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10 Reasons Your Patients are Complaining Publicly

Patient Attraction Episode 189

Hi, I’m Colin Receveur. Today is Monday, Aug. 11 and the start of a very exciting week on the Patient Attraction Podcast. We’re going to take the next five days to review the top 10 complaints on Yelp about dental practices. We’ll hit the first two when we return.

– We’re going to look at a survey of 2,200 Yelp reviews at 100 Southern California dental offices.

– This was done by the folks at the Dental Anywhere blog.

– For those of you not familiar, Yelp is a review website where people can rate various businesses on a 1 to 5 scale.

– It’s extremely popular in Southern California; here in Southern Indiana, not so much.

– But this study does give us a good idea of the issues patients have with their dentists.

– It also is important because of Yelp’s reach.

– According to the Boston Consulting Group, 90% of locals said positive ratings influence their decision to visit or buy from a business, and 72% said they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from their friends and family.

– This is word-of-mouth advertising in the Internet age.

– Now, on to the list.

– The folks at Dental Anywhere compiled a list of the top 10 complaints people have with their dentist. We’ll do two a day through the end of the week.

– At number 10 is lack of consent.

– 10% of Yelp reviews complained of procedures scheduled, started or billed without an explanation or giving consent.

– Is this an issue of buyer’s remorse on the part of patients or are there some dentists out there trying to squeeze patients for more money?

– I would bet a big part of this is simple miscommunication.

– The doc and patient weren’t on the same page about the procedure.

– Having a good prospect-education program that includes free reports, books and seminars would be a good way to reduce this number.

– That way more pre-qualified patients are coming to see you already educated about solutions to their dental problems.

– At number 9 on the list are new patient appointments.

– 11% of Yelp reviews complained that they were unaware that the new patient appointment/consultation did not include a cleaning, and that they would have to return (miss more work) to have that done.

– This sounds like an expectation issue.

– However those new patients made that appointment, whether online or by calling a receptionist, that patient thought they were getting a service that wasn’t included.

– What can be done?

– Well, your website can make it clear what will happen during a new patient consult.

– And your scheduler can be sure to tell anyone who calls for the new patient appointment that the first visit is just a consult and not a cleaning, which will be scheduled following the initial appointment.

– This is, of course, if a dentist doesn’t want to change his or her policy and start including a cleaning in that initial visit.

– So there we have it, the first two items on the list, both likely caused by a lack of communication.

– Come back tomorrow to see numbers 7 and 8. Both are likely to make you squirm a little.

– Until then, keep moving forward.

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