5 Reasons You Can No Longer Ignore Online Reviews

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Millennials can be hard to understand. Defined as those born between 1982 and 2002, they’ve grown up in a very different world than the rest of us—a world dominated by the internet.

You’ve probably seen Millennials do all kinds of quirky things: they can spend hours together in the same room without ever looking up from their phones; when they’re not with their friends they’re on Snapchat taking selfies to send to their friends; they’ve only recently started to venture out into the outdoors so they can play Pokemon GO.

Online Reviews Help Convert Potential Patients

Regardless of their quirky behavior, Millennials are rapidly becoming more important to your practice. Many Millennials are beginning to settle down and start families; plus, according to Accenture, over the next few decades they’ll inherit $30 trillion from Baby Boomers.

Like it or not, Millennials are unavoidably becoming an important part of the population, and you’ll need to appeal to them as potential clients. The influence of mobile phones has affected not only the way they communicate but also the way they make purchases. In today’s tech world, the majority of Millennials—and all consumers for that matter—turn to online reviews before making a purchase.

What are online reviews?

Online reviews are comments and ratings that customers post about a business on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. The standard format of an online review includes a rating from 1 to 5 stars, along with a field to add commentary to the rating. Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, it will be attached to the specific business for potential clients to view publicly. Weave customers have review software at their fingertips that makes reviews easy to manage.

1.  93% of Millennials rely on consumer reviews before making a purchase

So, if Millennials are really that important to your practice, what can you do to catch their eyes above your competitors? One of the best ways is to build your online footprint by getting quality online reviews from your patients. Nearly all Millennials rely on consumer reviews before making purchasing decisions.

Additionally, consumers aren’t trusting traditional advertising like they used to. In fact, 84% of Millennials don’t trust advertising at all, according to Hubspot. Social media, blogs, and online reviews have largely replaced traditional advertising. Young people now rely on their social networks to decide which product, service, and even family dentist to go with.

2. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Everyone knows word-of-mouth marketing is the best type. After all, you’re much more likely to buy something if a friend recommended it to you, aren’t you? What if I told you there’s something almost as effective as word-of-mouth, but that’s much easier to generate. Well, there is. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

3. 72% say a positive review gives them more trust in a local business

Online reviews began during the dotcom boom of the late ‘90s. Originally used only for big-name brands, they eventually moved into the local business arena. Now, there are even sites like Healthgrades where consumers can go to see reviews exclusively for doctors, dentists, optometrists, etc. In short, ratings for local businesses have become vital to the growth of any business, especially healthcare practices. In fact, 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, according to BrightLocal—which is up 14% in just 4 years, and growing.

4. 50% of Millennials rely on reviews to select a dentist, orthodontist, optometrist, etc.

Reviews aren’t just for Amazon products. Consumers increasingly rely on reviews to maneuver through the numerous listings of healthcare, eye care, and dental providers, finally settling on one they feel others—like them—recommend. PNC Healthcare reports that “half of millennials and Gen-Xers use online reviews to select care providers compared to 40 percent of baby boomers and 28 percent of seniors.” And now that even Baby Boomers and The Great Generation are jumping on the reviews bandwagon, are you ready?

5.  43% of consumers search a business by reviews at least one time per month.

If these impressive stats still haven’t convinced you, try a quick exercise. Take out your phone and search the term “dentist” or “optometrist” in Google. What’s the first thing you see? You most likely see a list of practices near you.

The moment you conducted that search, Google’s algorithms pinpointed where you are and the highest-ranking dental practices within your area. 10% of that ranking was decided by online reviews, as recently reported by Moz.com. If you want to grow your practice, you need to show up on that list. Then, once potential clients find you at the top of the list, you’ll want them “seeing stars” – preferably more than ten reviews with an average of between 4 and 5 stars.

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