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Trust and the Internet

4-starsVery interesting article by former consumer reporter John Stossel.

I trust these ratings much more than any certificate of approval from the Department of Business Regulation.

via Trust – John Stossel – Page 2.

He makes several very important points that have a direct impact on dentistry. First, as a consumer affairs reporter he found that businesses that ripped off consumers were almost always small and local. A company simply could not survive and grow to become a national brand if it was cheating or failing to deliver as promised.

Second, Trust is absolutely required in order for business to function and communities to prosper. If everyone assumes that everyone else is always out to cheat them then business either ceases or huge additional costs are added. Dentistry is a trust business. Our patients cannot judge the quality of the work they receive they must trust the dentist. And the dentist in turn must trust that the patient will pay as agreed after the work is complete.

Third, trust must be earned. If a business (or a dentist) gets a reputation for dishonesty the business is doomed. The Internet provides a huge platform for building trust.

Online reviews and customer ratings build trust. As a buyer you are much more likely to buy a product online and send money to a stranger via E-bay for example if he/she has a high rating and a number of positive reviews from happy customers.

Medical Dental Research

The online review trust factor is very important in dentistry. Research indicates that one third of US adults have either gone to or avoided a physician based on online ratings.

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