Online Reputation

Loyalty is a Two Way Street

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It probably goes without saying that the most important aspect of running an effective practice is building on patient relations. It makes sense in any business to strive to provide a service that promotes an organic sense of loyalty. This approach will always result in a more concrete outcome than mere frequency. In the long run your business will prosper greater while continuously learning more from the patient about the service you are providing than to simply invest in repeat service.

Now, imagine from a patient’s perspective the results of having this kind of experience. Wouldn’t you feel compelled to share these results with family, friends, and even casual acquaintances when conversation provided a relevant opportunity? Of course! We all love to discuss quality customer service interactions that far surpass the average day-to-day encounters. This is because it feels good to be treated as a valuable individual rather than just another face standing between you and the end of a busy day on the clock. In fact, the only thing that could make that appreciation feel even better would be if you were rewarded for your satisfaction!

…And this is exactly what the “kudos!” loyalty program represents. An incentive-based opportunity for patients to redeem points that are directly acquired through expressing the sincere satisfaction they already feel.

Patients that enroll in this loyalty program are already genuinely excited to praise the sincere service they were provided by the office, staff, and doctors. The kudos! loyalty program encourages these individuals to get out there and spread the good word to friends and family on a wide array of social media platforms. This form of business representation is without a doubt an imperative deciding factor for new and prospecting clientele in our modern times.

Just think of the number of people that are out there right now meticulously scanning review sites for the perfect restaurant, barber, or yes… even dentist. This form of research has become so popular for the basic reason that we want to hear real experiences, not advertisements. Promoting a business is much more easy and effective when done internally. Acquiring new patients can be an expensive process compared to nurturing those we already have. Simply put, retaining current patients and keeping them fully satisfied is a much more efficient way to promote any practice. This method becomes a self-sustaining machine that provides research on specific incentives and dislikes that will fuel patient’s decisions.

Another glimmering attribute of a loyalty program such as kudos! is the client’s incentive to share these experiences on personal social media pages. The result is increased local exposure towards any number of vast individuals that may witness it through some form of association. Social media allows a multi-channel vehicle through which to communicate a voice to others. This builds real customer relationships based on relevance and allows loyal patients to directly impact a company’s profitability through actively referring others to your business, saving you the marketing and advertising costs of acquiring them as customers in the first place.

It is infinitely more profitable to lose bad patients than to invest the time and energy that it costs to acquire new ones. The kudos! program rewards our best patients in the same way that it gives the extreme alternative less of a reason to stay, providing the room for a plethora of quality new patient arrivals and interest. Excelling in customer service and problem correction through an insight of authentic reviews builds trust, a key element for all long lasting relationships. Also, the more activities that a truly satisfied client participates in, the more promotional material you have available online, resulting in more satisfaction among the clients that you already have and will inevitably gain in the process.

Every business must develop and deliver a consistently branded experience for its customers, and the essence of this brand should be evident in every interaction a customer has with the company. This enables the client to form an emotional attachment with the brand. Actively engaging patient’s and public relations will finalize in making them WANT to promote your business and the highly responsive services it has provided.

The best loyalty programs in the world are ones that are truly customer-centric in every way. Taking a look at your average experience with your average business will reveal that the most common method of approach is to be either product-centric or service-centric. Meanwhile, those who have fully realized the immense value of a customer-centric approach have thrived well beyond competitors. Adopting this ideal approach usually means changing several generic procedures, however. All marketing and sales services must be merged without a stitch. Examined data is going to be much more useful when segmented by customers instead of products.

The kudos! program provides data that is already customer-centric by its very nature, and implementing this loyalty program as the cardinal opportunity that it is provides a merging of data that crosses all platforms and data pools. Differentiating your business from others in a way that focuses less on the claims of your own products and services, and instead more on the real-world results that are being proudly exclaimed by the patients that are sustaining it.

Don’t Just Count Your Reviews, Make Sure Your Reviews Count

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Once you have your patients ready to leave reviews, please remember this advice.  Do not encourage them to post from any device in your office that may be using the same IP address.  I know it seems like a simple way to get your reviews done.  You are already talking to the patient about leaving a review.  Why not go ahead and let them leave the review from your office?  Here’s why…

These review sites are smart, and they want to make sure the reviews are fair and honest.  The have different systems in place to catch what they believe are fake reviews.  Several reviews coming from the same IP address will appear to be reviews coming from the same person, and these reviews can get removed.  Even if every review is from a different person, just being from the same IP address will raise a flag against those reviews.

If your office doesn’t offer wireless internet to your patients, then you’re mostly in the clear.  Just don’t let them post their review from one of your computers or devices linked into your internet.  If you do offer wireless internet in your office, even posting from their own tablet or phone while using your internet could get that patient’s review filtered.  Try your best to get them to leave their review later from their own home.

This system really is in place to protect your office.  Not only are the sites making sure that someone is not falsely leaving positive reviews for your business, they are also watching for people posting fraudulent negative reviews.  I’m sure your patients are always happy with your office, but imagine some occurrence where someone is not pleased. They could go home and create multiple accounts and leave multiple negative reviews for you that place your office in a bad light.

Don’t be afraid to ask your patients about leaving reviews, just remember that they need to leave their review somewhere other than your office.  You want all the reviews you can get, but you want to make sure these reviews count.

What Your Office Is Really Saying

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Often times when a patient calls in to your office directly, they are greeted with a busy receptionist with a lot on their plate. Most likely scenario is they are probably sitting in front of a patient that is waiting to be checked in or out, and they have 5 other telephone lines ringing to be picked up.

Of course we know your office cares deeply about each and every patient that comes in to see you.  Moreover, you we know you care about the overall customer experience and how that translates to long-term success for your practice in the form of loyal clientele and glowing reviews online.  The question is; are your office staff currently doing what is necessary for you to realize these goals for every, single person that picks up the phone and dials your number?

In our abundant experience we’ve learned that the main reason(s) a new patient calls is to book a routine appointment, an emergency appointment, or get a quote on a service. At Dental Game Plan, our operators are never too busy to answer even the most long-winded questions a potential patient can come up with.  We’re thorough, kind, understanding and above all good listeners — when it’s all said and done our goal is to get them to come in to your office for a new patient consultation or exam.

We like to think of any patient that actually calls in for an cleaning, exam or other routine appointment, as “gold-star” patient. If handled correctly, these patients will be return patients, or patients that show up on your online review sites — and know the value and importance of regular oral maintenance. We typically pass these patients directly to the office to book an appointment, and know a bit of a wait for the appointment will usually not be a big deal.

When an emergency patient calls in for an appointment, we always like to get them in as soon as possible. Sometimes a “tomorrow appointment” will automatically result in a hang-up. Having space in your schedule, every single day, for these inevitable calls is of utmost importance. Though, they are not always return patients, they will know you will be there for them if they need you again.

We know that prices given over the phone are valuable to the patient, but they can often be inaccurate, and exaggerated. Having the patient come in for a free exam is a huge benefit to the patient, and your office.

When you receive a quote for a service, what is the first thing you do? Whether it be auto, home repair, or a medical expense, you typically call around for a second quote. If your office is giving quotes, without seeing the patient, and your quote turns out to be too high, or too low, you will have an unhappy patient, guaranteed.

At Dental Game Plan, we believe the most important thing to do with a potential new patient is relay a general, honest sense of care for their comfort and well-being. We have staffed our call-center with people whose main goal is to be there for your potential patients-in-need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our compassionate operators always ensure that callers know we believe their time to be valuable, that we care about their financial situation and are sensitive to any extenuating fears or anxiety.

Booking a new patient appointment, for you (our client)  is our number one goal; however, we always go that little bit extra, to show callers that our focus is 100% on them  — we want to make that first impression the foundation for a quality long-term relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turning Review Readers into Review Writers

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As hard as it may be to believe, just because someone reads your patient’s reviews, that does not always mean that they will feel inclined to leave a review of their own. Usually the idea simply does not occur to them.  This study published on Statista shows that people are four times more likely to read a review about their doctor than actually leave a review about their doctor.  This is where you and your staff come in.

A wealth of positive patient reviews, not only helps casual surfers turn the corner and become patients, but it also aids in your dental search engine marketing. Online patient reviews are an important component in how your website, review listing or local listing ranks in comparison to your competitors. Or course, this is only one component of dental search engine marketing, but it does carry some significant weight.

You should always let your patients know how much you would appreciate a review.  Use incentives to thank them for being a loyal client and for sharing the experience they’ve had at your practice with the rest of the world.  Post signs and literature that prompt your happy patients to ask you or your staff for more information about leaving reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Make sure to ask your marketing company for the most effective signage, they likely already have something created. Or give us a call at Dental Game Plan and we would be glad to steer you in the right direction.

The main thing you can do to get the word out about leaving reviews is to make sure you or your staff mention it to every patient that comes through your door. For Dental Game Plan clients – all you need to do is get their email address and we’ll do the rest.  You may be surprised how many of your patients are more than happy to leave a positive patient review for the great service they received at your office if asked to do so.

All reviews are good reviews

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More people are leaving more reviews overtime.  This graph shows the percentage of different generations who have posted a review online as of the first quarter of this year.  At that time, 63 percent of Millennials have posted a review online.  With numbers like this, you can see how important it is to make sure that every review counts.

All of your reviews will not be positive.  The fact is, no one is perfect and we all have room for improvement.  The same is true for your dental practice.  You can benefit from those less than stellar reviews by learning from them and making positive changes in response.  With every bad review there is the opportunity to address the complaint and make sure that someone else doesn’t have the same experience and leave a similarly bad review.  For example; lets say someone leaves a review stating that they waited a long time before being seen or they felt your staff wasn’t as welcoming as they could have been.  You might take a step back, look at and see where you can make adjustments and ensure there are new protocols in place so your front office area isn’t seen as a “waiting room”.  Notice how long you are spending with your patients in the back versus how long they wait for you up front and see if that ratio can be improved upon.  Find out why your staff isn’t making it a priority to welcome every patient that comes though your door and stress to them the importance of doing that, maybe you can teach them how to be more engaging during your next staff meeting.

Reviews are some of the best tools for insuring that your business is the best it can be.  Make sure that any bad reviews you might receive become beneficial to your practice.

How To Truly Connect With Patients on Social Media

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In this day and age, social media is a critical part of your marketing!  You probably already have some engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and more, and if so – you deserve a pat on the back! But now, let me ask you this… What type of content are you putting up on these sites?

It is your goal to get as many page likes, shares, comments etc., but are you providing your audience with content they can connect with? Sure they want to see that you know what you are doing, with amazing before and after pictures. They might even like to read a short blog post including dental education. But if we are honest with ourselves, most people don’t scroll through their news feed hoping to learn about the root canal process. Would you? (Dentist, don’t answer that Ha Ha).

Visual content is CRITICAL. Here is something that time and research has proven your audience does want to see: Real time pictures of real people! They want to see the latest training you received or when your dental assistant gets engaged. They would love to see the charitable event you attend every year in March. Let them celebrate with you by posting pictures of an office staff member’s birthday celebration or dressing up for Halloween!

Equally as important, they want to see your patients! Share a celebratory photo of a patient whose braces you just removed after 2 1/2 years or a patient’s new smile after implant treatment! Share the humor in a patience numb mouth after prep work for a crown.

Getting pictures of your patients can be challenging, but don’t worry, we have you covered!! Try using posters! Posters with bright colors and fun captions are a wonderful ice breaker, allowing your patients to get involved and even allowing it to be FUN! Something like “My dentist rocks” or “My lips are numb”. How could anyone turn it down? Display these funny, light-hearted placards  in your operatories and around your office and get the conversation started.

Showing potential new patients that you offer a fun filled, yet also professional dental practice is critical. There is no better way to do this than showing off happy patient photos with you and your office staff! Allow people to become connected with you on a personal level! Good luck and happy picture taking!

A Custom Dental Website By Itself Does Not Guarantee New Patients

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So your custom dental website looks pretty sleek and professional but your phone just isn’t ringing off the hook…

That’s because a nice looking site or a page 1 Google listing by itself is not enough to convert the average web-surfer looking for dental services; you need a dominating online presence everywhere the potential patient turns and an arsenal of conversion tools to get them scheduled once they land on your site.

You need glowing patient reviews across several platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Citysearch to inspire confidence that your visitor is making the right decision.

The appointment process needs to be an easy one, with online appointment requests, easy to find phone numbers, click-to call, and a friendly voice on the other side of the phone 24 hours a day seven days a week who will not ask your potential patient to “hold please.”

You need live chat to reel in “looky-loo’s” with real time assistance and special offers.

Lastly, for those potential patients that do not commit on the first look, a Google remarking strategy to follow them around, a steady social media presence and a directory listing everywhere your potential patient turns, will position you squarely above your competition.

Has Your Dental Practice Been Searched Today?

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Welcome to the age of sharing!  Where everyone’s opinions are out there and they all matter (to one degree or another).  I am talking to you about the power and importance of online reviews.  Thanks to technology, it is incredibly simple for every customer to find out all that they need to know about any business before even walking through its door.

People ask for their friends’ opinions quite often, but their friends can be biased.  Also things that are important to one person may not matter to another.  If someone wants access to the thoughts of a broad and diverse group of people, online reviews are what they look for.

A recent survey from 2014 found that 72% of people felt that positive customer reviews made them trust a business more.  Only 18% of people said reviews do not influence their opinion, and a mere 10% said that they don’t read online reviews.

Your prospective patients have countless review websites to turn to, foremost being Google+ and Yelp when they want to do their research before buying. Whether they are at home or work on their computer, or on their smartphone while going about their day, the reputation of your office can be found in an instant.  Your practice needs positive reviews to bring in more patients, and the more positive reviews you have, the more appealing your business will become.

7 Reasons Our Marketing Formula Works

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There are so many different ways to generate more appointments and increase revenue for a dental office.  Thirty years ago it was easy, because you basically had two choices – the yellow pages and the newspaper.

Today you have Facebook, Twitter, Google, emails, postcards, Linked In, Yahoo, Mobile, Yelp and a hundred more I could easily put into this list.  So what do you do?  How do you choose which marketing platforms to spend money on? What is going to have the best return and which companies can provide you with the best solutions?

Well we have our own formula that has been tested and is proven to work in dentistry, and based on your goals we can implement one or all of these techniques to generate as many patients as you need:

  1. PPC – paid marketing on major search engines to get people who are actively searching for a service you provide
  2. Social Media Marketing to connect with existing patients and reach out to friends, family members and business targets
  3. Organic search results are listings of your website on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to being advertisements.
  4. Email marketing where we reach out to new move ins in your market place and those who are looking for medical services
  5. Patient Referrals which we all know is the best source of new patients and can really multiply your practice success
  6. Patient reactivation for those who haven’t been to your practice for over a year, getting them back in and back on track
  7. Direct mail for those campaigns that need a massive branding and direct response push

 

You can get many of these services in  our 5 free patient program.  You need to act fast because your market will not last, so request an appointment today and let’s talk about how we can build your practice and get you started with this incredible opportunity.

Why Patient Feedback Is So Critical

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Have you ever lost a patient and thought, “wow, what did we do wrong?”  There is nothing worse than losing a patient to miscommunication or a misunderstanding.  So a top priority of ours is to make sure we hear and listen to the voice of your patients.

Opening up forms of communication also helps you avoid 1 and 2 star reviews online in places you don’t want them.  To get feedback we put in place a survey, and ask your patients about their previous experience at the office.  Having this information allows us to take action quickly to save a potentially bad situation and salvage a long-standing relationship.

Saving an existing patient from leaving is just as good if not better than getting a new patient. Right?