Wednesday, January 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Entrepreneur helps dentists avert the pain of Internet bashing

SMALLBIZ-DENTIST-BASHING

Dentist Leonard F. Tau talks with a patient on the phone about a Groupon deal, May 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. At right is a countertop display letting patients know he is on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and Youtube. (Michael S. Wirtz/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

When Leonard Tau’s father opened his dental practice in New York in 1971, attracting business required very little effort.

“My dad put a shingle up, and the patients just came,” Tau said.

By the time Tau started his practice in Philadelphia in 2007, the Internet had made life anything but smile-worthy for dentists.

What are now more than 100 websites that collect and republish consumer reviews (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.) can turn a patient’s miserable experience with a root canal into a reputation nightmare for a dentist. That’s not counting fake reviews posted by competitors.

There’s not enough Novocaine on the planet to dull that pain.

And it’s why Tau, owner of Pennsylvania Center for Dental Excellence, now has a dual career – the second one dedicated to getting dentists, and any small business for that matter, to practice “reputation marketing.”

“It’s about building trust and credibility,” said Tau, 40, of Blue Bell. And about being proactive discouraging bad reviews.

To quote iSocialReviews.com, the website for the software Tau helped develop and now sells: “Never Let a Bad Experience Go Public.”

Personally, Tau said, he is “not about suppressing negative.” A litany of positive-only reviews is not believable, he said. But people in general tend to complain more than compliment, so the aim of iSocialReviews is to ensure positive patient feedback gets on review sites, too.

It’s an aggressive approach the Internet has made a necessity, said Marc Brownstein, interim director of the Center for Corporate Reputation Management at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and president and CEO of the Brownstein Group marketing agency in Philadelphia.

“The Internet holds companies and individuals accountable every day,” Brownstein said. “You have to manage your brand every waking hour.”

But, he added, software programs can do only so much: “In general, the best defense against negative reputation is be excellent at what you do.”

How Tau’s dentistry came to take on a tech/marketing emphasis stems from an experiment in June 2010, when, he said, he became the first dentist in Philadelphia to offer a Groupon deal.

“It was a huge boon to my practice,” said Tau, who sold 513 vouchers for treatments valued up to $750 at just $59 each.

That led to invitations to speak at professional conferences about the experience. In July 2011, Tau had his first paying client for marketing advice.

He estimates he has been picking up one new dentist or practice a month – for $4,500, if he doesn’t make an office visit; $6,500, plus travel expenses, if he does.

His expansion into software development started with an article Tau wrote for the January 2013 issue of Dentaltown magazine titled “Yelp Can Be Detrimental to Your Practice; Ways You Can Combat It.”

Someone who read the article was creating a reputation-management software program and contacted Tau for his help. Launched about 18 months ago, iSocialReviews is used by nearly 100 dentists, said Tau, who charges $347 a month.

The software is designed to collect feedback from patients before they leave a dental office, with the staff in sole control over which patients to select for input.

Patients’ comments post to Facebook, the dentist’s website, and an iSocialReviews Google-indexed website. Tau said patients are encouraged to share their thoughts on review sites of their choice, as well.

The software can also analyze on which of the largest review sites a dentist’s patients are registered and determine which sites need a positive review the most. It sends prompts to patients to encourage comments there.

“If you ask the right patients, close to 100 percent will leave you positive feedback before they leave the office,” says a promotional brochure for iSocialReviews.

If a patient submits a critical review to iSocialReviews, his or her dentist is alerted via text message so concerns can be promptly addressed — and, ideally, an Internet bashing averted.

That Tau has struck a nerve – to use a sensitive term in dentistry – is evident from how much he is away from home these days. He travels three to four weekends a month for speaking engagements and consulting work, he said, hopeful that dental schools will address reputation management in their curriculums.

One of Tau’s clients is Richard Racanelli, 37, a dentist in Las Vegas who has just rebranded his practice and created a website under Tau’s tutelage.

“As more younger people get into dentistry who are into technology, that’s going to become more of the norm,” Racanelli said.

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • General Fadi BasemMay 29, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    Another one bites the dust...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • General Fadi BasemMay 29, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    I had a totally miserable experience at a local restaurant. My order was delivered to another table, and the dish sat there for over five minutes. When it became apparent to my server, he told the other table's server "that goes over there" indicating my dish and my table. The other server picked up the dish and delivered it into the back. And it later emerged with smiles shortly thereafter. Only to be rejected by the customer, who saw all this unfold. And then the servers lied about it to the "manager".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • General Fadi BasemMay 30, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    The rest of the comment got deleted. ??

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    2 Solano road projects get green light

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
     
    Rush Ranch seeks docents

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

    Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Vanden to host science fair

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

    Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police to offer parenting class

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

     
    Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
    Motorcyclist leads CHP on afternoon chase

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

     
    Coalition members review tobacco control report card

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

     
     
    American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

    Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

     
    Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

     
    Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    .

    US / World

    Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Officials lose track of billions in funding

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Police: Parents who killed selves, kids feared apocalypse

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Catholic church in San Francisco to phase out altar girls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    ‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    On Auschwitz anniversary, leader warns Jews again targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    Economic recovery, brought to you by technocrats

    By Jared Bernstein | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

     
    We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Sports

    Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

     
    Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lynch at Media Day: ‘I’m here so I don’t get fined’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    .

    Obituaries

    Clarence E. Morgan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Don Johnson

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 9 Comments

    Dzhon Athanc

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Julia P. Tan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Woodrow Allen Oakley

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Donald Wesley Johnson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Joseph Phillip Raiff

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6