Building a website is one thing, but building a strong reputation of your dental practice is another entirely, trust is one of the most important fundamental pieces to operating a successful dental practice.
Only 38.10% of Dental Clinics in Ireland have testimonials and reviews on their homepage!
of people find that reputation matters the most for healthcare practices.
How is your Dental Clinic's Reputation
When it comes to the healthcare industry, potential clients are less likely to trust a clinic without reviews, than one with multiple review, especially when it has to do with their health. Approximately 45% of people find that reputation matters the most for healthcare practices.
With a combination of reviews, testimonials, and other key trust factors which you can add to your website, you’ll have the opportunity to structure these elements on your website in order to entice new patients to choose your clinic
How Patients Choose Your Practice
The first thing to consider is how potential patients will choose your practice. Will they open several web browser tabs and compare clinics in the area? Or alternatively just rely on online reviews on your website and other sources such as Google Local, WhatClinic etc.?
Knowing where your target audience goes to find information about you to develop trust is key to leading them further down the sales funnel.
1. Comparing Dental Clinics
You can expect patients to scan through information on your website and create an opinion of whether you can help them with their current and future oral health needs. For example, if your office offers teeth whitening and wisdom tooth extraction. Then to make sure they get the best deal for their time and money, it’s common to search for a competing practice in your area
At this point potential customers will compare your treatments and prices to surrounding dental clinics, eventually choosing one location over another. You can expect up to 50% of your target audience to browse through information on websites to determine if a company is worth their time.
If the price and service list is the same in both clinics, then the reader will move to reviews, case studies and professional appearance to choose which dental clinic is the best choice for them.
2. Checking Reviews
It’s also incredibly common for potential patients to consider reviews about your staff and your practice. Approximately 84% of people will trust an online review equally as much as they trust a personal recommendation. Reviews give clients the ability to get an insight into what your practice has to offer and whether you’re able to accommodate their needs. Reviews can come in many forms, whether it’s from other businesses that you have done work with in the past or current patients that have appreciated your help.
Remember, your customers are going to pay attention to the reviews that are the most recent, as 73% of potential patients will deem reviews older than 3 months as irrelevant. There are several different locations where clients can find reviews ranging from your business website to dentistry message boards.
3. Considering Past Patient Experiences Via Case Studies
Much like reviews, clients will take the past experiences of your patients into account to determine whether you’re trustworthy or not. Approximately 74% of customers believe that hearing about past patient experiences helps them to trust a local business.
Past patient experiences can be classified by either word-of-mouth, such as through their friends or family members, or online. You might even find that prospective clients will ask to book a consultation with your practice in order to get an idea of why patients prefer your practice to others.
What Makes a Trustworthy Dental Clinic?
UXMag conducted a study that allows businesses to get an idea of what their potential customers look for in a trustworthy brand.
Morality: When it comes to morality, customers are looking for a brand that not only follows the law but that also cares about its customers.
Accountability: Customers are also looking for a brand that is going to be accountable to what they say they’re going to do, what they will offer, and the price agreed.
Correct and Unbiased Information: All of the information on your website is expected to not only be correct, but also unbiased. They don’t want to feel like they’re being sold dental health, but instead educated about how it can help them.
Quality Service: All customers want to believe they’re putting their time and effort into a service that is proven to be of the highest quality. Reviews from a number of external platforms helps to provide this. The top 2 we recommend to Dental Clinics are WhatClinc & Google Local.
of your target audience to browse through information on available websites to determine if the clinic is worth contacting
Do a search for your clinic today on google.ie and see what turns up
of people will trust an online review equally as much as they trust a personal recommendation
Having no or little reviews will result in potential patients going elsewhere
of customers believe that hearing about past patient experiences helps them to trust a local business.
Case Studies with before and after images are great for illustrating the treatment process and results
The top two Review Platforms are Whatclinic.com and Google Local
How to Build & Maintain the Trust & Reputation of Your Practice
Now that you’re aware of the importance of building trust in your dental practice, it’s time to consider how you’re going to accomplish it.
Even though trust seems like it’s a difficult thing to gain, particularly from a complete stranger, there are a few key tips and tricks that you can use to your advantage to make it simple. All of which can be integrated directly into your website.
1. Receiving Testimonials
Testimonials are essential for healthcare websites, especially if you’re trying to sell a treatment rather than a product. They give you the ability to establish credibility in a more efficient way than sales pitches. This is because testimonials are written by someone who has had to establish trust in a particular company themselves.
There’s no better way to market your services than to rely on the words of real people who believe in what you have to offer. It’s important that you try to be selective when choosing testimonials, as one or two words such as, “It’s great!” isn’t going to encourage people to sign with your dental office.
When it comes to getting them, you’ll want to choose ones that will explain how your services satisfy your customers or how they solve a problem they have been having. You’ll also want to consider adding an image beside each testimonial, as a study by iMPACT found that adding photos increases your click-through rate by 18%. Also, ensure that you display them throughout your website instead of putting them only on a “Testimonials” page. Consider adding them to your contact page, case studies page, and even your home page.
2. Encouraging Customer Reviews
You may be wondering just how important customer reviews really are to your website and if they’re even necessary. A study by BrightLocal shines some light into that area as 49% of surveyed individuals found that online customer reviews are necessary to determine if a local business is good.
In the same study, 39% of participants read customer reviews on a regular basis when it came to shopping for products or services, and that’s a substantial chunk of your potential market.
By ensuring you have enough relevant customer reviews displayed on your site, you have the ability to encourage more people to inquire about your services. Also, depending on how close they are to signing with your practice, these reviews can either make or break a potential sale.
It’s important to encourage your patients to leave a positive review on your website after every dental visit or if you helped them with their oral health in a way that they’ve never experienced before. As per BrightLocal, 50% of surveyed participants who were asked to leave a review about a business went forward and left a review.
3. Informative Case Studies
We will discuss Case Studies in more detail later, but it is worth mentioning here. Case studies help to paint pictures that say a thousand words to prospective clients.
With every case study you have the ability to tell positive success stories about your brand that will help you to connect with your audience. Every study will illustrate and issue, explain the different treatments available and then showcase the chosen method used to solve the problem. It helps to nail the “What’s in it for me?” question right in the head.
Case studies are specific, meaning they will never be too vague or irrelevant to your target audience. It will truly hit them right at home and help them to understand not only why your dental office should be trusted, but also how you can help them with their own problems.
4. Establishing Professional Associations and Memberships
The main point to establishing trust in your brand is to show potential clients that you are credible. Professional associations and memberships are the easiest way to do so.
In order to qualify to become members of these associations you typically have to prove you have what it takes to be recommended by the programs. For example, that you have a specific number of years in practice or that you’ve been awarded for outstanding achievements in your field.
The best part is once your patients see the emblems or images of the professional organization on your website, they will know that in order to be approved by these associations and groups, you have to provide stellar services that outperform the competition.
5. Creating a User-Friendly Experience
Above all, simply ensure that your website offers a user-friendly experience that anyone from children to the elderly can navigate through. It’s quite unlikely that you’re going to showcase professionalism if your website is too complicated to browse through in a few minutes.
A website that doesn’t include user-friendly features, or one that is not mobile friendly will put an element of doubt in the viewers head, wondering if this clinic is old fashioned, if thy will cut back on quality, or more. This negative transparency is only going to hurt your bottom line and drive customers away.
6 – Outdated Websites
This is something we have seen a lot, and after speaking to quite a lot of dentists, its important to note the dramatic impact of this issue. A lot of dentists rely on word of mouth alone, or are too busy to actually get a professional web presence built for them. Some do not see the value in having a web presence due to bad experience from past service suppliers. The truth of it is, it is better not to have a website at all, rather than to have an aged website that does not function. The decision people take to choose a dentist is not an easy one, they will do their due diligence and compare many clinics before making this important decision. They will compare the clinics from what they see, so if a Dental Clinic looks outdated, old, slow loading, they will think this clinic’s services will be of the same standard.
Where to Collect Reviews
49% found that online customer reviews are necessary to determine if a local business is good.
If you have time and resources at hand, you can vary the platforms from which you collect reviews. For example
- Google Local
- Yell and all other options.
The two with the best return, from our research would be WhatClinic and Google My Business.
WhatClinic is the best place to promote your clinic and the treatments you offer. In 2017, over 15 million patients from 150 countries and territories visited WhatClinic.com to find and book the right clinic for them.
Their main function is to connect clinics and patients worldwide. The clinics listed on WhatClinic.com can advertise the treatments they offer and display their prices, opening times, staff information, and a lot more. Patients can leave reviews and contact clinics directly from our site either by phone or email which become visible in Google searches.
It is free to add your clinic to WhatClinic.com. Clinics can choose to pay for upgraded listings for guaranteed visibility. WhatClinic is free for potential patients searching and contacting clinics, and they have over one million users every month doing just that.
The upgraded listing provides a paid-per lead service, which is on average around €10 per lead, but can vary up or down depending on clinic type and location.
Free Tip 1
Contact us today for a FREE customised link which you can send your previous patients in order to collect reviews for your WhatClinic Profile, or alternatively advice on setting up your profile.
Google Local My Business
Google offers a FREE listing to businesses which allows them to display a range of information regarding their business. This includes the name, address, phone, website, opening times, photos and videos.
What it also allows is for past patients to leave reviews for your clinic.
These free listings appear at the top of a search page in the map area when a potential patient searches for a Dental Clinic or other service. Google will show the top 3 local results to the viewer in this
Free Tip 2
Contact us today for a FREE customised link which you can send your previous patients in order to collect reviews for your Google Local Listing.
Where do I start?
Asking Clients: The best place to get authentic testimonials and reviews is to rely on your past patients, particularly ones that appreciate your services. It can be effective to bring it up in casual discussion with your patients or even directly ask them if they would mind leaving a kind word on your website at the end of their visit. Remember Whatclinic and Google Local are the best to start with.
Approximately 37% of Internet users go directly to a review site and 63% use reviews found on search engines.
REMEMBER TO ADHERE TO THE NEW DATA PROTECTION LAWS WHICH WILL BE ENFORCED FROM MAY 24TH
This means it may be more difficult contacting patients via email unless they clearly opted in for such contact.
Social Media Profiles: Another method to gather testimonials and reviews without having to ask for them is to take excerpts from comments left on your social media pages. You’ve undoubtedly had someone talk about how great your office is or how friendly your staff members are. The best part is it’s free and readily available for you to use to your advantage.
Building a level of trust towards your Dental Clinic is one of the most important aspects of exponentially growing your dental clinic, and also one of the most overlooked. In the dental industry, a large amount of dentists talk to us about the importance of word of mouth and referrals, stating they do not need more business. I can agree completely that word of mouth is absolutely one of the best marketing methods available, but it is limited to your locality and your current client base.
By using the same principle online, promoting the sharing of opinions about your dental clinic and services online, you actually open your clinic to a national base of customers, even international at times.
Website visitors are asking themselves the same questions, “Can I trust this dental clinic? Are they good? Can they help me?”
By simply giving them real customer reviews to read, you will answer this question for them, and have a high chance of converting them into a new patient.
If you need help with your online reputation, please get in touch with us today! As we have helped a lot of clinic’s gather honest helpful reviews, which in turn increased new patient numbers