Background Image

Periospectives July - September 2017 : Page 18

NAVIGATING LEADERSHIP Leading patients: Practice marketing in the era of online reviews A five-star recommendation or negative online review can make or break a practice, and the digital redefinition of “word-of-mouth” has hastened periodontists to keep their promotional efforts up to speed. Grace Rizza knows a thing or two about using online marketing to get patients in the chair. In her previous role as a marketing director, Rizza oversaw the efforts of a multi-location dental practice, making the most of a minimal budget to deploy campaigns, launch advertisements, and train the practice staff on sales techniques. Within three months of taking the job, she managed to triple the number of new patient visits to the practice. Today, as the owner of Identity Dental Marketing located just outside of Chicago, Rizza commits to helping dentists of all stripes boost their digital profile and, in turn, boost their patient turnout. Here, she chats with Periospectives about how patients choose a specialist, the abiding importance of referral relationships, and what periodontists can expect when she takes the lectern during the AAP’s 103 rd Annual Meeting in Boston this September. What are current trends in how patients decide to see a particular specialist? Referrals from general dentists are slowing down. We’re seeing a lot of general dentists placing implants, treating periodontal disease, and keeping this work in-house. General dentists who are referring are doing so differently. They’re handing out the names of two or three periodontists and allowing the patients to choose. And then, the patients turn to the internet to look at the periodontist’s reviews and their website. Patients will look at a periodontist’s social media pages to see if the practice looks enjoyable. There’s a lot more that goes into the patient’s decision-making process than even a few years ago. How can periodontists manage the challenges presented by poor online ratings or negative online reviews? If a periodontist receives a negative review online somewhere—and there are hundreds of review sites—it’s important to evaluate the reviews. Sometimes, it makes sense to reply, and sometimes it makes sense to report a review because it’s hateful or untrue. The nature of the review will dictate how it should be handled. Practices should also implement a review generation process that encourages patients to write positive reviews. This will really limit the damaging effects of a negative review. And some of the old-school strategies still work. Generating relationships with referring doctors is still very important. Making sure that you have a strong relationship with your patients and that they’ve had a positive experience with you is important. Anything that you can do in your office to build up your expertise and your services and to generate referrals is important. It all works together. Grace Rizza What are some considerations in developing a marketing plan for a dental practice? Every marketing plan should be a unique entity for a given periodontist or practice. When I am working with a practice, I will ask, “What do you already have working for you? How is it working? What else can be done?” That way, I can get an idea for the kind of patient the doctor wants to attract. Just like a periodontist will develop an individual treatment plan for a patient, marketing plans should be individualized for a practice’s needs. If, for instance, a periodontist’s outgoing personality is a selling point for the practice, that periodontist may be more successful at community events, networking, in-office events, and social media. If another periodontist’s personality is more introverted, there may be a heavier reliance on advertising and ways to highlight that person’s strengths. It’s really about making the right match for marketing solutions and each periodontist individually. How has your time working in a dental practice guided what you know about practice marketing today? That experience laid a foundation and a true understanding of the operational aspects of a dental practice, allowing me to provide solutions that are realistic and attainable. I learned quite AAP Perio spectives | 18

Practice Marketing In The Era Of Online Reviews

Grace Rizza

A five-star recommendation or negative online review can make or break a practice, and the digital redefinition of “word-of-mouth” has hastened periodontists to keep their promotional efforts up to speed. Grace Rizza knows a thing or two about using online marketing to get patients in the chair. In her previous role as a marketing director, Rizza oversaw the efforts of a multi-location dental practice, making the most of a minimal budget to deploy campaigns, launch advertisements, and train the practice staff on sales techniques. Within three months of taking the job, she managed to triple the number of new patient visits to the practice.

Today, as the owner of Identity Dental Marketing located just outside of Chicago, Rizza commits to helping dentists of all stripes boost their digital profile and, in turn, boost their patient turnout. Here, she chats with Periospectives about how patients choose a specialist, the abiding importance of referral relationships, and what periodontists can expect when she takes the lectern during the AAP’s 103rd Annual Meeting in Boston this September.

What are current trends in how patients decide to see a particular specialist?

Referrals from general dentists are slowing down. We’re seeing a lot of general dentists placing implants, treating periodontal disease, and keeping this work in-house. General dentists who are referring are doing so differently. They’re handing out the names of two or three periodontists and allowing the patients to choose. And then, the patients turn to the internet to look at the periodontist’s reviews and their website. Patients will look at a periodontist’s social media pages to see if the practice looks enjoyable. There’s a lot more that goes into the patient’s decision-making process than even a few years ago.

How can periodontists manage the challenges presented by poor online ratings or negative online reviews?

If a periodontist receives a negative review online somewhere—and there are hundreds of review sites—it’s important to evaluate the reviews. Sometimes, it makes sense to reply, and sometimes it makes sense to report a review because it’s hateful or untrue. The nature of the review will dictate how it should be handled. Practices should also implement a review generation process that encourages patients to write positive reviews. This will really limit the damaging effects of a negative review. And some of the oldschool strategies still work. Generating relationships with referring doctors is still very important. Making sure that you have a strong relationship with your patients and that they’ve had a positive experience with you is important. Anything that you can do in your office to build up your expertise and your services and to generate referrals is important. It all works together.

What are some considerations in developing a marketing plan for a dental practice?

Every marketing plan should be a unique entity for a given periodontist or practice. When I am working with a practice, I will ask, “What do you already have working for you? How is it working? What else can be done?” That way, I can get an idea for the kind of patient the doctor wants to attract. Just like a periodontist will develop an individual treatment plan for a patient, marketing plans should be individualized for a practice’s needs. If, for instance, a periodontist’s outgoing personality is a selling point for the practice, that periodontist may be more successful at community events, networking, in-office events, and social media. If another periodontist’s personality is more introverted, there may be a heavier reliance on advertising and ways to highlight that person’s strengths. It’s really about making the right match for marketing solutions and each periodontist individually.

How has your time working in a dental practice guided what you know about practice marketing today?

That experience laid a foundation and a true understanding of the operational aspects of a dental practice, allowing me to provide solutions that are realistic and attainable. I learned quite AAP Periospectives | 19 a bit about the dynamics of a dental team and the importance of implementation and accountability. It’s rarely a lack of good ideas that people struggle with; it’s making sure that you’ve got the right people in place. It’s also making sure that you’ve got accountability measures in place so everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and when and how. That’s when things really start to happen.

What can attendees at the AAP’s 103rd Annual Meeting look forward to during your session?

Attendees will leave with at least three concrete ideas they’ll want to implement to improve their practices. They’ll be able to evaluate ways to grow their periodontal practices and evaluate what they’re already doing. They’ll also be able to ask specific questions. It’s important that periodontists attend so they can understand the changing landscape of marketing for dental specialists. If periodontists would like to bring a staff member with them, it should be the person who makes marketing decisions for the practice.

Grace Rizza’s Annual Meeting session, “The Newest Strategies in Patient Attraction,” takes place on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 8 a.m. to noon. This session is free, but those looking to attend must secure a ticket during registration. To learn more or to register for the Annual Meeting, visit perio.org.

AAP 103rd Annual Meeting has been approved as a Certified Exhibition by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). As the global authority on exhibition management and best practices, IAEE is recognizing the AAP’s exhibition as the “Gold Standard” in exhibition management.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/Practice+Marketing+In+The+Era+Of+Online+Reviews/2856520/431578/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here