Your instructors probably didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about online reviews when you were in chiropractic school.
Those years that you spent learning, studying and interning taught you everything you need to know in order to treat joint pain and help people recover from injuries.
But those skills aren’t worth much if you don’t have patients to adjust and treat.
So although getting plenty of online reviews may not be something you’ve thought about before, it’s something you have to think about now if you want your practice to thrive and your patient base to grow.
Remember the kid who cheated on every test in middle school?
Maybe it was you – don’t worry, we won’t tell (no judgement here). But in middle school, the consequences of cheating really weren’t all that serious in the grand scheme. There also weren’t robots checking and keeping you honest…
But times have changed. This isn’t middle school, and yes in the digital world of your business (and the reviews you get for it), there are actual bots there monitoring things to make sure that no one games the system.
So while it may be tempting to boost your online reputation by using unethical means, buying reviews often backfires spectacularly.
Don’t risk your company’s reputation and future by taking that shortcut. There’s a better way.
Would you trust a stranger to give you a root canal, fix the car you use to drive your family around or install equipment in your business? Probably not.
So, when you’re hiring people or giving your business to companies, you want to get a little background. Are they trustworthy? Do they charge a fair rate for their services or products? Will you be treated with respect?
Fifty years ago, you might have gotten this information by chatting with a neighbor over the backyard fence. Today, online review sites are the virtual version of that fence, but now you can hear from dozens or even hundreds of others to get an accurate, unbiased picture of how a company operates and whether it deserves your business.
That’s great for consumers, and it can be great for businesses too – assuming the reviews you receive are mostly positive. Getting better reviews than your competition is a surefire way to improve your reputation and your bottom line.
Pat needs to hire someone to install new cabinets and build a kitchen addition. The job is going to cost Pat thousands of dollars, and he knows that he’s going to have to spend weeks, maybe months, working with the person he hires. And whatever contractor he chooses is going to be in his home and around his family every day.
Pat can’t trust just anyone with this responsibility. There are a ton of factors to consider here. He needs to know that he’s hiring someone who does good-quality work, charges fair prices, adheres to a schedule and is trustworthy and respectful.
His coworker recommends someone, but with so much at stake, Pat wants to know that lots of people have had good experiences with whichever contractor he hires.
So Pat heads to his favorite review site. The contractor his coworker recommended has no reviews, but Contractor X has 15 reviews an overall rating of 4.4 stars. The crowd has spoken, and Contractor X gets a new customer in Pat.
Let’s look into this and find out what Contractor X is doing to get these reviews.
Sam likes a bargain, but she’s heard a lot recently about the importance of shopping at local businesses as a way to support the local economy. So when Sam decides it’s time to buy a new washing machine, she wants to give her business to a local appliance store.
Still, she’s on a tight budget, and she wants to make sure she can get a good deal and good customer service, so she heads to Yelp to check out the options.
Unfortunately, Sam’s local appliance store only has two reviews, and they’re from a few years ago. She wonders if the store’s prices have gone up since then or if it’s even still open.
She was at the big box store last week, and she knows that she can always get friendly service and decent prices there. So although Sam would like to support a local place, she’s not willing to take the risk without knowing that other people in her community would recommend it.
That’s just one example of the ways in which online reviews can affect your success as a local business. Big box and and even smaller chain stores have strong reputations and huge marketing budgets. Plus, customers are used to shopping in them.
If they haven’t been to your business recently or at all, they might need some convincing to give it a try… and that’s where the tremendous power of local online reviews comes into play.
You’ve heard the saying: no one is perfect. Well, no business is perfect either, and your customers know that.
That’s why aiming to earn only 5-star reviews is shortsighted. By targeting only your happiest customers, you could be missing out on a valuable resource: namely, your mostly happy customers.
They’re the people who have generally positive things to say about you but might have a few minor criticisms, or else they reserve 5-star reviews for only their very favorite businesses.
No smart business owner would ask a clearly unhappy customer to write a review. But if you write off the mostly satisfied customers and focus only on the people who might write rave reviews, you’re leaving money on the table.
In decades past, anyone looking for a real estate agent would take the same approach: ask around. Friends, family members and neighbors were the primary source of referrals for someone looking to buy or sell a property. While real estate agents still rely on word of mouth, people share this information online now.
Getting positive online reviews is essential to remaining competitive.
You probably didn’t go into the dental profession thinking about internet fame and anonymous internet trolls, but in today’s world you have to take your online reputation as seriously as crowns and cavities.
Managing your reputation shouldn’t take a ton of your time and energy, especially once you systemize your approach to getting those all-important online reviews.