The Path to First Impressions Leads Through Your Online Dental Patient Reviews


The Path to First Impressions Leads Through Your Online Dental Patient Reviews

Sep 01, 2021

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Agree or not, it’s useful to think of public opinion as a valuable data source – more specific in the context of online dental patient reviews.

Online reviews shape consumer opinion. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews prior to a purchasing decision.

Count dental patients among those who value the opinions of others before choosing a care provider. Their decision to contact you has likely been influenced first by the reviews they read.

It’s a shift for first impressions

It’s common to place a lot of emphasis on the first impressions your team, facilities, amenities, and services make on new dental patients. Those remain valuable but there’s a high possibility that those have a secondary influence on patients selecting your practice.

Plus, online dental patient reviews now carry much of the load that word-of-mouth once did. Consider that 84% of people (including potential patients) trust online reviews alongside the opinion of their peers.

If you want to make a memorable first impression it pays to manage your online reputation. Keep in mind that everyone on your team or across your organization is an ambassador for generating positive dental patient reviews.

The path to good first impressions runs through your online dental patient reviews

It’s to your advantage to maximize the expressed opinions of your dental patients. Hopefully, most are positive. But even the occasional negative online review can be useful to the impression you make on those seeking dental care.

Apply the following to boost your online dental patient review strategy.

Get intentional about your online review process

Start by understanding that search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, etc) pay attention to review status. People searching for a dentist will get a hand from Google, for example, as the search engine scans available online reviews.

Also, be aware that those star ratings are more than a vanity symbol. In fact, a one-star rating among your average practice’s ratings can increase patient visits by 9%.

What does that mean to your online review process?

It shines some light on the importance of being more strategic about your review requests.

  • Review your week’s schedule and look for patients with varying types of appointments (cleanings, crowns, ortho, restorative, etc).
  • Track the demographic data around a week of patient appointments. Segment by age, treatment, tenure with your practice, and their online review history.
  • Follow your data trail and ask specific patients on a given week to submit a review about their appointment experience. And be sure to track their involvement so as not to overuse them for reviews.

Keep your review process simple

This starts by instilling a review mindset in your team. Train them in the “art” of asking for reviews.

Timing is everything here. The minutes following an appointment is an optimum time for a patient to log their opinion in your favor.

  • Provide them with a QR code link they can use on the spot via their smartphone or a logged-in tablet device at your front desk (prior to departure).
  • Ask for their feedback and permission to use their positive comments in a published review.
  • Use “talking points” as part of your check-out narrative: “what did you like about…?,” “how did your experience feel today…?,” etc.

Track the review conversation

Each online dental patient review has data you can use. The words a patient uses can help you gauge emotion, expectation, and their overall experience during an appointment.

Sure, many patients will offer the standard benign comments. But their effort is what you should measure and keep in mind. Frequent reviewers could be more likely to write up a more comprehensive review if you asked them to do so.

Routinely scan your online reviews. Look for the positive and negative. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not by reading between the lines of each review.

Share your findings with your team as a once per week morning huddle agenda item. Invest some time talking about what a particular patient’s review says about your patient experience across each department.

Reviews (like referrals) help drive practice production. Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can improve your patient communication including online review conversations.

Use Data and Technology to Create Extraordinary Patient Retention Outcomes

Create Long-term Relationships with Data-Driven Dental Patient Communication

Support your online dental patient review process with data-driven tools that can help your DSO, group practice or solo private practice make positive first impressions.

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.


  • Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
  • Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability.


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