Are you scared to "Google" your own practice for fear of seeing a bad review? Do you feel at a loss when confronted with an angry or insulting diatribe against your practice is posted online? Many dentists hesitate to create an online presence because they don't know how to handle the attention — good AND bad — that comes along with the visibility.
myDentalCMO takes the fear out of going online, teaching dentists how to manage their web presence with confidence and professionalism. Contact us and ask for an online reputation analysis today!
You Still have a Reputation, Whether You are Participating Online or Not
Word-of-Mouth Marketing is still the strongest way to attract new patients. However, a new factor has been introduced into the average consumer's decision-making process: the internet.
"Googling" it is often one of the first steps potential patients take when considering a new provider for any kind of service, and 72% of consumers trust online written reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
Today, people can go to any of a dozen sites and post a review about your practice, even if you don't already have your practice listed on the site. Your online reputation will exist whether you participate or not, so isn't it better to be in control?
Be Proactive, Not Reactive!
The first page of search results needs to be completely full of great stuff about your practice. Potential patients who "Google" you should see links to:
- Your website
- Your social media accounts
- Press releases about your recent participation in community events
- Positive reviews of your practice
Your marketing team can help you with SEO to ensure that everything GOOD about your practice makes the first page of results, giving you control over what people see when they look up your practice. By being proactive, you are able to determine what your online reputation is and build a positive image. If a bad review does happen, you'll have a strong foundation from which to defend yourself.
Your online reputation is different than your marketing plan. People who search for "cosmetic-dentist-Atlanta-GA" are looking for a dentist; those who search for "Atlanta-Family-Smiles-Dr-Barbara-Johnson" are looking for information on a specific dentist. For the first type of search, your goal would be to get your practice's website as near to the number one spot as you can manage. For the second, your goal would be to dominate the entire first page with positive information about your practice.
Handling Online Interactions Properly is the Key
The first thing to accept is that negative reviews WILL happen. Most are based on misunderstandings, including:
- Treatment options
- Insurance standards and coverage
- Co-pays or co-insurance
- Second opinions
Even dentists who have their practice actively participating online may not be aware of the need for reputation management until there is a problem. A bad review comes to their attention, and suddenly it's all about damage control. If there isn't a plan in place for handling such events, it's easy to come back with the wrong response and make things worse.
It can be frustrating to see review sites that don't screen reviewers to even verify they were actual patients, and aggravating to read inaccurate, misleading rants against your practice. It's tempting to lash out or fight back in anger. It's even more tempting to simply shut it all out and ignore such negative publicity. Both are the wrong choice!
If you are proactively managing your reputation all the time, handling a negative review is just part of the process. Instead of it blowing up into the biggest thing online about your practice, it's a small issue that actually makes you look BETTER because of how professionally you deal with it.
How Can myDentalCMO Help?
We bring all of your resources together and take actions to create a strong, positive online image for your practice, including
- Streamlining and promoting your website.
- Creating and managing strong profiles on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)
- Boosting positive reviews on third party review sites (such as Google, Yelp, CitySearch, Dr. Oogle, etc.)
- Soliciting reviews for these sites on a regular basis (via Smile Reminder, Demandforce, Lighthouse, etc.)
- Creating and distributing press releases about your practice, its services, your team, and (most important) your activity in your local community.
Many dentists are overwhelmed by the time and effort needed to manage their online reputation. They don't have the extra time for building an online reputation, don't know where to start, and wonder if anyone is even reading any of their stuff online anyway. When a bad review pops up, it's just one more straw to break the camel's back!
That's where myDentalCMO comes in. We can handle all of your online reputation building and manage it for you, or train your team to do it. We can provide objective, calm advice on how to respond when a bad review does show up, and help you figure out how to deal with issues without making them worse.