The reputation of your dental or medical practice can mean everything. It affects your professional identity, your ability to gain and retain patients, and can even impact your licensing.
Despite the high risks involved with mismanaging your practice’s reputation, many medical professionals actively avoid doing anything about it. Because the vast majority of reviews are now left online, the task of managing and responding to these is often placed in the ‘too hard’ box. You’ve read those vitriolic tirades that have nothing to do with the services you carried out, the blatant lies and the misunderstood assumptions. What can you do about it? You can’t stop people from posting them. But you can proactively mitigate the risks associated with their backlash. Because reputation management is about being proactive. Focus on what you CAN do. That’s exactly what we’re hoping to inspire you to do in this article. Here are our top tips to assist you in maintaining a positive reputation for your dental or medical practice.
Encourage happy patients to leave a positive online review
The best way to protect your practice’s reputation online is to encourage satisfied patients to leave a review. Google and Facebook are two of the most dominant online platforms where new patients will search for medical practices, so these are good places to start. Once a patient has completed their appointment, if they seem happy with the services provided to them, ask them if they would like to leave a review online. Let them know where to go to write their testimonial, and be sure to thank them for their time. Another effective way to promote positive ratings is to send out links and instructions on how to leave a review in your practice email newsletter. This makes it even easier for patients to give glowing feedback!
When you stockpile many positive reviews for your practice, if you ever receive a negative review, it means that it isn’t going to stand out as much. If your clinic only has two good reviews on Google, for instance, and you receive one negative review, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb and instantaneously drag down your star rating. However, if you have plenty of great reviews, and someone writes a terrible one, readers are going to pause before taking it into account. The good will outweigh the bad. This is why it’s important to be vigilant about encouraging happy patients to review. It may seem like hard work to start with, but will quickly become second nature and could save your practice’s reputation in the long run!
Offer incentives for patients to recommend your services to a friend
Word of mouth recommendations are still a thing. And a powerful thing at that, especially if you’re situated in a close-knit city suburb or small town. Why not consider offering your patients incentives for recommending your practice to a friend or family member? 10% off their next consultation or a free routine teeth clean is enough to actively encourage existing patients to get a friend to pick up the phone and make an appointment with you. It’s a small price to pay for a new ongoing patient.
Maintain a professional-looking practice
First impressions are a critical aspect of your practice’s reputation. If a patient has a terrible first impression of your clinic, it’s going to impact on their whole visiting experience. For this reason, maintaining a practice that looks professional and welcoming is vital. As soon as a patient walks through the door, they should feel comfortable and like they’re putting their health in capable hands. So it goes without saying that you don’t want peeling paint, lopsided and faded pictures or threadbare chairs to be the first thing they see before they even approach reception. It screams neglect. Adversely, if a patient steps into your clinic and is met with a fresh, clean space with stylish touches and a calm atmosphere, they’re going to enter their appointment feeling confident. They’ll notice the professional pride that you put into your practice and they will WANT to have a good experience. Updating your practice’s interior and exterior is one simple way that you can enhance your reputation. And you can do this with the assistance of experienced professionals who know how to make you look good!
Dentifit are Brisbane’s dental and medical shop fit out and construction specialists! We can assist you to cultivate a professional and positive practice reputation by transforming your clinic so that it’s fresh, stylish and modern interior has a lasting impression on existing and new patients. Contact us today to discuss your needs.