Traditionally, word-of-mouth referral was the strongest source of new patients for dental practices. For many practices, this is still the case.
Despite the multitude of ways that practices have available to them to promote their services to their local community, word-of-mouth is the most effective. A Goethe University study discovered that customers who have been personally referred to a business are 18% more likely to stay and become a loyal consumer.
Three of the top benefits of encouraging your existing patients to refer their friends and family are:
- There is a transfer of trust from the existing patient to the new patient (something that normally takes time to achieve)
- Your patient list grows with like-minded individuals (people generally associate with people who share their values, habits and lifestyle)
- It is inexpensive
There is now an additional source of referrals available to you.
As a result of our growing dependence on Google Search to find goods and services, Google Reviews have become an extension of the word-of-mouth referral.
Unlike website and Facebook testimonials, Google Reviews are accepted as being honest, authentic and unadulterated. That is because the business cannot edit them, and so the public feels they can trust them.
Google Reviews can now become an important element to the organic growth of your practice. (A five-star review has been shown to increase click-through rate by 20%!)
Here are a few ways you can increase the number of positive Google Reviews for your practice:
Ask your already-satisfied patients
Think of the patients who you know are happy and satisfied with your service and send them an email or letter asking them to post a review for you. Provide a link that will take them straight to the area where they are to submit their review.
Print Google Review request cards
Print cards with the Google Review link and keep them at reception. When patients comment positively about their experience, hand the card over, saying “We are thrilled you enjoyed your visit today. Can I give you this card in case you would like to leave us a review on Google?”
Turn a social media review into a Google Review
When a patient leaves a positive review on your Facebook or social media page, respond with thanks and a request to copy their review and post to Google. Include the link to make it easy.
Ask your followers
Any followers of your social media pages will generally be those who like you. Every few months, ask your followers to write what they love about your practice as a Google Review.
Include a Google Review request card in your Welcome Bag
People feel a strong sense of reciprocity after they have had a positive experience and received a gift. Including a request for their feedback in the Welcome Bag they receive after their first visit is a great way of getting a response from a happy new patient.
Add a link on your website and social media page
Make it as easy as possible for happy patients to leave a Google Review by adding a button on your website and social media page that takes them directly to your Google Review window.
Not all patients will want to submit online reviews. But, there are many people who genuinely want to see businesses they like to succeed and are happy to respond positively when asked.
(For those who are new to the importance of Google Reviews, you can find out how to identify the link to your practice reviews by clicking here.)