It is not all about star ratings when it comes to attracting new patients

Stats source: DentaVox, Online Dentist Reviews | Base: 297 respondents, 30/07-19/08/2019

Patient reviews are an important part of dentist’s online reputation and can make or break a dental practice. While high star rating can have a huge positive impact on new patient flow, recent survey by DentaVox reveals that there is more to reviews than meets the eye. In fact, for the majority of patients, 5-star rating is not crucial to make up their mind on a dental specialist. 51% of respondents consider 4 stars as the minimum required score to sway their choice of a new dentist. On the other hand, recency of reviews appears to have a significant influence on patient perception of reviews’ reliability. Results suggest that feedback written more than 2 months ago is considered outdated as over 60% of respondents take into account more recent reviews.

Although star rating remains an essential factor, the number of reviews seems to impact its credibility. 30 or more reviews is the optimal amount. Additionally, nearly half of survey respondents recognize as important whether the feedback is submitted by a real patient of the reviewed dental practice.

Key findings:

Find out more insights in the infographic below:

What Aspects of Online Reviews Matter to Patients Infographic

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#1: Review recency is crucial for its impact on patient’s decision

One in three survey respondents takes into consideration only feedback written within 2 weeks. Additionally, 36% of patients regard feedback submitted within 2 months. Old reviews dated before that period influence just 14% of respondents. These findings reinforce the importance of fresh reviews for attracting prospective patients and call for active approach from dental practices to collect at least a few new reviews each month.   

# 2: Four stars is the optimal minimum rating for dentist’s positive reputation

Half of respondents are convinced of dentist’s worth by minimum 4-stars rating. However, results suggest that the number of reviews affects whether patients actually believe the overall rating. The majority of patients believe the star rating is legitimate if there are more than 30 reviews.

#3: To be verified as written by a real patient is an important review aspect

Along with dentist’s overall rating and the number of reviews, review authenticity is one of the top characteristics of online feedback according to survey respondents. Although it comes as no surprise that people look for feedback from real patients, in practice on popular platforms such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. it is hard to judge if reviews are authentic. To benefit from the convincing power of verified feedback, dentists might have to make use of specialized review websites like Dentacoin Trusted Reviews, which clearly differentiate genuine reviews by marking as trusted only reviews written after dentist’s invitation. 

#4: If patient’s problem was solved – a key question for review readers

More than half of respondents aim to find out in online reviews whether the treatment provided at the dentist’s office solved patient’s issues. The same share of survey participants look for information about dentist’s level of competence. The topic of interest for the biggest ratio of respondents, 86%, is quality of service as a more general notion. However, specific concerns such as price levels draw the attention of respondents, as well. This indicates that one of the primary worries for patients is to determine how reasonable is the cost of dental treatment provided by the practice.

How willing are patients to leave a review for their dentist and what motivates them to provide feedback? Find out in our upcoming infographics to be released in September. 

Source:DentaVox, Survey: Online Dentist Reviews | Base: 297 respondents, 30/07-19/08/2019