Dealing with a bad review?

Research shows 94% of patients evaluate providers using online reviews, and 72% use it to find a new provider. Even if most of your reviews are positive, just a few negative comments can sow seeds of doubt among prospective patients, and, let’s face it, they personally sting. How you deal with bad reviews on reputation and social media can impact your business as much as the reviews themselves.

Is the Bad Review Real?

The first type of poor review can be totally illegitimate. How do you recognize it? There is usually outsized anger in its tone; it may be nonsensical or feature personal attacks; it aims to hurt instead of offering anything constructive. In working with many dental clients over the years, I have learned this type of bad review may not even come from an actual patient. It may be a disgruntled ex-employee behind the keyboard, a competitor, or a former patient who is dealing with underlying issues.

What should you do? First, don’t let it ruin your day, as hard as that may be. Evaluate where it came from. Decide whether you can contest the review and have it removed from the site. That, of course, will depend on the site; some are more difficult than others. If the review contains hate speech or is blatantly false, it may be worth contacting the site.

Should You Respond to Illegitimate Reviews?

That depends on your tolerance for confrontation and what is said. There is nothing wrong with trying to correct a false statement – of course you sanitize your equipment! – but drawing a sword against irrational comments and ad hominem attacks is probably futile and may further encourage the reviewer.  

When Good Patients Leave Bad Reviews

What if an actual patient puts a legitimate complaint on blast? A real patient may be shy about telling you something in person but finds courage behind the keyboard. Acknowledge the complaint and decide whether it has merit. If you know who the reviewer is, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Inquire with genuine concern, promise to address the issue (and follow through), and then politely request that they remove the review or amend it with a follow-up. You would be surprised how many reviewers will comply; often, they just want to be heard.  

Remember You Are Not Alone

You can be the kindest provider in the world with the most helpful and accommodating staff and hundreds of loyal patients – and still get a few bad reviews. It seems unfair but it happens to just about everyone at some point. If you are the target, take a few deep breaths and remember this is a moment in time. If you are the office manager, just be there and provide support for the provider.

Solicit Positive Reviews

Make sure the good outweighs the bad. Get into the habit of asking satisfied patients to provide reviews and be proactive in gathering them yourself. Solicit kudos via text, social media, or postcards. With written permission, post short reviews with photos or create video testimonials during follow-up appointments. These are enormously powerful reputation management tools that will overwhelm and “push down” negative reviews you can’t remove. Give your satisfied patients a list of review sites on which to share their positive experiences. Above all, lean back on your good reputation and ramp up a program that keeps positive patient experiences in the spotlight.

If you want expert advice on nurturing a positive, meaningful online presence? Get in touch for tips on comprehensive dental marketing that works.

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What to Expect From This Video Series

Many people talk about branding – What’s your brand? Does this partnership align with my brand? Is it time for a rebrand?– but what does that mean? The CEO of The Chicago Dental Studio, is an expert on branding for dental practices and shares these tips with the Dental Peeps Network:

A brand is simply a visual identity that resonates with the intended audience. Creating one involves telegraphing what your practice is about to attract your ideal patients and set the right tone. “Think about your intended reputation,” Grace advises. “Whenever we’re building a brand, we’re actually building how people perceive you, and we want to identify this in a way that’s true to who you are.”

How do you go about creating a new brand for your dental office? When is it time to reevaluate the one you have now? First, determine whether your current brand or the brand you are envisioning rings true. Do the elements such as graphics, font, and tagline fit with what you’re about? 

Grace gives the fictional example of a mature dental practice whose tagline is “Convenient, compassionate care.” That was accurate when the practice was founded, but times have changed: Cutbacks have forced this practice to scale back personnel. It no longer has weekend appointments. It no longer accepts insurance. The phone is not answered after regular business hours. In this case, rebranding around the office’s current strengths would be wise to meet patient expectations.

Creating a brand involves far more than searching for clipart of a smiling tooth! Grace notes that there is a psychology to choosing a name, font, colors, and symbols. First, you need to understand your intended audience and know how to attract them visually. 

Primary colors and whimsical lettering may work well for a pediatric dentist, but not for a practitioner whose bread and butter is restorative work on seniors. It’s an obvious example, of course, but should get you thinking about what you want your brand to be.

Grace and her team at Identity Dental Marketing take the guesswork out of branding. They offer deep expertise in helping dental practices create unique, powerful, and effective identities. 

Want Grace to answer a question about dental marketing? Email her at grace@identitydental.com.

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The Components of an Effective Landing Page

If you’re in the process of building ads for a service, event, or product, you’ll likely discover that ads that lead to pages designed to turn an interested viewer into a lead or customer are an important component of an effective campaign.

Like any marketing component, the design and writing matter. Without a clean, focused design and one clean call to action, your page can quickly become a more condensed version of your website, defeating the purpose altogether.

When a consumer makes a purchasing decision, the length of time spent on that decision varies based on the service or product.

For low cost items, LESS IS MORE. If you’re selling makeup, a beauty item, or even a vacuum, include a video of the product solving a problem and attach an offer that expires in hours. This sense of urgency, paired with the problem solving video will increase conversion. In addition, you may opt to include bulleted items of benefits or product details.

For higher cost items, such as selling an educational program, consulting, or other advisory services that can cost $10,000 or more, the landing page should be a bit more involved. However, it should not divert from the problem the ad promised to solve. For instance, if you are offering a solution to the problem of business growth, you’ll want to have a hook (an attention-grabbing headline) that solves a problem and lets the viewer know there’s more to learn about this solution.

Here’s an example:

Ad Copy: Grow your practice in ONE free, simple step. Learn more.

Corresponding landing page copy: By joining the FREE Dentistry’s Growing with Grace Facebook group, you’ll connect with top advisors on a daily basis.

Dentists have reported an average of 20% growth after working with Grace Rizza and the Identity Dental Marketing Team. Get access to their guidance and content for free.

  • Engage in growth-oriented conversation with 5,000 other dentists
  • Learn how to improve your brand daily with simple advice that can be applied immediately
  • Watch videos that will challenge you and your team to grow both personally and professionally

[Video welcoming the visitor to the group]

Why Conversion Pages Fail

  • Too many words, focuses and selling points
  • Trying to solve more than one problem at a time
  • No custom video or photography
  • Failure to address or effectively solve the problem posed in the ad
  • Poor design aesthetic (too much clutter / too much complexity)
  • Lack of demand for the problem
  • Failure to address common objections

If you’d like assistance in determining your campaign focus, set up, audience selection or landing page creation, please reach out to Identity Dental Marketing for a Complimentary Marketing Planning Session to learn what our Paid Ads Campaigns include and receive a custom quote.

Have a blessed day.

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Don’t Let Covid Kill Your Morale

Author: Grace Rizza, CEO, Identity Dental Marketing

Dental Marketing
Covid Dental Surival Guide

We’ve been in this new “Covid World” now for many months. Whether your business has been in high-demand or you’re struggling to stay operational, you’ve likely been affected. 

Covid swept into our lives, took our sense of normalcy, security and for some, our sanity. It took our business consistency and replaced it with uncertainty. It’s not uncommon right now for a dentist to fall asleep at night worrying about the following: 

  • Will my whole team be at work tomorrow? 
  • Will my kids be in school? 
  • Will my patients show up for their appointments today? 
  • Will I be able to take home a paycheck? 

For many business owners, this has created a mindset focused on surviving instead of thriving. As the weeks and months pass, this coping mechanism of just “making it through each day” has become the norm for many practice owners. For this reason, it’s become increasingly difficult for many leaders to focus on growth.

Are you unsure if you’ve been affected in this way? If so, give yourself a point for each of the following that applies to you: 

  • We paused our consulting services. 
  • We stopped or slowed down our marketing efforts. 
  • We need team members but haven’t hired anyone to help us hire the team we need.
  • We were going to update our office appearance, but put it on hold until 2021. 
  • We were going to go to that CE event, but we’re skipping our CE this year. 
  • We aren’t taking our family vacation. 
  • We aren’t hosting any community events or holiday specials this year. 
  • We were going to update our website, but we’re going to put it on pause for now. 

If you relate to more than 2 of these statements, you’ve likely been living in survival mode.

Read this sentence twice: 

The quicker you can get back to prioritizing your business, the quicker you will re-enter growth mode and exit survival mode. 

How has covid affected you? How will you let it effect your future? Need help exiting this slump? Set up a marketing planning session with me here: identitydental.com/grace

I’m always happy to help.

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3 Tips to Help Dental Receptionists Schedule More Patients

By Beth Gaddis, Patient Prism

Your dental marketing is working and you can see the number of phone calls it’s driving into your dental practice.

So why is your schedule not full?

There are many reasons why potential patients take the time to call you, but may hang up without scheduling. Here are three of the most common reasons and what your team can say to convert those calls.

Build Rapport and Empathy

People choose to do business with people that they know and like. One of the easiest ways to win over a new patient caller is by creating a connection with them. Answer calls with a simple greeting such as “Thank you for calling 1-2-3 Smiles. My name is Beth. May I have your name please?” 

Then use the person’s name frequently throughout the call. “Hi Julie. How can I help you today?” 

This makes the person feel like an individual, and not just a number. 

Another tip: use reassuring language, such as, “I understand, Julie. We help a lot of patients with that same problem and I know Dr. Jones will be able to help you too.”

It helps people feel at ease, and more likely to schedule an appointment.

Overcome Concerns About Cost

Let’s face it: Price is the biggest reason why many people delay getting the dental care they need. The good news is that callers already recognize they have a need to see the dentist; that’s why they called you. 

When callers ask how much it will cost, what they really want to know is whether they will be able to afford it. Reassure them by saying, “Every person’s smile is unique so I can’t give you an exact price. But what I can tell you is that we help people like you every day get high-quality care at an affordable cost. We have a lot of ways to help you fit the dental care you called us about today into your family budget. We’d love to have you come in, meet Dr. Jones, and then we can prioritize your treatment and create a plan that will work for you. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule?”

Always Give Two Choices for Appointments

When people are given a choice, they tend to choose one of the two options. The trick is to make sure that either option will work for you.

If you say, “Would you like to schedule an appointment,” the answers are yes or no. 

But if you say, “I’d love to have you come in and meet Dr. Jones. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule,” then you’re giving the caller a choice that will benefit you either way.

What you say and how you say it can make a huge difference in whether callers choose to schedule with you or with a competitor. If you’re paying for marketing to bring you new patients, then you want to convert as many of those calls as possible. 

Here’s a checklist from Patient Prism that you can keep by your phones. 


This guest blog post is from Patient Prism, an award-winning call-tracking and call-coaching service designed exclusively for dental practices. It analyzes new patient phone calls, identifies the ones that didn’t end in a booked appointment, and emails an alert back to the dental practice with coaching tips on what to say to call back and win back those missed opportunities. For more information, visit www.PatientPrism.com/Overview.

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The Social 7

  1. Post consistently, at least once per week.
  2. Include strategic hashtags & visually appealing graphics.
  3. Interact with our viewers by replying and liking comments.
  4. Publish multiple social media platforms.
  5. Encourage interaction by posting questions or polls.
  6. Avoid posting controversial content.
  7. Most importantly – be true to you!

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Why You Shouldn’t Ask For Loyalty From Your Employees

Recently I made a post asking the dentists who make up the Facebook group “Dental Marketing with Grace” if they could list only one main core value. The post generated excellent engagement and many members listed values that I easily agreed with and understood.

When someone mentioned “loyalty”, my thoughts quickly oscillated between “that’s a good one! It’d be amazing to know my team is loyal to the business!” To “wait, no. That really shouldn’t be the core value of any organization.”

Let me dive into this concept in a way that will hopefully challenge thinking.

According to Webster Merriam Dictionary, loyalty is defined as: ‘unswerving in allegiance’.
This is where I’m challenged. See, loyalty is a big word. It’s what you promise when getting married. There’s an infinite timeline on loyalty. Can a person truly give full loyalty to a business? Perhaps. Should they? No. One’s loyalty to a business shouldn’t come before their loyalty to their own personal needs and the needs of their family.

Should a person stay with a company or employer even if the position no longer serves their family’s needs? Absolutely not. Employees can serve a business with the intention to be a long term part of the team, but should a person commit to a lifetime of loyalty to a business? Yes, but with the contingency that it continues to serve their needs.

I’m not implying that when the going gets tough, people should leave without first attempting to overcome a challenging situation. I’m also not implying that people should job hop or be in a state of constantly seeking the next best thing. That won’t serve them well in the long term of their career. A career should serve you, as much as you serve it. Work should be fulfilling and should be something to look forward to. It should allow you to grow professionally and personally. It should allow you to be surrounded by caring and honest people. It should contribute to your life. If it stops serving you, take the next steps to a better future.

You have one life.

Instead of calling this core value ‘loyalty’, it should be referenced as ‘dedication’. You can be dedicated to your team without committing to loyalty, which is unwavering. If you see a practice or methodology that doesn’t seem ethical, you should question it. You should challenge the leadership in your life. You should openly and directly challenge things that don’t feel right. This is where growth occurs.

I challenge you to create an environment that produces dedication. Support each employee individually while recruiting for ethics such as integrity, a strong work ethic, and a dedication to excellent communication. The result will be a dedicated team.

In this life, it’s more important that we live with love and compassion, than it is that we demand loyalty. Instead, serve your team and loyalty will follow.

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7 Ways Your Business Can Comeback from Covid Crisis

dental marketing covid

Even though I consider myself an optimist, this situation has proven to challenge even those with extreme mental fortitude. I’m sure you’ve also experienced moments of deep concern for our country and the world, and our physical and financial health now and in the future.

60% of my daily responsibilities typically include facilitating strategy sessions with dentists. During these sessions we evaluate the current health of the business, as well as what can be done to meet and exceed business goals. It’s always my mission to only give the advice that is in the best interest of the person I’m talking with to the best of my ability.

This situation is no different. I hope you find the following strategies helpful. I hope they help you to stay positive and focused on your business comeback plan during this difficult time.

  1. Create a game plan for how your team can strengthen themselves and their ability to serve your community upon returning to work. Whether you host a quarantine book club ( I recommend anything by Patrick Lencioni or Gino Wickman) or you each take online CE in your respective areas of expertise, give your team a goal and a skill that they can improve upon in this downtime.
  2. Contribute to a quick rebound by keeping your team employed (if you can) and keeping your relationship with critical business advisors that will become key resources for you when opening back up.  Terminating your team and key advisors could actually put you back significantly in the progress you’ve worked to build when it comes time to reopen. Many programs, including: team training programs, consultants, marketing initiatives will be necessary when business operations resume. There will likely be employee turnover, patient loss to a degree due to financial difficulty in some, and a shift in the needs of your community (more on this next).
  3. Stay in contact with your patients. Call and check in on them. See how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. Talk to them about your infection control policies and your response to COVID-19. Make sure they are safe and feel safe in your care when the time comes to open the doors. Join our Facebook Group Dental Marketing with Grace and receive daily social media content that’s appropriate for your dental practice currently.
  4. Consider changing the tone of your marketing to reflect the current needs of your community. You should include your infection control measures, as well as shifting focus to emergency care, if you are open for those services. Once life returns to our new normal, you’ll also benefit from communicating the importance of oral health to have strong overall health. We will have a very health conscious community. Contact us to set up a marketing planning session. 
  5. Consider expanding your hours to have more convenient appointment times when you reopen. You’ll have many patients seeking care and may experience a large workload when it comes time to get back to work.
  6. Reconsider your brand, website and online presence now. Many Americans are unable to leave their homes for much besides grocery shopping and other essential errands. Your online presence NOW is going to build your brand, establish recognition and strengthen your business when it’s time to open again. This kind of event is unprecedented. Digital ads only utilize spend with views, clicks or impressions. If you’re in a financial situation to be able to invest, your dollars can go far in terms of exposure.
  7. STAY POSITIVE! Your patients, team and community will look to you for a smile. Be the person to spread hope and positivity.

Grace@identitydental.com

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