It goes without saying that trust is a key – if not the key – to a successful patient-doctor relationship. The problem that we as dentists face today is that unlike 10 years ago, trust does not begin at the door to your waiting room – it begins with the first visit to your website. In this article I’m going to review a few quick things you can do right now to increase the trust relayed by your dental website.
I’m on record as saying that I don’t like Facebook and Twitter, and other social sites. But I’m also on record saying that having these icons prominently displayed on your website is a very important trust-builder. Now that the “wow” factors is gone for social media, there is an expectation that all websites have social media icons. So even if you never post on Facebook, the fact that you have a Facebook icon on your website reassures that patient that you are “up to date”. Now that may not be entirely true, but the point is that you no longer get “bonus points” for having social media icons on your site – if fact you “lose points” if you don’t have them. So tip #1 is to add social media icons to your website right away!
Patients want to see that you are a dentist from an accredited university, that you take 10 Million CE’s per year, and that you are an ADA/AGD/etc. member. But they also want to know that you love coaching your child’s soccer team, and that you are an avid stargazer. They do NOT want to hear that you paid for the entire soccer team to go to Hawaii for a week in a 5-star hotel, or that you bought a $5,000 telescope. A dentist once asked me what to put on his biography page and I sad, ”Put a picture of you playing Frisbee with your dogs and your kids. And if you dn’t have dogs or kids, then borrow them!”. And I’m 100% serious. Patients want to know that you are a dental expert, but they also want to know that you are a person, too (but a person that doesn’t spend THEIR hard-earned money on 5,000 telescopes)
Many dentists ask me why they need a “Meet the Staff” page and I explain that you need if for two reasons. One – the more patients can see of your office before they come in such as an office tour, and pictures with short bios of your staff members, the more comfortable the patient will be, as there will be fewer surprise. Two – if you have a Meet the Staff page – it may reflect the unwritten fact that you have a certain level of respect for your staff – and that’s important. Management books will teach you that people will judge you by the way that you treat others – especially your employees. Why not let the world know that you are proud of your staff, and that you appreciate what they do for you and your patients?
Your website is a first step for many people in their journey to becoming a patient – or otherwise finding a competitor for their dental treatment. Think of your website as your online resume – put your best foot forward, and make sure that the first thing that comes out of your proverbial mouth is “trust”.