How to attract the right patients online

Prospective patients search for a dentist on the internet every day. Here are three simple strategies to attract some of those patients.

1.   Respond to reviews effectively

Responding to all reviews quickly and following best practices can help control the narrative in a landscape where consumers are free to say whatever they want about your practice.

For positive reviews, use a simple response to reinforce the message for other potential patients, such as “I’m glad to hear you found our waiting room comfortable” and “thank you for noticing and appreciating our technology upgrades.”

For negative reviews, follow these tips:

  • Thank them for the review
  • Acknowledge the complaint.
  • Apologize and accept responsibility, whether you’re at fault or not.
  • Note that what happened is not a regular occurrence and that you’ll address the issue and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  • Ask for a second chance to make things right and for the opportunity to speak offline.

The final point is important. You don’t want is to engage in a back-and-forth dialog online with an unhappy person. Take the conversation offline. Whether the reviewer reaches out or not is their choice, but now you’ve diffused the situation for anyone who is reading the review.

2.   Focus on getting new reviews

If your goal is to get noticed by Google and have your practice show on the first page of search results, online reviews can help. What’s almost as important as getting 5-star reviews is getting a steady drip of new ones. Consistent reviews are a big part of almost all online ranking systems.

3.   Add chat software to your website

Prospective patients are browsing your website with questions about your practice in mind. To catch them before they leave, you can install chat software. People are more likely to pop onto a chat to ask a few quick questions than they are to email or call. Virtual chat software can be programmed to answer most of the questions a new patient might ask and can operate 24/7. For a live chat, you’ll need someone available during customer service hours to respond.