In this episode of Monday Morning Marketing, we're stepping into a compelling discussion with Dr. Len Tau as he delves into the under-appreciated powers of reputation marketing. Exploring the crucial shift from reputation management to reputation marketing, Dr. Tau shares invaluable insights and techniques to help you grow your dental practice. Learn how to unleash the full value of five-star reviews, the importance of a solid reputation culture, and how to automate the review process for maximum impact. Discover the best response strategies to both cheers and jeers from patients, so you're prepared for anything. This episode is packed with actionable strategies you can immediately implement to transform your reputation game and see a noticeable increase in patient satisfaction!
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Dive into today's episode and upgrade the way you handle your reputation strategy forever!
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Michael: Hey, Lynn. So talk to us about reputation management. How can we utilize this or what advice suggestions or methods can you give us that will actually help attract new patients through this form
Len: of management? So first off, thanks for having me. Number one, uh, number two, I will start off by saying, I am not a fan of the term reputation management.
Reputation management is in my opinion, an old marketing term. Where you are really worrying about negative reviews and hoping to find a way to get them off the first page of Google. I prefer a term called reputation marketing. So it's a way to generate five star reviews.
Whichever way you want to do it. Okay. And then market it to attract more new patients. So if you look at it that way, it's a much more current term. So if you're, if you're out there and you're looking for a company to use for, you know, website design, Google AdWords, and they say, we also do reputation management to me, they're not up in the, current.
You want to market your reputation. It's so important. And what does marketing your reputation allow you to do? It allows you to then do other types of marketing and the marketing is going to be so much more successful than it would have been if you didn't have the reviews behind you as kind of the foundational part of your, your Google by business page and stuff.
Michael: Okay. So then what can we be doing? What can we utilize or how can we utilize this to, to better effect? our marketing and attract new patients through that process.
Len: So in my opinion, the most important thing you have to do is find a way to get your patients to write reviews. And there's a very big difference between a company who says they generate reviews and a company who just sends a link to write a review.
Okay, there are many companies out there that you can use, and there's a lot of communication companies that fall into this, this sector that literally, they say they do reputation, but literally, literally, they're just sending a link to the patient to do a review. In that case, the patient has to do all the work.
Okay, all the work, they have to log in. They have to remember their password. They have to write everything down. They have to hit post and everything else. It's multiple steps. And that's why those products are not successful. In order to be super successful out there to get these reviews, put where you want them.
And you only really want them in two or three places, depending on your geography. Google always. Facebook and then Yelp, depending on where you are. So if you're in California, New York, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Dallas, any large city like that, Yelp is going to have more clout than if you're in, you know, a town with 12 dentists.
I mean, Yelp is not going to be as important there. So you're really looking to get reviews on Google and Facebook. And why? Because everybody uses Google to find a local business. They're going to do dentists near me, dentists in my town, dentists in my zip code. And when someone's searching for a dentist or you, in fact, your Facebook page shows up on the first page of Google.
So you want to put these reviews where actually your current patients are looking for you, which is on a Google search. That's how you, you take reputation marketing to the nth degree by just finding a system out there. That automatically will get the reviews, allow the patient to auto log into their, account, and within a couple of seconds, they've got a text message and they can put the review directly on your Google My Business page.
That's how to take it to the nth degree, as I like to say.
Michael: Gotcha. So then it's kind of like a little bit of a battle when it comes to like the metropolitan areas, when it, like Houston, LA, stuff like that. Would you recommend, hey guys, Yelp, Google, and that like that, or just focus only on Google?
Len: No, in those specific cities like LA, San Francisco, you said Houston, Miami, you know, Chicago, it's, it's Google number one by far.
You always have to dominate Google. There's, there's no choice out there. Your focus should be on Google. Okay. And then in those specific cities that we just mentioned, Yelp is important. Okay. Now remember someone doesn't go to Yelp and I've interviewed many, uh, local people in these towns you mentioned, and I asked them, how do they find their dentists?
They don't go to Yelp to look for a dentist. They go to Google to look for a dentist. They find information about their dentist, and then they look them up on Yelp to see how their reviews are. So in those bigger cities, Yelp is more important for that reason, but people go to Yelp to look for restaurants.
They don't go to Yelp to look for a dentist. There's a big difference there in the way people search. If people in California say Yelp is really important, it is. But if you don't dominate Google, people can't even find out who you are. So it's always Google first, then Yelp in those specific cities, and then much below that is Facebook.
the only reason you really want to get Facebook reviews is because it shows up on a Google search. When you type a practice name in, you'll see the website's number one, and then usually Facebook is number two or three. It's visibility there. That's why you want to get Facebook reviews.
Michael: Gotcha. Okay.
So then that's the key. We get on Google, right? Number one, right? Especially if we're in metropolitan areas, we would Google then Yelp, right? And then Facebook. Now what? What's the next step to be like, all right, man, I want to start getting these a couple a day, a couple, maybe 15, 20 a week. You know what I mean?
Like, cause we see that in some of these groups. And how, how easy is that
Len: really? Reviews are basically a numbers game. So the bigger the practice, the more reviews you're going to get. I mean, that's just, it's just a numbers game. The more review requests you sent out, there's a certain percentage we expect to come back.
The more you send out, the more you're going to get. So bigger practices should expect more reviews. Okay. But you have to use an automated service. And don't love self promoting myself. So bird eyes, one of them, you know, swell is a very common one. Podium is another one. Those are the three in the dental industry specifically that are designed to make the process easy for your patients.
If it isn't easy, your patients will not take the time to do the review. And a lot of the services out there, they actually have their Own sites they go to. So just as an example, uh, solution reaches the popular communication software. I just had a dentist reach out to me who had 750 reviews on solution reaches page buried where you couldn't find it.
And only 18 on Google. that's a shame that they didn't, they got all these great reviews, but nobody sees them. You have to make sure they're actually putting it on Google. That is such a big deal nowadays. If it's not going to Google, it doesn't help you.
Michael: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. I remember when we used to have solution reach, that was a.
That was a big thing. It just populated there. And then we were like, okay, what happened? Right? And then it's weird asking the patient. Hey, can you write it again on Google? Right? And then that diminishes it big time, big time. Patients are
Len: not going to do it twice. It's it's a, it has to be a one step clean process, but I know, and I know you're talking about, we're talking about reputation, but I want to make one other thing clear, especially to the startup groups.
One of the missing factors is just generating reviews is not enough. Okay, just having the most reviews is not enough, especially as a newer business, you have to, you have to make sure that Google recognizes and understands your listings and make sure the listing it's called listing management, citation claiming, it's a vital part of local search, because if you only have a ton of reviews and you're listing.
These are not consistent or invisible because you're a new startup. Google is, you're not going to be at the maps. And that's why people say, well, I have a thousand reviews. Why can't people find me? And it's usually because your listings are messed up. So that's a very big part for, especially for startup companies, to know that you have to make sure the name, the address, and phone number is called the NAP is consistent.
It's an online huge part of local search. Okay, so
Michael: that has to be consistent. Google finds you then the reviews come in
Len: Yeah, so the purpose the the kind of way it works is when you make your listings consistent Which should be done before you even open your doors technically So if you once you fix the listings and you have a consistent flow of reviews coming in Consistent flow for google is one to two every single week so if you're getting less than 8 to 10 or 8 to 12 a month, you're not getting enough of them, but that factor 12, plus a consistent listing, you will rank higher on the maps than someone who's not doing it that same way we see it all the time.
Michael: Okay, so then give us the game plan. Now it's we got the automation down, right? Okay, let's just say we signed up with BirdEye. We're starting to send out the links and that's it. Or do we specifically write something and then, or how does this go?
Len: So, so the ideal way to use a product like BirdEye is automate the process.
So we integrate into practice management software. You automate the review requests sending out. Okay. Now. It's really important. People say to me, well, I don't want to automate it because patients may write bad reviews. So if there's a filter built into the system, that's really good. It's not gating.
Gating is illegal and you can't do it, which would be like thumbs up or thumbs down. So, you can't do that. You can't preempt the question like that. But if you give them a feedback button, that's even better. Where they can provide direct feedback to the practice. But you definitely want to integrate and you want to automate.
And then mention to the patients when they leave the office. That they may be getting a communication asking for what I refer to as feedback, not a review, asking for feedback about their experience, and then the patients know they're going to get something. There's a higher conversion when you say something, and then we take it from there and allow the patients to write the review when it goes directly to Google from their phone.
So that's the secret sauce is really, you know, having a discussion and being aware. Of what I call rep, you know, making a reputation culture in the office. If the office revolves around reputation, which basically means that you're being. examined or being, you have, you're being, having a report card written about their experiences and just making sure everybody's on their best a game.
That's how you work the system and get really great reviews written by the patients other than just asking them. You can ask your patients till the cows come home to write a review on Google. You're lucky if two to three do it of every hundred. Because it's just, there's too many steps involved. So you want to make sure you make it easy for the patients to do it using a system that allows an auto login feature.
And it's a simple process. It isn't simple, they won't do it. Like I mentioned that before. Yeah,
Michael: that's true. That's true. I love that though, how you mentioned, uh, give us your feedback. Right, it's different.
Len: Asking for feedback. Very different. Instead of a review. And it's much more comfortable. You know, it's much more comfortable for someone in the office to discuss it with a patient rather than saying, Can you write us a Google review?
That to me sounds like you're begging for it almost versus can you provide some feedback about your experience? We really appreciate it. It's just an easier conversation to have in his work. I've been doing this for, you know, since 2010 now, and it's just an easy way to have a conversation with the patient.
That's why we put it in those those words.
Michael: Yeah. And then you let them know, like you're going to get a text message or something like in about an hour or like right now or when you leave the office or.
Len: So you can certainly do it an hour after their appointment. Okay. The problem, what we found and look, I've been in this space since 2013 in the review space specifically, and I've worked with over 10, 000 dental practices.
And the data shows that when you send the review request an hour after the appointment, it opens up more negative reviews coming in versus waiting until the end of the day. Okay. They all go out at once. Patients who do have a problem won't have a problem usually five, six, seven hours later, so they vent back to the practice.
They don't go online directly to Google. So, I prefer them going out at the end of the day rather than right after the appointment because it also gives the practice some time to say, well, so and so didn't have a good experience, and they can turn the patient off if they have any concern that the patient may go and write a bad review.
Most patients go directly to Google on their own. They don't go to use a service to do that. They will leave the office, they'll be pissed off, and they'll go to Google to write their bad review almost immediately after the appointment. If you wait till the end of the day, it 100 percent changes the results, and that's through years of doing this with, with thousands of offices, like I said.
Michael: Okay. So I didn't know that. Would it also help at the end of the day? Like people are at home, relax. Oh yeah. I got to make a review kind of thing
Len: versus being during the day they're running around there. If they're working, they're going from your office to back to their job. Then they have to deal with their kids.
The kid throws up, you know, they, they don't have time at the end of the day, between usually six or eight o'clock, we see the best results during that timeframe by far and away, not even close to other times during the day. Gotcha.
Michael: Okay. So let's just say they left the review. Awesome. Beautiful. We leave it at that or what happens after that?
Len: When you say when the patient has written the review?
Michael: Yeah. Like they, they're like, okay, yeah. Provide us some feedback. Boom. End of the day, link gets sent. The next morning you wake up, you're like, Oh, they left a review. Cool. Awesome. You know what I mean? And then after that, do we write back on that review?
Like, thanks or nothing.
Len: So I am a big fan of responding to positive reviews. I'm not a big fan of responding to negative reviews. Negative reviews, I like to take it offline and contact the patient to some extent, you know, whether it's on the phone, whether it's via email, not, you don't want to respond to that review right away.
Okay, the reason that you would respond to a negative review online is because you're really responding to the people that are reading it, not to the person who wrote the review. I like to take the conversation offline and have a direct conversation with them. Okay, for positives, you have no, you don't risk anything, you can respond, look technically when you respond to a review, whether it's positive or negative, you really can acknowledge that there are patients, it's a technical HIPAA violation if you do that.
Now, if you do it to someone who wrote a positive review, I don't think they're going to make a big deal about it. Okay, if you do it to a person who wrote a negative review, they may find that as a HIPAA concern, and they may report you to what's called the Office of Civil Rights. So I, I don't recommend, I recommend responding to, to positives.
I would be very careful about negatives for that reason.
Michael: Gotcha, okay. So the positives, we can just say like, Oh, we love you, thank you so much, or something like that, right?
Len: Yeah, thanks for your, thanks for your feedback. We're so glad you, you know, love, love being our patient. Technically, that's a HIPAA violation.
Okay, because you said we love being our patient by the letter of the law you're violating HIPAA by acknowledgements. Okay, but I do not believe you'll ever see a patient that reports you because they just wrote a positive review about you. If you do the same thing to a negative review.
Okay. The patient may say to that, well, they just violated my HIPAA rights and they may decide to report you. It's rare. I've seen it just trying to be very frank with you here. That conversation or that review, the positive one is violation of HIPAA, but I don't think you'll ever see a problem with it.
Yeah. That saves your butts, man. I appreciate that. So awesome. Any final words or advice or suggestions that you want to give to our listeners
Len: about this? Just reputation has to be something you focus on. It's a foundational part of running your practice. When you open your doors as a startup, you want to make sure you have a consistent presence.
You want to want to also want to make sure you have more than just a couple of reviews because then it looks like you're new. Okay. So, but don't be afraid to ask. Use a service that makes it easy on your patients. Don't expect to be able to do it naturally on your own because your focus is doing more as different things in the practice when you're, when you're a new practice.
So the main thing is just find a way to get your patients the right reviews. It will pay off in the long run, especially because it will then allow you to spend money on marketing and get results in the marketing because of that, without the reviews, you're going to struggle with your marketing in most cases, in most areas.
Michael: Awesome, man. I appreciate you, Len, and I appreciate your time, and if anyone has further questions, you can definitely find them on the Dental Marketer Society Facebook group, or where can they reach out to
Len: you directly? So lots of ways. I'm always on social, so my social media is very easy, Facebook, Instagram.
You can, um, I'll give you my email address and you can email me, um, but it's Len, L E N at DrLentow. com, D R L E N TAU. com. And, um, I also have my own Facebook group, so they can join the Facebook group and contact me through that. I'm very easily got ahold of. So just find, you'll find a way if you want me, you'll get ahold of me.
Michael: Nice. Awesome. So guys, that's all going to be in the show notes below. So Lynn, thank you so much for being with me on this Monday morning marketing
Len: episode. Thanks very much for having Michael. Appreciate it.