What Are Your Patients Saying About You?
There was a time—those of you of a certain age will remember it well—when one of the most powerful marketing tools you had as a dentist was a Yellow Pages ad. When it came to finding a business, that big yellow book was the Google of its time.
Now of course, people find you online. And when they do find you, what do they do next? First, they check your website to get a feel for who you are and what you do. Then they’re checking your reviews. They’re going to Google, Yelp, or RateMyDoctor to learn what people are saying about you. In today’s marketplace, everything and everyone is open to public evaluation.
This can be great, but also frustrating. After all, who is motivated enough to write an online review? All too often, it’s someone with a complaint. (“They said it wouldn’t hurt, but it did!”)
The lesson here is that we have come a long way from the Yellow Pages ad. Marketing today is not just about visibility; it’s also about reputation. And like it or not, reputations are won and lost online—at least in the minds of those who seek you out on the Internet.
It’s too easy to dismiss the issue by telling yourself that the complainers are just cranks, and that you have a solid core of patients who appreciate your value. The fact is, a silent majority of enthusiastic supporters are of little use to you as long as they remain silent. You’ve got to manage your public reputation, and that means making sure those patients who love you are having their voice heard too.