Founder of Search Engine Pros
From: Taylor Reaume, “The Life-Like Web Guy”
Yes, positive online reviews do matter to customers. This report from Vendasta shows that 92% of people read online reviews and 88% take them into account when making purchasing decisions, while 80% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Even so, it’s not the end of the world if you receive a negative review. In fact, if you respond in the right way, you can use the opportunity to show customers how much you care about their satisfaction.
Ultimately, what matters when you receive negative reviews is how you respond to them. If a business resolves its issues quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers return, concludes Vendasta. Look at it this way: receiving a negative review gives you the chance to rectify problems with your service and if you respond correctly, you can resolve the situation and win prospective customers over by showing them that you take notice of your customers’ opinions.
Before you learn how to respond to negative reviews, you have to spot them by monitoring your business’ online presence across all review and social media platforms. Here are some key ways you can do this:
In the Dentistry world, the most popular review sites, according to Dentistry IQ, are HealthGrades followed by Yelp, Vitals and ZocDoc but don’t forget Google and Facebook too. Regularly monitor your business profile on these pages and always reply to reviews, whether they’re good or bad.
Obviously, the best way to combat negative reviews is to provide a good service in the first place. This doesn’t just mean in the treatment room but throughout all stages of the patient journey, from making a booking to arriving at reception, making payments or organizing follow-up care. Make sure that all of your staff members are fully trained to provide excellent customer service and deal with complaints.
Most review sites won’t allow you to delete negative reviews but aside from resolving the problem, the best way to deal with poor reviews is to dilute them with plenty of positive ones. So, don’t be afraid to ask loyal, satisfied customers to leave a review of your practice. According to this BrightLocal survey, seven out of 10 customers are happy to leave a review of a company if they’re asked to.
With that in mind, make it easy for your customers to review you. Send them a link in an email or provide easy-to-follow steps for leaving a review. Go ahead and share those great reviews on your website and social media pages and don’t forget to thank your patients online and in person for the feedback.
Taylor Reaume is the Life-Like Webmaster and founder of Search Engine Pros, a multi-touch online marketing agency offering full service web strategy, including search engine optimization, pay per click and social media consulting.
Taylor started designing websites in 1998, and has built over 600 sites, and published 30,000+ pages of content on the web. As his web business grew, he started to offer SEO services, and became a local authority on SEO because word got around that one of the sites was getting over 200,000 unique visitors per month… which led to the sale of the site for six figures in 2007.
He resides in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and spends most of his days solving the world’s web related problems, dancing salsa and whitening his teeth.