owadays, online reputation is crucial for practices. After all, your patient reviews are one of the first things that patients see when they google you. If patients believe you have too few reviews or your overall star rating is too low, chances are that they’re going to a competitor.

Of course, it’s not easy to manage reputation manually. Collecting and monitoring reviews takes time, and it can be a ton of work for your already busy team. But there is a solution. An online reputation management software can automate the process of collecting reviews and help your business get chosen in search results. 

Are you thinking about getting started with a reputation management software?

Here are 7 factors that every practice should consider before making a purchase

1. Comprehensive monitoring 

Many practices choose to focus their attention on big review sites like Facebook and Google. While it’s true that most patients leave reviews on those two sites, they aren’t the only sites that matter. Some patients also rely on niche sites like Healthgrades to find new practices. Ignoring these sites potentially means losing the opportunity to attract the patients who frequent them. 

Of course, it’s tough for team members to stay on top of every review site on the Internet. But an online reputation management platform can help. Find a platform that allows your team to monitor reviews from all the sites important to your patients, so you can stay on top of every review posted about your practice. 

2. Compliance with Google’s rules and regulations 

In 2018, Google banned “review gating”, the practice of selectively soliciting reviews from patients who had a positive experience. Nowadays, any business that is caught gating reviews will face a penalty in search and may get de-indexed by Google entirely. 

However, some reputation management platforms still practice review gating. These software systems should be avoided at all costs. It’s an unnecessary risk that may end up causing serious damage to your online presence. 

Besides, review gating often has the opposite of the intended effect.

Being too selective with review requests might mean that you are not sending out requests to patients who would be happy to leave a positive review. That means you could end up with significantly fewer reviews than your competitors and a worse online reputation. 

3. Automatic review solicitation 

While there’s nothing wrong with asking patients to leave reviews in-person, it doesn’t lead to the kind of results that practices typically look for. Most of the time, patients happily agree to leave a review and then forget about it as soon as they walk out the door. 

The trick to getting more reviews is making the process easy. A reputation management platform can help. The right software will allow you to automatically send a review request to patients via text and/or email. That way, all they need to do is just click a link and leave a review. The process is easy for your team as well. With a simple integration to your PMS, these requests can go out within 24 hours of an appointment without any one of your employees needing to lift a finger. 

But not every reputation management platform can do this. Before you choose a software, be sure it can both automate review requests and integrate with your PMS. 

4. Comprehensive platform 

Some practices choose to monitor patient surveys and patient reviews on two separate platforms. Unfortunately, this set up causes a lot of unnecessary work for your employees. It takes time to look at patient feedback on two different platforms, reach out to unhappy patients, and make changes in the patient experience. 

To make sure that you’re staying on top of all your feedback, find a platform that allows you to monitor reviews and surveys in one place. Not only will it help you get a more complete understanding of your patient, it will also save time for your team and allow them to fix experience issues in a timely manner. 

5. Automatic social sharing 

Your patients trust reviews. So don’t just leave them on review sites. Share them with the world by putting them on social media profiles like Facebook and Google. These words of happy patients can boost the morale of your employees and be a valuable piece of marketing to acquire new patients. 

Don’t have the time to dig through all of your reviews and find ones that you want to share? Luckily, this is a process that can be automated. We recommend choosing a reputation management platform that gives practices the ability to automatically share their awesome reviews with their social media followers. 

6. Reporting 

It’s not enough just to look at overall star rating. It’s also important to look at trends in your overall star rating and number of reviews over time. A big dip in overall star rating in recent months might be a sign of a bigger issue in patient experience. 

Find a platform that allows you to spot these trends as soon as possible and take action. Ideally, your reputation management platform should display easy-to-understand graphs that show your practice’s number of reviews and review rating over time. That way, you can identify issues quickly, make sure that all of your employees are aware of the drop in patient satisfaction, and make changes in your overall experience. 

7. Look for reviews on trusted sites 

Before you make a purchase decision for a dental reputation management software, it’s important to look at review sites to see what other customers are saying. Take a close look at sites like G2 and Capterra and examine the strengths and weaknesses of different reputation management platforms. 

Not sure what exactly to look for? There’s one factor that usually determines success or failure for reputation management. Oftentimes, practices struggle with platforms that are unnecessarily cumbersome and difficult to use. To avoid this problem, keep a close eye on what the reviews say about the ease of use of the platform and the helpfulness of the company’s support team. The easier the platform is for your team members to use, the better results you will see. 

In conclusion

Nowadays, online reputation is key to attracting new patients. That means finding the right dental reputation management platform is more important than ever. By paying close attention to the criteria listed above, you can be sure that your practice is effectively leveraging the power of happy patients.

Dent247 Editorial Staff

April 23, 2021
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