Online Reviews_ A Winning Formula for Small Business Owners



Online Reviews: A Winning Formula for Small Business Owners

Online Reviews: A Winning Formula for Small Business Owners1

Introduction 1

How do online reviews work? 1

Why are online reviews important for a small business? 2

Focus On Site Most Important to Your Business 3

How to Fetch Online Reviews 3

Review Management 4

Positive Reviews 4

Negative reviews 5

Final Words 5


The internet plays a more significant role in your dental practice than you think. 98% of customers choose a dentist from the first page of Google. Many customers also check reviews and ratings before booking an appointment.

Does your dental practice have enough online reviews to help you get new customers and beat the competition?

In this e-book we will deep dive into online reviews and why they are essential for your dental practice.

To begin with, here are 3 things that you must do as a dentist, to get more customers and build long-lasting relationships with the existing ones:

  1. Develop a deep understanding of your customers’ wants andneeds
  2. Address all customer issuesimmediately
  3. Ensure happy customers’ voices getheard

How? By harnessing the power of online reviews with a comprehensive online reputation management platform.

How do online reviews work?

Online reviews are a form of User Generated Content (UGC) that existing and loyal customers can share on public sites such as Google and Facebook. These sites typically structure feedback as open-ended commentary alongside a rating from 1-5 stars.

After a customer posts a review for a dental practice, it’s tied to that practice’s profile and visible to the public. Any potential customers who visit that review site can see all the reviews posted for that dental practice, both positive and negative. In most cases, reviews cannot be deleted by the dentist; they can only be removed by the review site itself if they violate the site’s policies.

Why are online reviews important for a small business?

First, online reviews are displayed in search engine results and have a huge impact on local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO is a primary driver of customer acquisition: 90% of customers choose a dental practice on page 1 of search results, and they favor the local results . When it comes to reviews, having a high volume of positive ones works wonders for your local SEO.

  • Review Quantity (number ofreviews)
  • Review Velocity (how frequent reviews areposted)
  • Review Diversity (the breadth of sites reviews are postedon)

A substantial portion (13%) of the 200+ factors in Google’s search engine algorithm involve review signals such as:

Both Google and customers value online reviews, and the proof is in the numbers: Dentists with positive reviews get up to 200% more customers than dentists with no reviews (WebRepublic)

  • 1-3 bad online reviews are enough to deter the majority (67%) of customersfrom booking an appointment (Lightspeed Research)
  • 92% of customers will want to consult a dentist if they have at least a4-star rating (Cornell University)
  • 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personalrecommendations (BrightLocal Consumer Survey)

This means that local dentists can compete against national chains on a local SEO level -- and potentially win. In addition to their marketing power, online reviews also provide invaluable insight into brand perception and overall customer experience. We’ll cover how to use online reviews to drive customer experience improvement later in this eBook.

Focus On Site Most Important to Your Business

Google and Facebook carry more authority than most, so reviews on these sites are valuable for any business. Google reviews have the power to bring your dental practice to the top of search and Maps results, while Facebook, with more than 1.4 billion monthly active users, puts your practice in front of a massive audience of potential customers. customers are often already logged in, so it’s easy to ask them for a review here.

In addition to these large sites, you should include review sites relevant to the dental industry in your review management strategy. How can these niche sites make an impact?

Let’s say a customer searches for “dentists near me” on Google. High up in results will be dental-specific sites like HealthGrades and ZocDoc. customers visiting these sites are further along the path of shortlisting a dentist and know exactly what they’re looking for, in a dental practice. Therefore, the conversion rate is much higher once they view your dental practice’s profile on one of these industry-specific sites.

How to Fetch Online Reviews

Authentically. As tempting as it might be, do not offer your customers incentives in exchange for a review. Not only does this lead to biased or insincere reviews that don’t accurately reflect the customer’s experience; this practice is also frowned upon or even forbidden by most review sites.

Promptly. It’s best to ask your customers for a review immediately after their treatment is completed. This ensures your practice is still top of mind and makes your outreach come across as relevant and helpful rather than disruptive.

Seamlessly. Meet your customers where they are. Often this is their smartphones. Your review request messages should be compatible across all desktop and mobile devices and should involve as few steps as possible. This way, wherever your customers are, reviewing your practice is an easy, seamless experience for them.

Consistently. Your review generation strategy must be ongoing for it to be effective. Most customers only find a review relevant if it was written in the last 2-3 months, so you need a constant stream of freshreviews to prove your credibility to potential customers .

Review Management

To earn your customers’ loyalty, it’s imperative that you respond to both positive and negative online reviews. A recent study revealed that 70% of consumers, across industries, changed their opinion about a business after the business responded to their review.

Depending on how many reviews you’re getting, responding to each one might be impossible, but you can set a realistic response ratio for your support team, such as 1 response for every 4 reviews. Your responses should be personal, respectful, and helpful.

Positive Reviews

Just because a customer was happy with their experience doesn’t mean your job is done. Follow up with happy customers to thank them for their feedback and show you genuinely care about their satisfaction.

  • things to remember while responding to positive customerreviews:
  1. Thank the customer for theirreview
  2. Add a personal touch ifpossible
  3. Express your hope that theyreturn

Negative reviews 

Negative reviews can actually benefit your practice if managed correctly. First, negative reviews show you what you can improve--at a very low cost. The only potential price you pay is losing new prospective customers if they see that negative review. That price can be avoided if you are diligent about responding to negative feedback.

If you respond quickly enough, you can turn a frustrating situation into an overall positive customer experience. You might even get the customer to take down their negative review.

Even if the customer is in the wrong, it’s important not to respond defensively. This only escalates conflicts and makes you appear unprofessional and unconcerned. Treat every customer’s complaint as equally valid and respond thoughtfully and constructively. If you insist on correcting their misunderstanding, do so calmly and sympathetically.

  • things to remember while responding to negative customerreviews:
  1. Apologize
  2. Offer a reasonablesolution
  3. Follow-upprivately
  4. Stay HIPAA compliant if your customer is yourpatient

Final Words

Online reviews are changing the way customers select dentists. If managed properly, online reviews can help dentists improve their online presence, foster trust and loyalty, and get more customers.

Both positive and negative reviews can make a positive impact on your brand. Just as important as regularly collecting new reviews is diligently responding to them, promoting them, and regularly gathering and analyzing insights from them to improve the customer experience on an ongoing basis.

Finally, it is important to choose an online review management platform that fits your customer base and services. Be sure your review generation approach fits your customers’ habits, and that your staff is prepared to efficiently manage incoming customer feedback.