3 Reasons Dentists Should Engage With Google Reviews

In today’s digital age, online reviews hold significant sway over consumer decisions. Whether you’re searching for a restaurant, a vacation spot, or even a dentist, it has become second nature to consult Google reviews before making a choice.

As a dentist, your online reputation can make or break your practice. That’s why it’s crucial to actively engage with patient Google reviews, and here are three compelling reasons why you, as a dental practice, should personally respond to them.

Patient trust is the cornerstone of any successful dental practice. When you respond to Google reviews personally, you’re not just acknowledging the feedback; you’re demonstrating a genuine commitment to your patients’ well-being. This personal touch goes a long way in building trust and rapport with your patients. Visit the Google My Business Help Center for detailed information on managing your business’s online presence, including responding to reviews and optimizing your Google My Business listing.

Patient trust is the cornerstone of any successful dental practice. When you respond to Google reviews personally, you’re not just acknowledging the feedback; you’re demonstrating a genuine commitment to your patients’ well-being. This personal touch goes a long way in building trust and rapport with your patients. Visit the Google My Business Help Center for detailed information on managing your business’s online presence, including responding to reviews and optimizing your Google My Business listing.

Imagine this scenario: A patient named Sarah leaves a glowing five-star review, praising your gentle approach and effective treatment. You respond with a heartfelt thank-you message, expressing your gratitude for her kind words and emphasizing your dedication to providing exceptional care. Sarah, in turn, feels valued and appreciated as a patient.

On the flip side, if you receive a negative review, your personal response can turn the situation around. When addressing criticism, it’s essential to remain professional and empathetic. Apologize for any negative experience the patient had and offer to resolve the issue privately. This not only demonstrates your commitment to patient satisfaction but also shows potential patients that you take their concerns and privacy seriously.

In both cases, personalized responses to Google reviews demonstrate your active involvement and genuine concern for your patients’ experiences. This commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction fosters trust, making patients more likely to choose your dental practice over competitors.

Your online reputation can significantly impact your dental practice’s success. According to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 79% trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With this in mind, your Google review page is essentially your practice’s digital storefront.

By personally responding to reviews, you’re actively managing your online reputation. Positive responses to glowing reviews reinforce the positive image of your practice, while empathetic, professional responses to negative reviews demonstrate your commitment to addressing issues and improving patient experiences.

Additionally, regularly engaging with reviews can boost your practice’s visibility on Google. The search engine algorithm tends to favor businesses that actively engage with their customers. When you respond to reviews, it signals to Google that you’re an active and reputable business, potentially resulting in better search rankings and increased visibility to potential patients.

Patient Google reviews offer valuable insights into your practice’s strengths and areas for improvement. When you read reviews carefully and respond personally, you gain a deeper understanding of what your patients appreciate and what they find lacking in your services.

Positive reviews can highlight aspects of your practice that set you apart from the competition. Suppose multiple patients mention your friendly team, painless procedures, or efficient scheduling. In that case, you know these are key strengths you should continue to emphasize in your marketing efforts.

On the other hand, negative reviews can pinpoint areas where your practice may need improvement or coaching. Perhaps patients mention long wait times, unclear billing processes, or a lack of communication. These criticisms provide an opportunity for you to address these issues, improve your practice, and ultimately enhance the patient’s experience.

By responding to both positive and negative reviews personally, you can also gather more detailed feedback. Engage with patients by asking open-ended questions or inviting them to contact your office directly to discuss their concerns further. This not only shows your dedication to resolving issues but also provides you with direct feedback that can lead to meaningful improvements in your practice.

  • Look for webinars or online courses that focus on online reputation management and responding to reviews. Websites like LinkedIn Learning may have relevant courses.
  • Consider reaching out to professional dental associations and organizations in your region. They may offer guidance or resources specific to managing online reviews in the dental industry.
  • Collaborating with a marketing company can be a game-changer when it comes to enhancing your online presence. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes.

By responding to patient Google reviews personally is an essential aspect of managing your dental practice’s online reputation. It builds trust, enhances your online image, and provides valuable feedback for continuous improvement.

As you engage with your patients online, remember that every response is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with existing patients and attract new ones. Don’t underestimate the power of a personal response in the world of digital dentistry.

Watch this Live, Recorded Webinar by Lisa Copeland, CEO of Communicate With Influence and Adrian Lefler, CEO of My Social Practice on Mastering Google Business Profiles for Dental Marketing: Reviews, Messaging, and HIPAA Compliance.

Communicating with Patients Through Google Business Profiles

🌟 Exciting News: Special Edition Guest Blog with Adrian Lefler! 🌟

At Communicate With Influence, we’re always seeking fresh insights, and today, we’re thrilled to introduce a special blog by Adrian Lefler, CEO at My Social Practice – a dental digital marketing expert. Adrian is joining us to share an exclusive article on leveraging Google Business Profiles for patient communication. Get ready for a unique perspective on marketing your dental practice! 💡🦷

Communicate Through Google and Win More Patients

These days, consistent and accessible communication is more important than ever for patients. When people feel seen and heard, they feel like a valuable part of your practice and are less likely to take their business elsewhere.

One way to increase communication with current and prospective patients is to take advantage of Google’s chat feature for small businesses. It’s also a great strategy for dental marketing because it provides more opportunities to gain new patients.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Google messaging, how to get set up, and what you can do to make the process as easy as possible.

What is a Google Business Profile?

First and foremost, in order to use Google’s messaging feature, you must have a Google Business Profile (GBP).

A Google Business Profile is your official listing on Google and one of the most important first steps when establishing proper SEO for dentists. It is your practice’s online calling card and a way for you to gather reviews, manage your business, and connect with potential patients.

Google Business Profiles provide important information about your business. When setting up your GBP, make sure to include as much detail as possible. A GBP includes:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Physical address
  • Reviews
  • Business category
  • Hours of operation 
  • Link to your website
  • Link to Google Maps directions
  • Photos of your business
  • A “call” button that links to your business phone number
  • Question & Answer section
  • “Chat” button that opens up a messaging window

Why is a GBP So Important?

Without a Google Business Profile, your practice will not show up on Google Maps, and your local SEO will suffer. With 77% of consumers using Google Maps to search for local businesses, getting your practice on the list of search results with a GBP is crucial.

When searching on Google, GBP results are the ones with the yellow star ratings next to them (as long as a business has reviews). These search results are also called a Google Map Pack or Google Local Pack, and they show up right below sponsored listings. Local Packs receive about 44% of total clicks on a Google search results page.

Google Maps SEO

Once you’ve set up your Google Business Profile, you can implement Google Maps SEO to improve your search rankings. By doing simple things like adding relevant keywords in your business description, finding the right business category, and updating your GBP regularly, you can beat out competitors for a coveted top spot in the search results.

Google Reviews

Along with Google Maps, a Google Business Profile also includes Google Reviews. The more positive reviews your practice has, the better because people value social proof very highly—like advice from a friend.

If you’re wondering how to get more Google reviews for your practice, you can always recruit help from a dental marketing company.

Communicating with Patients Through Your Google Business Profile

There are several ways to communicate with patients through your Google Business Profile. You can respond to reviews, answer Q&A’s, receive phone calls, and get connected through a link to your website. These are all crucial functions of a GBP, but the chat feature can be one of the most important ways to communicate.

Imagine a patient searching for dentists in their area. The top three results might all have several 5-star reviews, photos, and even great websites, but yours could be the one to stand out with the addition of a chat button.

Rather than delving into each practice’s website, the patient might choose to chat right away with your practice—the practice with the most accessible communication option.

How To Turn On Chat Notifications In Your GBP

Now that you understand the Google Business Profile and its messaging feature, along with why having access to these tools is so important, it’s time to turn chat on and start chatting!

Enabling messaging through your Google Business Profile is simple.

For Mobile Devices:

First, open the Google Maps app

On the bottom right corner, select “Business”

Select “Messages”

Select “More” then “Message Settings”

Turn Chat on or off

For Desktop

Open your Google Business Profile Manager

Select “Messages”

Select “Menu” then “More” followed by “Chat Settings”

Turn on or off Chat

Once the chat feature is enabled, you can begin receiving messages directly to your Google Business Profile. On a mobile device, you can access these messages in the Google Maps app, and on a Desktop, you can read your messages in the Google Business Profile management center on a web browser.

How To Respond to GBP Messages

Responding to GBP messages should be pretty straightforward. Google includes an automated feature that allows you to pre-fill some questions and answers for instant responses, but otherwise, you will need to access your inbox and respond ASAP.

When responding to messages in your Google Business Profile inbox, remember that you are representing your practice as a whole. All responses should be professional, courteous, and timely. 

  • Be Prompt

One caveat of the GBP messaging feature is that you have to respond to messages within 24 hours in order to keep the button on your page active. If you fail to respond, the chat feature will automatically be disabled.

Potential patients will be able to see a response time estimation for your practice such as “usually responds within 24 hours” or “usually responds in a few hours.”

  • Be Professional

It’s also vital to match the tone of your dental practice when responding to GBP messages. Be polite and professional, avoid slang, and answer to the best of your ability. As a dental professional, you might get questions about things like insurance coverage, cost of procedures, holiday hours, or anesthesia.

  • Be HIPAA Compliant

Another important factor to keep in mind any time you’re communicating on behalf of your practice is to stay HIPAA compliant. Never divulge Protected Health Information. This includes things like confirming the names of patients, personal details like phone numbers or addresses, and billing information.

As you get the hang of responding, you’ll also learn important information about what patients in your area are interested in. You can use that knowledge to improve your marketing strategies and draw more potential patients.

Plus, the more responsive you are with GBP messaging, the higher you’ll rank on Google Maps. This dental SEO guide provides more tips on Google Maps ranking.

Integration with The Dental Social Media Publisher

If your practice uses the Dental Social Media Publisher, managing GBP messaging will be even more accessible. GBP chat functionality integrates into the Dental Social Media Publisher, so you can publish your dental social media content and respond to Google queries all at the same time.

Social media for dentists can get overwhelming. From planning content to execution and scheduling, many dental professionals start to feel stretched thin. That’s why tools like the Dental Social Media Publisher can be so beneficial to your marketing strategy. The Dental Social Media Publisher allows your practice to automate, multitask, and see results in real-time.

Conclusion: Communicate Through Google and Win More Patients

Whether your goal is to improve your Google Maps ranking or get more reviews, using the messaging feature on your Google Business Profile can be a great way to bolster your practice’s online presence.

Try turning on the chat feature on your Google Business Profile, integrate the service with the Dental Social Media Publisher, and see what kind of questions come rolling in. You might be surprised how much this tool can help patients in your area, and help your practice grow.

Bonus

Seeking ways to enhance team communication while enjoying a winter retreat? It’s time to kick off your preparations for the CE In The Mountains all-team event, scheduled for February 23-24, 2024, in the picturesque Park City, UT.

This event will center around improving communication and boosting productivity through engaging activities in the stunning mountain setting.

Watch the short video below for more details.

The Power of Social Media Reviews for Practice Growth

Never has it been so important for us to create a positive experience for every patient! If an unhappy patient decides to leave your practice, they can taint your reputation very quickly.

Everyone has a mobile phone and can effortlessly leave negative feedback about your practice across multiple social media platforms with the click of a button.

In the past, if a patient had a negative experience in your practice, they would email, write a letter, or call. Now they’re more likely to post a review online and send a single message that may receive thousands of impressions.

What’s In a Google Search

Google search “dentist near me,” and one of the first things you will see are practice reviews. Online reviews influence the way patients think about your practice. Your reputation is shaped by what patients are saying in online reviews. Patients look at online reviews to vet how and where they find healthcare.

According to research from 1-800-DENTIST, 70% of consumers indicate online dentist reviews are equally important as a dentist’s professional credentials! While this may make you feel like you have little control over how potential patients perceive your brand, you can, and should be, actively participate in improving your online presence. One of the best ways to do so is by responding to your reviews.

By responding to positive, negative, and neutral reviews and applying best practices, you can make a positive impact on your brand reputation and even boost financial outcomes.

CURVE published a helpful blog for AADOM about reviews. Here are a few highlights.

Start with the three “A’s”:

ASPIRE to create a patient experience that people feel compelled to let others know about.

ASK for a review.

  • 70% of consumers said they will leave a review for a business if they are simply asked to do so.
  • It’s an all-team sport! All team members should be requesting reviews from patients before they are dismissed.

AUTOMATE

  • Make the process easy for both you and your patients.
  • Can patients easily click a link on their computer or smartphone to leave a review and/or comment?

Responding to Negative Reviews

Respond directly in the review platform with a thank you from you and your team for all reviews. Negative reviews are humbling and difficult to respond to. However, they give you the opportunity to improve your patient experience. Respond directly in the platform to show other potential patients that you value feedback and remain HIPAA compliant.

Create a 4-step formula to respond to any negative review.

  1. Thank you
  2. Minimize apologizing
  3. Focus on customer experience
  4. Provide CTA (Call To Action)
Social Media Review Template

Response Template

1. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

2. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations.

3. Because of privacy regulations, we cannot discuss the specifics of your comments publicly. However, we are committed to providing you with high-quality care and take your feedback very seriously.

4. Please review the private message we sent to you. Our Patient Experience Manager will call you to discuss your recent appointment. We would love to make things right if you give us another chance.

The Power of Answering Social Media Reviews

Responding to reviews while maintaining confidentiality demonstrates professionalism, patient dedication, and the provider’s action plan to make things right. By offering to take the conversation offline your practice indicates a genuine desire to solve the problem or misunderstanding.

Reversing a Negative Experience

According to Dr. David Rice, Co-Founder of Ignite DDS, every patient experience should have zero bias and influence from the previous patient! Furthermore, it takes ELEVEN or more positive experiences to overcome ONE negative.

Negativity is contagious and impacts the team and patient.

What started as one now becomes many negative experiences.

More Communication Tips About Negative Reviews

Watch the video below.