The first thing is to ensure that your dental website is connected to your Google Reviews account so people can leave you reviews.
This is important because if you provide a really good patient experience, you will have good reviews coming in. Over time your dental office will start ranking at the top of search results on Google for anyone who searches for a dentist in your city.
In other words, your practice can dominate your entire city if your reviews are very good and if you have a good number of them.
However, this process is a little more involved than it might seem.
Assuming that you are getting reviews, take out 30 minutes on any given day and just go through all the reviews. Don’t just skim through the reviews – “listen” to them. In other words, immerse yourself in the process.
By the time you finish, you will understand exactly what is causing your practice to lose revenue every month.
I am always surprised when I ask dentists if they check their Google reviews.
Most of the times they say “Well yeah, I ask Cathy to check them once a month” or “The last time I checked was 4 months ago – I am really busy you know…”.
Here’s the thing: It takes only 1 negative review online to tarnish your reputation.
On the other hand, it can easily take months to recover from the damage.
As the owner of the practice, it should be you who checks the reviews and responds to grievances.
Your front desk staff simply does not have a huge incentive to attend to negative reviews the way you will.
Unless all your patients are thrilled by the experience you provide, you are bound to see some negative (and even nasty) reviews on Google for your practice.
They will mostly relate to:
At least 80% of the times, I see the dental office offering no response to a negative review – this simply legitimizes the negative review in public’s eye (if the dental office isn’t responding, they definitely must be in the wrong).
If you want to increase your revenue, you should courteously responding to all negative reviews, even though they have been up for a while. This tells people that you care about your reputation and patient feedback.
Practices which have an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 and have over 250 positive reviews on Google consistently dominate the entire city and thus get a lion’s share of leads and revenue.
On the other hand, those with an aggregate rating of less than 3.5 out of 5 lose at least $10,000-30,000 per month in potential business because:
Here is what people are saying about some of the top rated dental practices in Toronto, Canada:
“It was my first time coming here and HECK was I nervous. I’ve never done the whole dentist experience on my own without insurance and was confused about the procedure, my hygienist (Erica, I think), was extremely helpful and one of the best people I have ever met. She assisted me through the procedure, made me feel extremely comfortable with all the steps from x-rays to cleaning to polishing. Thank you so much, I hope to see you again!”
“Timely appointments, and fantastic work by all. Have knowledge of what is required to be done. Also takes care of insurance paperwork, which is a huge relief too. Fillings are painless. Will recommend though not to over sell things.”
“Me, my husband and my daughter were in the clinic for the first time last week. The place is well equipped, organized and clean. Every procedure performed was explained with clarity and attention and we felt very safe. I don’t want to go anywhere else. The staff and doctors are very kind and gentle, amazing experience!”
“Dr. Sue Chincholi is by far the best Dentist I’ve ever had. She is extremely professional, talented, friendly and comforting. I had my first ever cavity and felt anxious about it (needles and I are not friends!) Dr. Chincholi made me feel so much at ease during the filling. She talked me through the entire process and was so patient with me. I am so lucky to have found such an incredible Dentist!”
“By far the best service and care I have ever experienced. Dr. Chincholi is beyond amazing and makes you feel like family. The rest of the team is absolutely exceptional too. Can’t recommend highly enough!”
On the other hand, here are real-life reviews of dental practices which are doing a pretty shabby job of patient retention and are losing at least $10,000 to $30,000 in revenue every month:
“Brutal incompetence, lack of process, lack of understanding of how referrals work. I would only recommend to go if you need your teeth cleaned, anything more complex I would not trust the ability or knowledge to have done. Definitely not evidence based or patient centred.”
“Went to fix teeth after an accident, they have a policy of no x-rays at all during pregnancy despite being in second trimester. Therefore they did not pick up on my broken tooth. But perhaps if they were more thorough they would have noticed it anyway. The idiotic receptionist Alvina(?) suggested I wait an entire week to see the same dentist which obviously is unacceptable as I cannot live on soup while being pregnant. After deciding to go somewhere else, cancelled the appt she did give and was asked when I would like to come again. As if I will come back to this incompetent place.”
“Dentist came in 30 minutes late, and didn’t introduce herself. She said I had multiple cavities, didn’t show me the x-rays, and didn’t bother to offer to fill them right away. Won’t be going back, and it’s a shame because the dental hygienist, Angelina, is much nicer.”
“Horrible place, both dentists come off as arrogant and don’t care about their patients, also treat their staff very poorly.”
Don’t know if the dentistry is any good because the staff were so rude and inconsiderate that I never got a chance to go in. They called me twice while I was at work asking me to call to confirm my appointment. The most recent call was at 11:46 am leaving a message saying they have “tried to reach me several times” and if I don’t call by 12 they will cancel my appointment. They had only called ONE TIME. That gave me 14 minutes and I didn’t get the message until 4pm because I was working. After calling back to explain that I would be there tomorrow for my appointment that I booked a month in advance, they told me they had cancelled it and they had a long waiting list and people really want their services. The lady also made a comment saying “can’t you take time out of your work day to call to confirm?”… Not everyone sits behind a desk all day!
This dentist is supposed to treat people with anxiety surrounding dental treatments and all I can say is this is the worst way I have ever been treated and is more anxiety inducing than anything else I have ever experienced. Do NOT go to this dentist!!!!”
Action: Check your Google reviews, “listen” to what they actually say about your practice and respond in a kind and courteous manner. Talk to your staff and streamline different processes to ensure the best patient experience. This will literally guarantee positive reviews.