Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend Reputation

Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend ReputationNegative online reviews have made headlines in the past few weeks with patients suing doctors and doctors suing Google.

It’s a hot topic among dentists who feel they have little recourse when an unflattering review is posted on sites like Yelp or DoctorBase.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have experienced a negative online review.

66% of the dentist respondents answered yes to receiving a negative review with half of those experiencing a bad review more than once.

34% said they have not yet received a negative online review.

Here’s what dentists had to say about negative online reviews —

“It has become extortion to defend your reputation on line. It is too easy for your competitors to place negative postings about you.” (California dentist)

“I think this can be very detrimental to a practice.” (North Carolina dentist)

“They should not be anonymous. It wouldn’t take much for me to post negative reviews of my colleagues either representing myself as a patient, and I don’t know whether or not they have done such a thing. A completely anonymous person could completely irreparably ruin someones career with a negative post quite easily. People are extremely upset, impatient and oftentimes unrealistic these days so it could be very easy to unintentionally “tick someone off” while attempting to do the best for them. I anesthetized a gentleman yesterday who was in a great deal of pain so he could hear and understand that I could not extract his badly impacted wisdom tooth. After carefully explaining it to him after he visibly felt better, he asked “can’t you just yank it out?” This happens quite often, so if someone is going to post something negative they should put on their big boy pants and own up to it. Apparently I have someone floating around out there faceless that I will never be able to engage in any kind of problem solving.” (Florida dentist)

“I simply do not see how first amendment rights trump was is obviously extortion via slander. That is why we have small claims courts. If someone wants their money back for what was perceived as poor service, utilize the justice system. These online review websites allow the individual to be judge, jury, and executioner without fear of rebuke. Why someone would want to intentionally harm a doctor and “put them out of business” is beyond me. You think it is funny or unfortunate until it happens to you. I never in a million years would have thought being moral, ethical and always doing the right thing would bring me 2 negative reviews: one of them for telling the patient the truth and returning her money. There needs to be legislation against this. We need to act as a profession before the profession is completely destroyed.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“They are nothing more then gossips, and should be treated a such. The loyal patients, the ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ would never compromise the good name of their doctor.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s BS because you can’t argue your case without revealing confidential patient information.” (Georgia dentist)

YELP seems to play favorites with businesses. They called me to see if I wanted to advertise. After saying no, 10 of the 12 reviews were hidden from the public. Coincidental? You decide. All 10 of these reviews were 4 and 5 stars (out of 5).” (California dentist)

“I have new patients sign a paper that they need your permission to write anything about you.” (General dentist)

“I do not like them because it is very hard to rebuke.” (Florida dentist)

“There should be some way to control this. Patients can easily post a negative review simply because you take them to collections.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“They’re a bugger and they can’t be removed…only buried…that costs $$.” (General dentist)

“I think we should be able to see who it was who gave us the negative review and have an option to deal with the situation and have the review removed.” (Utah dentist)

“I am not too concerned by an occasional bad contact. I try to make it an opportunity to get people to call or come into the office.” (Texas dentist)

“I hate the anonymity!” (Urban orthodontist)

We also asked dentists if they answered yes to receiving a negative online review, how they handled the situation. Here’s what they said —

“I replied to it, but so far it has not be removed.” (General dentist)

“I posted a very positive response. However, I found out recently there are HIPAA issues I did not even think about in the response that I could be sued for.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“The site it appeared on allowed you to write a rebuttal. I invited people concerned by what they read to call or come by the office to discuss their concerns, meet the office team and tour the facility.” (Texas dentist)

“I added explanation to it.” (California dentist)

“I responded to patient’s review online. Patient responded and 1 star was upgraded to 3 stars. I refunded money on dissatisfied service.” (California dentist)

“I just got it. I have not yet responded. She only visited my office two times and gave me all A’s initially, but changed them 10 months later for no reason that I am aware of. Got some recommendations?” (Florida dentist)

“I didn’t know about until about 8 months later so decided to ignore it at that point.” (General dentist)

“I consulted with an attorney and wanted to claim a defamation of character lawsuit. My attorney advised me that it was not worth the effort to fight. The negative postings were on Yelp. There were two negative “Yelps” posted by two different persons, but it is fairly obvious that it is the same person posting the negative Yelp. In the end, I am doing nothing against these two negative Yelps.” (California dentist)

“I responded to the review. The person sent me an email saying a filling had fallen out — one that was done 3 months earlier at another DDS. I was out of town. Apparently this person expected me to be there for them. Not even a patient of record? (California dentist)

“I’ve ignored it. The review was so obviously not about me but a different dentist instead. I did write to the website requesting it be removed but did not receive a response. Instead I asked people to post favorable reviews about me to balance it out.” (New York dentist)

“We asked our best patients to go in and review us which sent that one bad review to the bottom of the list.” (Utah dentist)

“It was false and posted on Yelp. I called and requested it be removed. I even threatened legal action but to no avail. (General dentist)

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews? How would you handle them?

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing Tool

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing ToolEffective dental marketing requires that dentists keep up a regular presence with dental patients in order to ensure success.

Having a dental website, blog, newsletter, Google+ page and Facebook page are all important factors in keeping your dental practice in front of your dental patients.

Some dentists are still not convinced that Facebook is an effective Internet dental marketing tool.

Last week, Facebook started the process for its highly-publicized IPO. In anticipation, the online competitive intelligence service Hitwise just released their 10 Key Statistics about Facebook, comparing the Facebook audience with that of other social networks.

Here is what Hitwise found —

1. Facebook captures 1 in every 11 Internet visits in the United States.
2. 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.
3. The average visit time on Facebook is 20 minutes.
4. Facebook’s audience skews slightly more female than the online population as a whole.(Female is 57%, male is 43%).
5. The ages of Facebook visitors are indicative of the website’s strength in the marketplace, with relative parity in distribution of its visit share by age vs. the online population (Ages 18-24 is 18%, 25-34 is 23%, 34-44 is 21%, 45-54 is 19%, and 55+ is 20%).
6. Facebook wins 499,949,430 visits from the most affluent income group versus YouTube’s 223,732,591 visits and Twitter’s 15,166,795 visits.
7. Facebook became the #1 ranked website in the US on March 9, 2010.
8. “Facebook” is the most searched term in the US and Facebook-related terms account for 14% of the top search clicks.
9. Facebook users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook were returning visitors in January 2012.
10. Internationally, Facebook ranks in the top 2 websites in every market except China, where Sina Weibo, Baidu Zhidao and Renren are the dominant social networks.

Hitwise further states that “Facebook is the largest website in the US and a top performer in numerous international markets. The fan base of the site is loyal and spends a significant portion of their time online on the social network. Facebook’s influence is seen in the presidential elections, digital shopping habits and beyond.”

Last June Hitwise concluded in their Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis that 1 Facebook fan is equal to 20 additional visits to a business website over the course of a year. If you have 500 Facebook fans, this means an extra 10,000 visits to your dental website a year.

Hitwise wrote, “The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from social media experts Techlightenment. We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and bench-marked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.”

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we firmly believe that your dental marketing plan should include a Facebook page. With dental patients spending more time online, dentists should increasingly be looking to use Facebook as a part of their dental marketing.

Facebook fans can play a role in dental patient retention and procurement by helping to drive dental website traffic, boosting dental practice awareness, demonstrating dental treatments or acting as a customer testimonial billboard.

10 Top Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on Facebook

10 Top Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on FacebookMany dentists worry about the number of Facebook followers when they really should be worrying whether their followers are reading and enjoying what they are posting on Facebook.

The difference between Facebook and other dental marketing efforts is that a dental practice needs to invest a little bit of time on Facebook.

This small amount of extra time can go a long way and can even provide a rewarding experience as dental patients begin to provide feedback and communicate directly with you and your dental practice.

It really doesn’t require more than an hour a week, but you have to know exactly what works on Facebook so you aren’t wasting your valuable time and dental marketing efforts.

The Top 10 Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on Facebook

1. Ask questions.
Asking questions of your dental patients is a great way to engage them on your dental marketing Facebook Page. Ask them fun questions like what their favorite dental chair is in your office, or what they think of recent changes to Facebook (there are always changes to Facebook that you can ask them about). Facebook users love discussing Facebook.

2. Share personal stories with photos.
Share images of you and your office staff on Halloween when everyone is dressed in costume, or St. Patrick’s day when everyone is wearing green, but use these fun images as a way to engage your Facebook fans into sharing what it is about your dental practice they enjoy.

3. Hold a contest.
Create a contest strictly for your Facebook fans. Maybe host a Facebook trivia contest where your fans are asked to guess something about their favorite dentist… your favorite color, your favorite restaurant, your favorite hobby, etc., and offer a prize to the winner. Maybe, if they guess the right answer to your favorite restaurant, you can team up with that restaurant to offer the winner dinner for two as the prize.

4. Cross-promote neighborhood businesses.
Is there a local restaurant where you always enjoy lunch, or a place you like to take your children? Why not promote their Facebook Page? Do some of your patients have businesses you enjoy?  Think about talking about them and their business on your Facebook dental marketing page.

5. Post Facebook content when your dental patients are online.
Most dentists post their Facebook updates during the work day — not before 6:00am or after 6:00pm. Marketing research has discovered that content posted outside of 9:00am – 5:00pm timeframe had higher user engagement rates than posts made during the work day. Many working moms like to visit Facebook before their kids are up in the morning or after they have gone to bed.  Think about offering them something during these hours.

6. Share employee recognition.
Is there an employee whom your patients seem to love? Do you reward your employees on a regular basis? Think about sharing this recognition with your dental patient fans on Facebook.

7. Highlight your community service.
Does your dental practice sponsor a local baseball team or high school football team? Think about posting their game schedule or their losses and wins and ask your fans to attend their games in support. Ask patients to upload photos of the games they attend.

8. Use check-in deals on Facebook.
Facebook allows people to check-in to a business using the mobile Facebook app on their smart phone. To encourage your dental patients to use this app and make an appointment with your dental practice you can create a check-in deal for your page. Maybe you offer those patients who use this mobile marketing app something extra at your practice like a teeth whitening treatment they can use within the year.

9. Offer dental care tips.
Post dental care tips detailing ways in which your patients can take care of their teeth to avoid cavities, or gum disease. Think about all the ways you can help your dental patients protect their teeth, or offer signs of dental problems to watch out for — especially with their children.

10. Ask your followers for content.
Ask your Facebook fans for sugar-free recipes — or for ways they have convinced their small children to brush their teeth before bed. Ask your fans to offer up solutions to common issues with dental care. Highlight and talk about the best solutions from your fans.

Sit down and think about how you are utilizing Facebook for your dental practice and come up with a plan for interacting with your dental patients online.

I hope this inspires you to engage with your Facebook fans in new and compelling ways that add to your dental practice bottom line.

Dental Marketing: How to Set Up a Google+ Dental Practice Page

Dental Marketing: How to Set Up a Google+ Dental Practice PageGoogle has launched Google Plus For Business which now allows dentists to create a Google Plus Page for your dental marketing.

Google Plus For Business is a set of tools that can help you grow your dental practice and enhance your dental marketing efforts.


Setting up your Google Plus Page is simple, just a few steps and you are ready to go.

Step 1: Create a gmail account.

Go to mail.google.com to create a new account. You will see a bright red button on the upper right to create a new account. Make this gmail account your practice name, or geographic location. Stay away from personal names and think of this as an office email address.

Step 2: Create your profile.

This simply involves choosing a photo that will represent this gmail email account.

Step 3: Go to: https://plus.google.com/pages/create

This is where you will create your Google Plus dental practice page. You will be asked to choose your business type and enter your main office phone number and Google will attempt to locate your dental practice.

Step 4: Edit your profile.

This is where you will be asked to create a tagline for your dental practice and then upload a business photo for your page.

And your Google Plus dental practice page is done!

Next you should think about the way that you want to engage visitors on Google Plus with more product-focused content.

Maybe you use your Google Plus page for only sharing special price promotions for people who join your circle. Only offer these promotions on Google Plus so that people have a reason for connecting with you on Google Plus. Offer something they can’t get anywhere else from you.

Some ideas for promotions are —

1. Special giveaways.
2. Free treatment with a scheduled appointment in a certain number of days.
3. A discount on an office visit.

Google Plus supports hashtags, which when clicked will take people to a search for that keyword on Google Plus, as well as any other content tagged with that hashtag. You could create a promotion-specific hashtag like #freeteethwhitening to promote on Google Plus with users in your circle.

Why do you need a Google Plus dental marketing Page?

Because eventually not establishing a page will likely become a missed opportunity in organic search. When potential patients use Google to search for a dentist, they will not only be able to find your practice through search within Google Plus if they use it, but also on Google’s search engine itself which translates into more ways to be found on the Internet.

From a dental marketing point of view that’s reason enough to get to know Google Plus?

Is Your Dental Website Easily Found on the Internet?

Is Your Dental Website Easily Found on the Internet?Three out of ten dentists say that it’s not easy for patients to find their dental website on the Internet, this survey found.

On the other hand, 22% say it’s easy for new and current patients to find them online.

In addition, 48% of dentists say they’d like to improve their dental website search engine results placement.

All dentists want their dental website to show up at the top of the search list whenever someone searches for a dentist. A search-engine optimized dental website seeks to accomplish this goal. It involves a well-researched, geo-targeted keyword strategy for use in your dental website’s content.

The result is a more visible ranking for your dental website in the organic search results on search engines like Google, which brings more visitors to your dental website.

Here are some additional comments from dentists on their dental practice visibility online —

“It’s good, I get a lot of patients through the Internet. You can’t get complacent and must be on top of things, it’s ever-changing.” (California oral surgeon)

“I am never satisfied. It takes constant work. I am hopeful that I will get so busy so I can afford to delegate it. I do enjoy the game and play fairly well. If I was in a large market there is no way I could handle it.” (Missouri dentist)

“I’m looking at providers now because it seems more people are using the web as a means to get the things they want and need, including dentistry. Feel I need to give it a try.” (California dentist)

“We must update and change it to keep it current so we will be found.” (General dentist)

“There are only two of us in town so easy to find me!” (Texas dentist)

When local prospective dental patients search for dentists, you want them to find your dental website quickly and to understand what kind of dental treatments you offer. You want to stand out from your competition with a dental website listing that appears at the top of search engines.

Check out IDA’s New Patient Marketing Machine™ that targets the specific categories of high-value new patients you want to attract to your dental website. Each IDA website is targeted at one Primary Dental Market, and optionally for up to 3 Secondary Dental Markets to help your dental practice become easily found on the Internet.

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