Why Online Reviews are Important – and How You Can Leverage Them

According to BrightLocal, here’s why online reviews are worth your attention:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews – 12% do so daily.
  • 97% of consumers say that trusting a business requires at least a four-star rating.
  • Yelp, Facebook, Google, and BBB.org (in that order) are the most trusted sites for review data.
  • 30% of consumers say they judge a local business by the responses revealed in a review.

Their data supports the idea that monitoring and using your online reviews can improve your dental patient care and reach.

Many, if not most, businesses rely on online reviews to maintain their reputation.

Consumers value the opinion – good or bad – of others searching for the same service. Types of business will experience a higher volume of reviews than others.

For example, people search for a place to eat perhaps more than they do you, as a local dentist. In this instance, the need of the moment determines review consumption.

That said, it’s vital that you provide a level of service that those who are compelled to provide a review will do so as a raving fan. Remember, high star volume speaks volumes.

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Convenience and ease of access

Desktop and portable devices like laptops are still the for search and reading reviews. The increase in mobile platform usage (e.g. smartphone and tablet devices) is growing, however, which makes it essential that your website be mobile-friendly.

It means your content will be responsive when read or reviewed on a mobile device.

Establishing trust

Yelp and Facebook are the most trusted according to BrightLocal. Google is close behind, followed by the Better Business Bureau’s website.

Health care is a popular subject of reviews being read. That said, health-industry review sites are not ranked high among those most-trusted.

Make sure that your reviews are being discovered on the top sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google, and BBB.org.

Reading to decide

It’s no secret that positive reviews increase consumer trust in a business. This doesn’t necessarily mean that negative reviews will cause a person to decide otherwise.

Negative reviews can be skewed by biases that might have nothing to do directly with product or service usage. This could be why there’s increasing skepticism about the impact of negative reviews on consumer decision.

So, why read reviews? Perhaps it’s the same reason that a “crowd” gets attention. Tribalism creates “buzz” that in turn can tip a business or service in a positive direction.

Solve problems. Provide simple answers to questions people are asking. And they will make their opinion known.

Online reviews are an essential part of doing business and providing a service today. It’s not likely to diminish, so encourage reviews and from your dental patients and leverage the data to your advantage.

For more reasons to earn positive reviews, you can offer dental patient financing at your practice.

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