Survey results illustrate the power of online reviews to shape patient’s decision

According to results from Online Dentist Reviews Survey, conducted by DentaVox, 86% of patients checked online reviews before choosing their last dentist. For half of respondents the main reason to read dental reviews is to help them when looking for a new dentist. These findings clearly demonstrate that online reviews have become a key factor in patient’s choice of a dental specialist and indicate their critical role for dental practice success.

Find the main highlights on how patients use online reviews in the latest infographic:

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Why patients read online reviews for dentists?

The survey reveals that choosing a new dental provider is the most common situation to look at online reviews. It may concern choosing a specialist in a particular type of dental treatment or a new general dentist. Similar results were found previously by a general research in the U.S., which showed that 54% of people consulted online reviews before selecting a medical service provider.

A relatively smaller portion of respondents, 24%, use online reviews to look around for better options, and only a small share of them, 12%, check reviews about their current dentist.

These findings confirm the role of reviews to establish trust with prospective patients. With regards to current patients, it may seem that reviews have minor significance. However, it will be hasty to make such a conclusion since online feedback provides valuable insight on areas for improvement, and thus can nurture patient satisfaction and loyalty.

What are their next actions after positive reviews

Positive reviews have a strong impact on new patient acquisition with the majority of respondents (60%) willing to visit the dental clinic after reading positive feedback. This result makes another point in support of reviews’ influence on the decision of prospective patients.

How are patients’ actions impacted by negative reviews

One-third of respondents look for more reviews to validate their initial impressions when they come across unflattering reviews. Why negative feedback instigates patient’s curiosity? One possible explanation is that it touches upon problems of interest for patients whereas positive reviews can be too general. However, this study does not look into this aspect and further research on the topic is needed to confirm this assumption.

Takeaways

Online reviews are an essential source of information for patients when looking for a new dentist. While favorable reviews tend to have a positive effect on patient choice of particular dental practitioner, the effect of negative reviews is not so direct, as they seem to instigate further examination before a final decision is reached.