Nearly 80 percent of patients use online review sites as their first step to finding a new doctor, according to a 2014 Software Advice survey.1
People are already using Yelp to find restaurants and auto body shops—and they trust it. Now they’re turning to Yelp to find chiropractors as well. How can you make sure potential patients know you’ve got their backs?
First step: Respond to reviews. Yelp reviews can influence potential patient decisions. In fact, 60 percent of surveyed consumers feel it is important for doctors to respond to online reviews. It’s crucial to join the conversation happening on Yelp, and it’s easy to respond in a way that does not violate HIPAA.
You can respond to reviews publicly or privately through Yelp for Business Owners. Remember: When responding to your reviews it is important to remain professional, thank the reviewer for their feedback, and share any updates that have been made to your practice as a result. Consumers see a response to a negative review as the business valuing the patient’s experience and wanting to engage with patients on a personal level.
Let’s break it down.
The positive review
Respond! These patients took time out of their day to give you positive feedback online. Sending a direct message is a fast and effective way to let those happy clients know you appreciate their feedback and their business. Every so often, respond to those stellar five-star reviews publicly so future patients know that you care.
The negative review
Take this is an opportunity to grow. When it comes to a negative review, it’s easy to get upset and worked up, but successful business owners remain calm, cool, and collected.
If you need to give yourself 24 hours to cool off, feel free. Then it’s time to respond and outline a plan to fix the situation.
Step 1: Respond privately to the patient. Try to dig in a bit and get more information about what happened. Thank them for reaching out to you and give them a way to communicate with you directly to get things resolved doctor-to-patient.
Step 2: Post a public response while you wait to hear back from the patient directly. This can be a generic message for the most part. Thank the reviewer for their feedback, outline steps you have taken to resolve the issue, and urge them to contact you to talk further about what happened. This shows that you value consumer feedback and want your customer experience to be exceptional. This public response is to showcase your business practices to all of your future patients. It’s not about trying to win that reviewer over.
We’re sure you’ve heard that Yelp discourages review solicitation. For starters, this practice creates innate bias.
Think about it: Most practitioners are only going to ask their happy patients to review their business, not the unhappy ones. Luckily, there are lots of ways to drive eyeballs to your Yelp business page and gain some reviews without having to ask directly.
Here are two “pro tips” for business owners to get their customers to rave about them online without asking for reviews:
Share your Yelp reviews on other platforms
When you have a great review you want people to see it. You can now log into Yelp for Business Owners and share your reviews on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or email. You’ll even see some businesses print their Yelp reviews and frame them in their businesses.
Be proud of your Yelp page
Beyond just telling your patrons that they can find your business on Yelp, make it visible in your store, on your company vehicles, and on your website. You can always request a “Find Us On Yelp” sticker here. Visit Yelp.com/brand to see all of Yelp’s approved stickers, signage, and hyperlinks to include Yelp in your email signature and on your website.
Emily Washcovick is a manager of local business outreach at Yelp. She hosts informational sessions with local business owners across North America to educate them on best practices for navigating the world of online reviews. She works with local business owners interested in utilizing Yelp to help grow their business. She also hosts a series of webinars on subjects relevant to business owners and regularly contributes content to Yelp’s “Blog for Business Owners.” She also acts as a liaison between the small business community and the different divisions within Yelp.
Use Patient Online Reviews to Benefit Your Practice. (2014). Software Advice. Retrieved 11 October 2016, from http://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/medical-online-reviews-report-2014/