedback on their experience with you (good and bad), and from all of those reviews, Google gives you an average rating.
My dental office, for example, has 1,600 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.
And just to give you an idea—an average dental practice, even if they are focusing on reviews, tends to have less than 300 total reviews.
When potential new patients are searching for dental offices on Google and they see that every other office has 20 reviews or 75 or even 400 reviews, but yours has 1,500+ reviews, they just can’t resist coming to you.
I’ve even asked new patients what made them come to us, and they always say, “I looked you up on Google and I couldn’t resist! I had to find out what makes you this highly rated.”
So, not only does it make you look good, but it also puts patients at ease knowing that there are so many other people who had a good experience with you.
There are a lot of patients out there who are scared of coming to the dentist. They had one bad experience or they heard bad things, so when they see an office with this many great reviews, it makes them feel more comfortable. It gets them thinking, “Hey, if 1,600 people can trust this guy or this office, I can come here, too, right?”
2. It makes your marketing more efficient
Another amazing benefit of having more 5-star reviews is that your marketing is much more efficient.
Personally, we haven’t increased our marketing budget in the past 18 months, which is the amount of time we’ve really been focusing on getting as many reviews as possible.
In that time frame, we went from 300 to 1,600 reviews! That’s over 5X the number of reviews we had before. And in that time, our overall collections have increased and our new patient numbers have gone up! Overall, we have seen a jump of 35% in our office, and a big part of that is due to our reviews!
And again, that’s all happening without increasing our marketing budget. Because what happens is that when someone clicks on an ad, gets a postcard, sees you on Facebook, or even gets referred by someone else, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up on Google to see your reviews.
(To learn more about the other forms of marketing we do in addition to online reviews, check out the MGE New Patient Workshop.)
When they see your reviews are high, they’re much more likely to call, walk-in, or send an email.
And as an additional benefit, the new patients you get from reviews are awesome new patients most of the time because they’re not looking for the cheapest dental office or the office that takes insurance, they’re looking for the best dental office. These patients truly care about the quality of their dental treatment and they’re great to work with.
So, that is why reviews are very important.
Who in the office should ask for reviews?
The answer to that is everybody. Everyone should be working together to get patients to leave reviews for the office.
But if I had to say two specific positions that have been very successful in getting reviews in our office, the number one position would be dental assistants and the number two position would be the receptionist.
When it comes to dental assistants, patients are sometimes sitting in the chair waiting for a few minutes, either before or after a procedure. So, this is a prime time for the dental assistant to get in there, see if they’re happy, talk to them a little bit, and ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving us a review.
The receptionist is also a great place for getting reviews, especially for patients of record and patients who have been coming to the practice for awhile, because the receptionist sees them before and after their appointment. So, they can take advantage of this and ask them to leave some feedback.
So, those are the two main positions that can be really successful at getting reviews, but again, the entire office should be working on this as well. In my office, I’ve gotten reviews myself as the dentist, my hygienists have gotten reviews, and even my phone staff have gotten reviews when they’re calling a patient after a procedure. Whenever a patient is happy with their experience with you, this is a chance for any staff member to ask for a review.
How do we ask for reviews?
We learned very early on that the process of sending patients links or asking them to leave us a review when they got home wasn’t very successful.
Out of every 50 patients I asked or sent a link to, I might have had one or two respond to me. It just wasn’t effective.
So, we always ask our patients in person, in the office.
We also give them a sheet of paper with a QR code that we custom-created online. It’s very easy to create (just search “QR code generator” in Google) and easy for your patients to use. All they do is aim the camera on their phone towards the QR code, and it automatically pulls up the link for them to leave a review. Once they open the link, all they have to do is write out their review and press “Enter”.
I also want to mention that our QR code has a paragraph next to it that explains why their review is helpful for our practice and new patients looking for a dentist. It explains that these reviews help prospective patients, who may be uncertain or afraid about coming to the dentist, feel at ease, which causes them to come in and improve their health! At the bottom of this paragraph, it says something like, “We’d love for you to leave us a review because we want you to help us help our community get healthier.”
I have this page with the QR code and paragraph laminated and it sits on the front desk as well as every administrative desk and in every operatory. It’s in every place where there is an opportunity for patients to see it and leave a review.
But it’s not enough to just leave a page out with a QR code. You have to be proactive.
We train our staff and actually practice asking for reviews so that when it happens in real life, they know what to do without hesitation.
When do we ask for reviews?
We ask for reviews before, during, or after appointments. I’ve even gotten reviews from new patients within 20 minutes of them walking into our office because they were blown away by how awesome our service was or how great of an experience it already was.
So, there’s really no wrong answer. You just have to see when your patients are happy, satisfied, comfortable, excited to be there, etc., and ask for the review.
I hope these tips help!
A lot of what I learned I was taught at the MGE New Patient Workshop. Reviews are just one of the amazing things they go over; it’s a small portion of the workshop, but even just applying this to our practice has made such a huge change to our office. So, imagine how much change could happen in your practice if you learned and applied everything they teach there!
If you’re looking to get more fee-for-service new patients, I highly recommend attending this workshop. It’s affordable and easy to attend online, and if it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back in full. Learn more about the New Patient Workshop here.