According to Think with Google, more than half of millennials simply ignore businesses that don’t show up in their searches or have poor reviews. Nearly three-fourths of consumers of all ages said they were at least somewhat likely to read online reviews of a small business, according to 2018 Netsertive study. A whopping 85 percent of those consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The survey also found that positive reviews make 73 percent of consumers trust a local business more.
Perhaps you use an automation software service to collect your online reviews. Automating the process of asking for reviews makes it easier to collect a lot of positive testimonials quickly. However, did you know that some of your reviews may not show up on the most popular sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook?
It’s true. If you are using a service like Demandforce or Lighthouse 360, most of the best reviews of your dental practice may exist on a microsite where prospective new patients are less likely to see them. A microsite is a branded content site that exists outside of a company’s homepage or brand URL. Most potential patients looking for a dentist will most certainly read Google reviews for a practice they are considering and visit the practice’s website, but they are not going to keep scrolling to seek out a third-party review site they’ve never heard of. The bottom line is this: if your reviews are not on Google or anywhere potential or new patients can see them, they are irrelevant.
Another problem is that the reviews on these microsites can disappear if you switch to another provider. As a result, some of your best reviews may end up in an internet black hole.
What can you do to make sure people searching for a new dentist or new patients who are just learning about your practice can see all your positive reviews? The answer is to repurpose them.
The first step is to make sure you are finding and keeping copies of your patient reviews. Be sure to collect reviews and testimonials that you get via all forms of correspondence, including postal mail, email and social media as well as any reviews posted to third-party review sites. Then store copies all in one place in a “reviews” file along with names, dates and other pertinent information.
Next, you want to make these reviews accessible to prospective patients. Start by asking your happy patients for their permission to turn their comments into more fleshed-out testimonials that include their names and photos.
Keep in mind that not all reviews – even all good ones – make the transition to a great testimonial. Here are a few tips for highlighting the most effective ones.
Keep it concise.
Even the most glowing reviews won’t get read if they go on and on. A typical reader is looking to spend less than a minute reading an online review. You can cut lengthy reviews down to their essential wording as long as you don’t change their meaning.
Emphasize specifics. Avoid reviews that focus on generalities that would apply to any business. Instead, choose ones that mention specific aspects of your dental practice. “The receptionists remember me, greet me by name, and I have never waited more than 10 minutes” is much more helpful than “I love this office!” If you tend to receive a lot of vague but positive reviews, you can follow up with your reviewers, asking them to share particular aspects that stood out during their visits to your office.
Be sure reviews are relevant. Keep your featured reviews up to date. For example, if you moved into your new location two years ago, don’t feature reviews that discuss your “new” office. However, if you have recently added cutting-edge equipment or services, be sure to feature discussions of them prominently.
Connect names with faces. Potential patients want to know your reviews come from real people just like them. That’s why it’s vital to ask reviewers for permission to use their names and photos.
Now, let’s get to work!
1. Show off your best reviews on your practice website to make a great first impression.
Besides checking your Google reviews, your prospective patients will be checking out your website. Turn your favorite reviews into Patient Stories and publish them on a designated page with patients’ names and photos. Place a few testimonials on every page, especially pages that are most frequently visited by potential patients, including About Us, Our Team, Location/Hours as well as online forms pages.
2. Share your reviews on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Create eye-catching posts that highlight your reviews. It doesn’t matter how great your reviews are if no one clicks into them. You can make stunning graphics that stand out on your social media pages by using free and intuitive services like Canva.
3. Publish a coffee-table book for your reception room.
Another way to repurpose your reviews is by collecting them into an attractive coffee table book. With the use of a service such as Shutterfly, you can create a book of patient stories and photos. Keep in mind this book is not the place to show off your dentistry. Instead, use it to share compelling first-person stories of how your practice has made a difference in your patients’ lives. Be sure to include anything else that tells your story, such as any volunteer projects and community service events you and your team engage in or lead.
4. Turn your reviews into wall art.
You can use Shutterfly or your local printer to create beautiful posters that showcase your best reviews to decorate your reception room and hallways. Google has a new platform to help you create images that showcase your reviews. Called “Small Thanks with Google,” the platform helps you turn reviews into social posts, stickers, and posters.
5. Create a striking slideshow to show off your reviews on a TV screen or an iPad in your office.
There are a few apps you can use to repurpose an old iPad to show what makes your office unique and to share your patients’ stories.
6. Incorporate reviews into your marketing materials, including postcards, brochures, and newsletters.
7. Finally, give credit where credit is due.
Another way to repurpose your reviews is by placing them where your team can see and appreciate them every day.
Create a brag wall in your staff lounge area to help your team feel good about all the excellent work they do and motivate them to ask for and earn even more great reviews from your grateful patients.
Now that you have some ideas on how to repurpose your online reviews, here is a final thought. Be sure to keep current on ethical standards and legal considerations when sharing patient reviews and testimonials.
Primarily, it is essential that you share only actual reviews from real people and that you gain each reviewer’s permission before sharing their words or images.
Check out YAPI’s InstaReview and start collecting positive authentic reviews on Google and Facebook today!
Dr. Gina Dorfman completed her dental training at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2000 and shortly after she started her own practice near Los Angeles. Her passion for creating systems and leveraging technology to streamline practice operations is what eventually led her to co-found YAPI. Today, among practicing dentistry, she is a published author, a motivational speaker, and a frequent contributor to the many articles found on our blog!