After 12 years of operating a joint dental practice, Dr. Chad Ellis, owner and dentist at The Smile Studio, set out to start his own business. Because his partner was retaining the old practice and patients, Ellis would need to build up the online reputation for the new practice from scratch.
Early in his career, Ellis relied almost totally on word of mouth and referrals to attract new business. But over time that began to change, to the point where Ellis estimates that now more than 70 percent of new patients come in as a result of an online search. To ensure The Smile Studio would start getting traction in search results, Ellis enlisted the help of an SEO agency.
The agency suggested the practice focus on collecting online reviews as a way to improve its SEO ranking and introduced Ellis to Podium. “Since we were starting a new practice, we wanted to prime the pump,” related Ellis. “After talking to experts in SEO, I realized the importance of being found through search engines and online reviews were a huge component of that.”
A Five-star Practice
After a brief training call, Ellis and his staff were off and running quickly. Because the dental hygienists have the most contact with the patients, they are typically the ones who are sending out the invitation, but everyone in the office, from front office staff to Dr. Ellis, is invested in securing online reviews for the practice. As a result, practically no one leaves the office without being asked if they would be willing to leave a review.
In the short time since The Smile Studio has implemented Podium, the practice has secured 79 new reviews, which is nearly double the reviews as Ellis’ previous practice received in 12 years and has an average star rating of five stars across all platforms.
“We have found that if you preface the invitation by walking them through the process and asking them to leave a review and a few comments, it increases your chances to secure a review,” said Ellis.
One of the features that Ellis likes most about Podium is the leaderboard. To motivate his team to send out review invitations, Ellis is offering a bonus to the member of his team who has the most combined invites sent and reviews received. The competition has not only helped increase the number of reviews The Smile Studio has received but has added to the camaraderie of The Smile Studio team.
One of the biggest benefits of implementing Podium has been the lift in local SEO. Back in November of 2015, The Smile Studio was all the way on page 14 of search engine results but has slowly been moving up in the rankings. Now, according to Ellis, depending on where you are searching from or what wording you use, The Smile Studio now shows up in the top three of the Google Map pack.
Additionally, Ellis and his team appreciate how quick and easy it is to use Podium to invite customers and manage reviews. “Using Podium is really quite easy,” concluded Ellis. “It’s on all of our computers, so whether we ask the patient in the treatment room or at the reception desk at the conclusion of the appointment, within about 20 seconds we can get a review invite out to them. It couldn’t be simpler.”
Online Reputation Management With Podium
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.