Posts Tagged ‘helpful tips’

Marketing Tips – How to Get Online Reviews (and Respond to Negative Ones)

October 15th, 2018

Reviews matter for small business, especially if you cater to the public. Online reviews bring the benefit of social proof, something we have talked about before. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as the recommendation of a friend.

So we all know reviews are important, but how do you get them? Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get ahead of the competition.
 

Claim Your Online Profiles

If you want to have control over your reviews, be sure to claim your online profiles. This means either setting up a profile or claiming the default listing created by review sites. Make sure you have a presence on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any industry-specific sites where your business can get reviewed.

If you must begin small, begin with taking control of your Google Business Page. Google reviews are the most important type of review for a dentist. Unless being referred, the first place a parent is going to go to find a pediatric dentist or doctor is Google to search for dentists in their neighborhood. If there are a number of options in an area, they will begin looking at reviews. For a small business competing against similar establishments in the same area, Google reviews can often be an important tiebreaker.
 

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Review You

Add links to your review pages on your website. Include links with your email correspondence and any e-newsletters. Make it easy by making it accessible.
 

Offer Incentives

Now that you are ready to receive and respond to reviews, how do you get them? Begin by offering incentives. This is helpful especially when you are a new business and do not have a lot of reviews. Offer a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop if they leave a review. Or create a contest where every good review is an entry into a prize draw – make sure you announce the winner on a social media to create excitement.

 
Ask the Right People

When looking for reviews, ask the right people. If you have a referral program set up and are able to track referrers you have a great resource at your disposal. If someone refers someone to your office they are obviously happy with your services. Send them a thank you for the referral, a referral gift, and of course, a link to leave a review.

Once you encourage your customers to leave reviews, make sure their efforts are rewarded with a reply from your business. Reply to every good review with a thank you. And be ready to reply to every negative review as well.

 
Earn Your Reviews

If you want good reviews, then you’ll have to earn them. Have great services, a friendly staff, and an amazing themed office that makes their kids calm and happy! Our clients often have excellent reviews talking about the fun environment created by adding games and themed decor.

“The kids loved playing on the iPads on the wall and in the hot air balloon while we waited. Great experience!”
 
“We also love the play area-lots of things to do while the kids are waiting.”
 
“Super clean and decorated beautifully – it made the kids more excited to be there. Would recommend without hesitation.”
 
“Had a TON of eye candy for the kids (awesome decor and video game screens all over the place!)”

If your clients genuinely like your business, you’ll get the reviews you want.
 

What Happens When You Get a Bad Review?

The majority of review sites will not allow you to delete a bad review, so be prepared to deal with them and use them to your benefit. Handling a bad review in a professional manner can actually be just as helpful as a good review as it can show how you handle negative situations.

Also, consumers trust a 4.5 star review more than 5 stars as they feel an imperfect score to be more truthful and reflective of the business. 5 stars are just too good to be true.

But back to how to handle those reviews. Here’s a quick rundown of points you should remember when you get a bad review:

1. You want to respond as quickly as possible so that others people are not able to read this angry review without your side of the story. But be cautious. Don’t respond in the heat of the moment or you may say something you don’t want out in the public.

2. Do your homework. Make sure you know your employees side of the situation before you craft a response.

3. Take responsibility for your part in the problem and offer a sincere apology. Even if the review is unjustified, be empathetic to the reviewer’s complaint. Let them know you understand their frustration and will help them with their issue. This shows others that you care about your customers’ opinions and feelings and will hopefully calm the anger of this particular reviewer.

4. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to bring this issue to your attention. Let them know you pride yourself on excellent customer service and appreciate the opportunity to make things right.

5. Don’t go into too much detail in your reply. Offer to take the conversation offline. You don’t want to start a debate with an irate customer on your wall of reviews, so offer to have to call or email to further discuss the issue.

If you’re dealing with an online troll, just walk away. That’s a fight you’ll never win. Anyone reading the review of a troll will know when someone is just being a bully compared to leaving a legitimate review.

 

With these tips and tricks, you have the know-how to get you on the right path to gain more reviews.

 

Engage, Entertain, and Educate – The Three E’s of Creating Office Decor for Kids

August 1st, 2018

IDS has gained notoriety as being the go-to company for creating office spaces designed with children in mind. When we design for kids we of course engineer the toughest product available, but we also look at the psychological side of how our creations will help children prepare for an appointment.

For this we follow the Three E’s: Engage, Entertain, and Educate!
 

Engage

Passively sitting and waiting for an appointment allows children’s anxiety to grow and fester. IDS wants to engage kids’ minds and bodies in activities in order to distract and calm them, creating good memories associated with their visit to the dentist. You won’t see faces like this at an IDS themed office:

Young patients aren’t just at an office for treatment; they are there to learn. Proving children an opportunity to engage in their education encourages a deeper understanding of their oral health, setting them up for a future of healthy teeth!

The end goal we hope to achieve by transforming an office is to promote a better appointment to allow for smoother, faster treatments and to encourage care to be continued at home.
 

Entertain

Time flies when you’re having fun! This phrase exists for a reason. The busier someone is during a time interval, the faster that time interval will feel like it has passed. There is a lot less time for a child to get anxious, bored, or build up tension about an upcoming procedure if they are lost in play.

From the study Influence of Positive Distractions on Children in Two Clinic Waiting Areas:

“Data analysis shows that the introduction of distraction conditions was associated with more calm behavior and less fine and gross movement, suggesting significant calming effects associated with the distraction conditions. Data also suggest that positive distraction conditions are significant attention grabbers and could be an important contributor to improving the waiting experience for children in hospitals by improving environmental attractiveness.”

IDS gaming tablets, slides, theaters, and play forts provide a number of outlets for kids to burn energy and reduce stress. Whether they are crawling around a play area, laughing at a funny kids movie playing in the theater, or using their mind to solve puzzles on an iPad, kids are having fun!

children palying on gaming tablets in reception area

The proof is in the reviews from parents. Taken from actual online reviews of our clients:

“Makes coming to the dentist fun and something to look forward to!”

“My son left the dentist with a huge smile, asking to come back again!!”

“If you’re a kid and you need to go to the dentist, this is the place to go! The atmosphere is fun, friendly, and eases the anxiety of seeing a dentist!”

If our theming isn’t fun for kids, then we’re not doing our jobs!
 

Educate

Last, but not least, we want to encourage the education of your patients when they visit your office. While making sure kids are having fun is our main goal, we want to ensure that we have an impact on the health of children as well.

Chair-side education is the current model for delivering information to patients. But is this the best way for them to absorb information? Studies show that using passive learning vs active learning creates a stark contrast in the retention of a lesson.

Many studies have found that, while individuals have various learning styles, on average people remember 90% of what they do compared to 20% of what they hear. When you were a student, did you learn more in a lecture hall or when you were actively working on a patient’s mouth? Kids are the same. Passive learning disempowers the student and takes the fun out of learning.

It is important that education is fun at a young age. Research has shown that if students do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, they might not engage or may even disengage all together in response (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004).

Waiting rooms are a place where children can experience hands-on learning and experiment with large replica teeth and other educational installations while still feeling as if they are just playing.

A large tooth with a cavity that emits a foul stink when you press a button gives a vivid demonstration of what actually happens to a rotten mouth. That’s memorable!

Our new augmented reality app created by VIVARRA is a great teaching tool. From jokes and fun interactive games to educational experiences that touch on healthy habits and good hygiene, we try to cover all the basics. The app also includes two-minute brushing timers that patients and their parents can use at home to help ensure they spend enough time focused on each area of the mouth. That’s a great feature!

IDS is dedicated to helping your patients have the best possible experience when they visit your office. Every office we create is ready to Engage, Entertain, and Educate!

 

Marketing Tips – 5 Easy Ways to Use an Award to Market Your Dental Office

March 31st, 2018

Awards are an honor to receive, as well as a great way to boost the reputation of your business. Let’s look at how an award can help your business.

Awards are a form of “social proof”. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. By showing that your business is recognized for its quality, you will help ease the minds of potential customers. Other examples of social proof are testimonials, ratings, and celebrity endorsements.

The easiest way to find awards to apply for is to search online for industry-specific awards available in your city, state, or country. Small business awards often contain multiple categories in which you can nominate yourself. Magazines, newspapers, and websites love to run “Best of…” contests and issues. You can even check out mom blogs and parent groups for more award opportunities. Be sure to use your unique IDS themed office to get more attention when you apply for awards. Once you start winning you can promote yourself as an “award-winning dental office”. Here are some simple ways you can use an award to market your business.

 

1. Get it in the news.

Send a press release to your local paper to announce your accomplishment. Local news crews are always looking for fun feel-good stories and will likely be interested in your story, especially if you have a visually interesting IDS themed office. This will get your name out there in an organic way that’s less intrusive than traditional advertising. You can also post these news stories to your own social media, so it’s a win-win.

 

2. Announce it!

Announce your award on social media or add it to the cover image. Social media is a great place to get excited about an award. Post a photo of you and your staff cheering to make it more personal.

 

3. Put it on your website.

Add the words “Award-Winning” to your company bio or list the award with your patient testimonials.

 

4. Display your awards.

A printed banner, plaque, or even a sticker on your front door allows old and new customers to see your awards.

 

5. Add it to your marketing materials.

If it’s a big win, go one step further and add it to your printed collateral that goes out to clients and colleagues: at the bottom of your letterhead, in the corner of your reminder postcards, or under your logo as a tagline.

 

These are only a few ideas to get you thinking. Getting positive press for your unique office is easy once you get started. Good luck with your awards!

 


IDS is proud to accept the Alberta Business Awards – Marketing Award of Distinction.

The Alberta Business Awards of Distinction recognize businesses and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and contribution to their community while having developed business acumen & management practices to ensure long-term sustainability. To date, over 250 companies have been named Alberta Business Award of Distinction recipients. We are proud to count ourselves among that number.

Marketing Team Heads Victoria Mitchell and Micaela Blondin

 

Going the Distance for Office Theming – Working with a Business in Canada

February 28th, 2018

The IDS head office is aaall the way up north in Calgary, Canada. To some that can seem like a long way to do business, but with the technology available to us, and the right people managing your project, we have it figured out. The 300 offices we have already themed are proof of that.

We make use of the latest technology to make you feel like you are right here with us while we build your office theme. Through online meetings, phone calls, e-mails, and in-progress photos, we make sure we stay connected. We also have a full fabrication shop in South Florida.

Traditional sketches and designs begin every project so we can come up with a tangible design you can actually see. We create virtual 3D models for all our props to ensure that what you see is what you get. With these digital models of your theme, you can visualize your props before they are even sculpted.

We will guide you through every step of the office design so you feel connected and confident that the work we do matches your vision, regardless of distance.

“I felt like I really had a sense of what I was doing in my office. From the online meetings and the markups that explained everything from colors and foliage, to the 3D models of my characters, IDS really created a complete picture. I didn’t realize I was going to see my whole office before it was built. I was so excited to see every new email you sent.”

– Dr. Tim Verwest

In 2017 we completed our first UK office in London and in 2018 we will be theming a hospital in Saudia Arabia. Distance isn’t stopping us from theming all over the world!

If you’re still feeling nervous you can come and meet the IDS Team at trade shows including the AAPD Annual Session. We attend every year with samples of our products. We love meeting our clients in person too! You can check out our trade show schedule on the bottom of our contact page.

 

Marketing Tips – The 3 Social Media Sites You Should Be Promoting Your Business On

December 1st, 2017

In the age of technology and digital communications, it is becoming increasingly important to market your dental practice through social media. Traditionally, mailed leaflets, phone calls, and word-of-mouth were the main sources of new clients. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile; which is a massive market waiting to be tapped by your practice. By using social media, you are able to put a face to your business and quickly and effectively reach out to previous and potential clients.

There are three main social networking sites that are best for reaching and interacting with your client base: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each serves a specific purpose and can be utilized in different ways.

1) Facebook

Facebook is best used when looking to connect with audiences and to share photos with those who are interested in your practice. You can add photos, events, and information relating to your practice that quickly updates patients on what you want them to know. Post consistently; several times a week is best for reaching those who follow you. When you host an event or grand opening for your themed office use Facebook as a tool to organize the event and share photos.

Post events, like your grand opening, to your social media accounts.

2) Twitter

Twitter, which allows you to post in 140 character snippets, is a fantastic tool for sharing tips and small bits of news. Unlike Facebook, you can only share 4 images at a time to a twitter post; which means Twitter inherently lends itself to posting several times a day with information your followers would find interesting. Tips on brushing habits, child education, fun dental crafts, and online reviews of your practice all have a place on your twitter feed.

The Instagram app.

1) Instagram

Instagram is a platform that allows your practice to post and tag a single photo or a small scrollable gallery. This social media platform relies on hashtags and photo filters to create an image for your practice and name. Instagram can be used as a tool for your staff to share office life, post photos of kids who are in the daily ‘no cavity club,’ and celebrate office events. It is less formal than Facebook and a great tool for connecting to your younger patient base.

 

It may sound time-consuming to utilize social media, but it often only takes a few minutes a day. By cross-posting your content to all three of these sites, you can consistently and efficiently reach out to patients who are interested in your practice with considerably less time. There are even programs that help you manage all of your accounts from one place, such as Hootsuite.

Placing advertisements on these platforms allows you to reach new clients without spending a fortune. Each of these sites also offers analytics so that you can immediately see who is following your practice, which types of posts generate the most interest, and track current dental trends.

Social Media is about more than simply posting content. The content you create is also pivotal to your success. Featuring events in the community, educating patients on the importance of dental health and lifestyle changes, and highlighting opportunities for clients to interact with your practice are all key. In order to create a ‘buzz’ around your practice, you can enter your office into dental design and local business competitions. This recognition not only increases the prestige of your office, it is the perfect promotional opportunity to share with your followers on social media.

The great thing about social media is that you can let your patients market your practice for you! A themed office gives patients plenty of photo opportunities that they want to share to their social media profiles. Choose a hashtag that relates to your office and encourage patients to tag your practice in the photos they take. Not only does this increase word of mouth recommendations, it also makes patients feel connected and excited about your office. A happy practice is a social practice!
 
From our artists to our engineers, we pride ourselves on the level of expertise each team member brings to the projects we create. Our experts want to offer some insight into their work and offer professional advice to help your dental office reach its full potential.

Micaela

Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications
Joined IDS in 2007