Join us on today's episode of Monday Morning Marketing, as we connect with, Zeke Kuch, CEO and co-founder at Swell. We take a deep dive into reputation management in the dental industry, discussing the paramount role Google reputation can play in your practice's overall standing. Understand why review frequency and good ratings matter and learn when to ask for patient reviews to get the best results. Zeke navigates us through the trying times of negative feedback and teaches how to effectively use them as stepping stones to refine your practice.
What You'll Learn in This Episode:
Tune in to Monday Morning Marketing today! In the game of reputation, you can't afford to be left behind. Join Zeke Kuch and empower your practice with an impeccable online presence.
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Michael: Hey Zeke. So talk to us about reputation management. What advice, suggestions, or methods can you give us that will actually help us attract new patients this way, or just help us overall with
Zeke: our reputation management? Yeah. Thanks, Michael. Appreciate it having me join today. Um, well first let's, let's just define what reputation management really means.
So we, the way I look at reputation management, there's really two parts of it. There's first like managing your actual reputation or, you know, monitoring what people are saying about you on public forums like Google or Facebook or Yelp or health grades, whatever it might be. And then there's what I consider reputation or review solicitation, which is the act of like.
Getting more reviews or more feedback from patients on those same review side. So when you talk about reputation management, I look at as twofold monitoring and managing and learning and getting feedback, but also the proactive approach of making sure that your patients. Are frequently, you know, getting the opportunity to deliver reviews, whether that's via text message or email or QR code or whatever it might be.
So I like stating that first, because at the end of the day, like those are what, what swell does, and that's kind of how we felt practices grow on their digital footprint and build a reputation. but also giving them tools to help manage that along the way and get feedback and better improve the patient experience, et cetera.
So that's kind of my definition of, of, of reputation management. And then at the end of the day, like it really comes down to, and you know, you might've heard me say this on other podcasts or in speeches I've given, but like, Your practice is only as good as Google says it is. And so what I really mean by that is you could be either a startup, a brand new startup practice, you know, a fresh provider right out of school, or you could be a 15 year old veteran that's been serving thousands of patients for those years.
In reality, if Google says that you're a 4. 2 or a 3. 9 practice, or you have a 5. 0 score and very few reviews, You're really not that credible to the potential consumers or patients that find you online. And so when you really think about what reputation management means and why it helps practices grow and get new patients and you can build a business really around that, it really comes down to if you look good on Google, which is king of search engines, king of search in general, local search specifically, and we'll talk about local search in a minute, then you are more likely to stand out from your local competitor and you're more likely to win new patients.
And what does it take to do that? Well, in order to look good on Google, you really need to hit the three criteria. One, you want to establish a good review score. And so from our perspective, targeting a 4. 8 or above average review score puts you in kind of like the top percentile of, practices essentially.
So if you're getting compared to another practice down the street. Hopefully you have an overall better patient satisfaction score, aka Google review score to help you kind of, differentiate yourself a little bit from that local, competitor. The second is the number or quantity of reviews a practice has. good to have a good review score, but if you have a good review score in six reviews. You're just not that credible. It's like going to a sushi restaurant in San Francisco and you're trying to find one, you're looking on Yelp and one has a five star rating and eight reviews. And the other has a 4.
7 and 2000, one is much more credible than the other. And so that's another piece of reputation management that you want to think about score. Volume, because that's the social proof and then the last, which is actually probably the most important and you'll hear me preach about this a lot. It's really about around consistency.
How frequently or how recent was my last review or my last batch of reviews? And the reason why that's so important when you're trying to manage your reputation and grow kind of your digital footprint and dominate your local search rankings is that Google will heavily rank your practice based on a local search on proximity, keywords.
And recency of reviews. And so what you really want to make sure is you're not just getting a review or five reviews a month ago, but like, you know, every day or every couple of days, or even multiple times per day that you're seeing patients, you're getting the opportunity to get a review on Google. And again, that consistency or that recency of reviews.
Is going to heavily impact your local search ranking and as you know, uh, in any business, but particularly in the healthcare space, local search rankings is probably more important than your SEO will ever be more eyeballs. We'll see your Google, my business page, then we'll see your website. So ensuring that when someone searches for best dentist near me or a dentist.
Best pediatric dentist in my area or within a zip code or a specific city. We want to ensure that your search, your practice, your GMB page is showing up in the local map pack, which is basically the top three local search rankings. Again, heavily impacted by frequency. So if I were to recap this, it's You want a good score?
4. 8 or above is our recommendation. The average review score for Swell users is a 4. 98. So we're pretty proud of helping our practices get really good reviews. The second is volume. You want to make sure you have enough reviews to show credibility on that review score. And then the third is really about consistency.
Am I getting reviews on a regular basis? And the way to do that is by deploying services that allow you to get patients to leave reviews in the easiest manner possible, sending a text message after a visit. You know, in some cases, you might use QR codes, you might have them leave a review while they're in the practice.
There's pros and cons to some of these things, but the idea is that you want to have an offensive approach, or what I would consider a proactive approach, at soliciting feedback from your patients that is going to be driven to sites like Google, uh, where you can, you know, kind of dominate those local search rankings.
And at the end of the day, this really comes down to new patients. You know, when someone's searching again for a new provider, a new doctor, a new dentist, a new plastic surgeon, a new pediatric dentist, whatever it might be. We want to ensure that when they're making those search terms, your practices or practices using Swell or whatever it might be are showing up in those local search rankings.
So that's all about new patient flow more than anything else. And really, if you think about it, Michael, if you dumb it down to like the easiest form, we live in a consumer driven world, where if you're, if Michael's jumping on Amazon looking for products, he's looking for some new Nikes or something, the reality is you're going to heavily be persuaded based on what other buyers, their experience was, you're going to look at the reviews and ratings of the seller and the products, and that's what's going to help drive that purchase.
It's no different when choosing a healthcare provider. Gotcha,
Michael: man. That's a lot. So there's a lot. So a couple of questions I wanted to ask you, uh, when it comes to this, I know you mentioned, uh, the three things, right? And consistency is one of the last ones. To be implemented, or I mean, like you should always implement consistency.
What is consistent when it comes to this? Cause I feel like some people sometimes say, Hey, you just got to ask. You just got to ask them. That's it. And, um, then some people say that's not enough. Uh, you have to message them. And then some people go granular and say, well, you got to message them at this time, specific moment.
And right. So in your opinion,
Zeke: what do you, what do you think? Yeah, I think, I think asking them is great, but I think that's usually the least effective, to be honest with you, because what happens is, a lot of times the practice will rely on the team members to ask, and right away you're going to have a failure right there, where team members forget to ask, or they don't do it, or they don't implement it, because generally what happens is if you're not incentivizing a team member to get new reviews, then they're not going to do it.
Um, they're not as motivated as the practice owner is, obviously, to get those reviews, so they end up not doing it. So, if you can instill those in your standard operating procedures of, like, training on it and making sure every time a patient gets checked out, that they're being asked to leave a review, that's one thing.
I think it's great. I think it helps. But I definitely find it to be the least effective. what we tend to find the most effective is by telling them they're going to have the opportunity to leave a review and then at specific times per day, sending out requests both via text message and email in a branded personalized way that looks like the provider themselves sent the invite to ask for that feedback or ask for that review.
We find that to be the most effective way. One, patient knows they're going to get the opportunity to leave a review. Two, it's being sent directly to their device. So in one click, they can be, you know, pushed into Google or Facebook or health grades, you know, wherever the practice wants to get their reviews posted.
And three, the patient can do it on their own time. They're not kind of being forced to do it right there in the practice. They can kind of do it on their own device, which they're probably already logged in on. And it just makes that overall experience, in our opinion, based on data, a lot more effective.
So, uh, you know, we're big fans of asking, but we're definitely bigger fans of leveraging tools that already exist. Um, there's several, you know, software systems out there similar to Swell that allow you to request those based on certain types of procedure codes or appointment codes, whatever it might be to help, you know, ensure that every patient is having the opportunity to post a review on one of those public sites.
Michael: You mentioned specific times in the day. Do you recommend more than once a day? We send that like, Hey, we send an email later and then a text or.
Zeke: Yeah, that's a great question. So based on data that we've tracked for about the last seven years now. We found that actually sending these requests once a day or typically at the end of every business, like business day is the most effective. we used to think that sending them right after the appointment was the best time and it turns out that's actually the worst time based on conversion rates. And the reason for that is, if you think about it, Michael, if you were to go to your provider today, so you go to Dr. Ashley Hovis today, you get treated, you leave, and you know, you're probably getting treated sometime between 9 a.
m. and 5 p. m., right? And which means you're likely going back to work, back to school, picking up kids, doing something in the middle of the day, which is typically when the normal human is busiest. You know, those hours during the general working hours of, you know, eight to five is generally the busiest time per day for most folks.
And what me, what that means is if you're trying to get a review from them, whether it's a text message or an email, or even asking them, It's likely on the bottom of their priority list, right? But if you send it a request to them, let's call it around 7 p. m., 8 p. m. They're at home. They're already done with their busy day.
They're scrolling through Instagram or they're watching Bachelor in Paradise or whatever it might be. That's when people typically have the most downtime. And that's when we find the highest open rate of our text messages and the highest review rate. So we are big fans of actually sending these typically after standard working hours on the same day of the visit. that's based on data that we've tracked for the last seven years. and that goes against what we originally thought would be most effective, which is sending it 15 to 20 minutes after the appointment. Uh, we just found that that's when people are busy commuting or doing those things that we talked about before.
So yeah, big fans of sending them at a specific time per day, end of every business days, generally how we recommend it.
Michael: Okay. And then one thing I wanted to ask you is, I know you talked about the score, right? Having a 4. 8 review score end up is, is probably, you know what I mean? You see the great conversions with that.
How can someone, let's just say, Hey man, I got about a hundred and 200, but my, our reviews, I mean, we acquired another, it's, it's at two, it's at 2. 1 or two. You know what I mean? How can we start climbing back up? And in the right way, and maybe like they just got another new patient and then that patient just so happened to leave them a bad review and you know, their names in it now and they're like, ah, what can we do for, I guess, like the risk management here?
Zeke: Yeah, that's a great question. And honestly, if that's happening to a practice, so if anybody's listening and your practices, let's call it like below 4. 5 and honestly, maybe even 4. 7, but I'll use 4. 5 to be a little more conservative here. you have bigger problems. So the reality is, is the average review score of swell users were thousands of practices.
The average, the average review coming in is a 4. 98. Most patients like their provider. They have a good experience. If you have below a 4. 5 average, there is something fundamentally wrong within your practice. Whether you have a bad team member who's creating an unfortunate experience for the, for the patient, or you as a provider have some improvements that need to be made, you should be really looking at the feedback, this negative feedback that's getting posted online, and try to extract some trends on where you can improve the patient experience. it doesn't happen a lot, but we do see it by the way. And the reality is, is I would take that data. Those negative reviews are probably more valuable than the positive reviews because you're getting the opportunity to get feedback, to improve your operation. my general recommendation is.
Use that data, take it to heart, use that in your team meetings, find out what the challenges are, find out where the shortcomings are, find out where patients are having a bad experience and improve it immediately. that's my takeaway there. It's less about how do I just try to bury those reviews?
Cause there's tools again, that are going to solicit and help you drive those positive reviews from those happy patients, that's really what it comes down to is being proactive against it versus like reactive to your review solicitation. If you have bad reviews coming in, you have a bigger problem. You got to fix your problem first.
And, uh, if that's a trend, then you got to fix it. and just so you're aware, there's tools to help you find out what those trends are. So like, obviously, Swell, we do review management, but we also do NPS and private surveys. So that might be a strategy before you start blasting your patients with the opportunity to leave public reviews.
Capture private feedback before that. Try to find out what your general NPS score is. Try to find out what your patient satisfaction scores are in a private manner before you start, you know, pushing them to public review sites. Most practices have a really high review score. There are some that you're mentioning right now that have those challenges where they're far below, you know, 4.
5. And those are the practices that lose out on new patients every day. Cause they're going to choose the provider in their local market that has a significantly better reputation online.
Michael: Yeah. And I like that idea because I feel like, especially if you acquire new practice or, you know what I mean? You kind of like say, okay, let's, let's figure this out.
Well, what was the issues with the private, right? Like you said, I'm sending out the patient surveys and the NPS.
Zeke: Yeah. NPS. Yeah. Net promoter score, which is, you're not familiar with net promoter. And those listening who aren't net promoter score, everybody's probably received on their life. You're a flight Delta.
They send you like 10 of them after every flight. it's basically a survey. It's a one question survey that says on a zero to 10 scale, how likely are you recommend us to a friend or colleague? And that's kind of like the standard business question when it comes to patient satisfaction still being used by a majority of, you know, the fortune 500 companies.
still being used by a lot of dental practices that we work with. You see it primarily being used by DSOs on a regular basis because their private equity groups typically require it. But if, if you're not using anything right now to pulse your patients on a private standpoint, I have really recommend you do it just to find out what your baseline NPS score is.
Hmm. Swell does that, right? Yeah, we do.
Michael: Correct. Okay. Nice, man. Awesome. Zeke. I appreciate your time. And if anyone has further questions, you can definitely find them on the dental market or society Facebook group, or where can they reach out to you directly?
Zeke: to reach out to me directly.
You can email me as Zeke at swell CX dot com. I'm happy to fill those emails. swell CX dot com is our website. Well, season charlie X is an x ray dot com. and then obviously you can connect with me via Facebook or linked in some of the other social sites. Not super social on a lot of those, but I do my best to respond. trying to be better and, uh, at being more active on those social sites. But, uh, yeah, happy to engage with anybody who has any questions about whether it's public reputation or private feedback. I'm happy to be helpful in any way I can.
Michael: See, we appreciate your time and thank you for being with me on this Monday morning marketing episode.
Zeke: Absolutely. Thank you, Michael. Appreciate it.