The San Francisco-based business review site Yelp recently shared tips for dentists looking to improve their online reputations.
According to Yelp, an increasing number of patients turn to online review sites to share their experiences. To help dentists, Yelp has provided tools in their business account (www.biz.yelp.com). The free tools allow business owners to respond to Yelp reviews.
Yelp notes that responding to reviews can be difficult -- especially critical reviews. Yelp has offered these suggestions for responding:
1 - Claim your business page on Yelp: Strapped for time? Good news - it will take no more than a few minutes to claim your business listing on Yelp and use the suite of free tools available in your business account to optimize your listing and begin attracting new patients. To begin the claiming process, visit www.biz.yelp.com and click ‘Create your free account now’. You’ll want to be at your place of business as Yelp calls the number listed on your business listing and prompts you to enter a 4 digit code at the end.
Once inside your business account, you’ll have access to several free tools to optimize your listing to give potential patients a full picture of what they can expect at your practice. Be sure to add your bio, upload photos of your practice, include information about what you specialize in and, perhaps most importantly, respond to reviews.
2 - Identify the reviews you should respond to: A new review has been posted to your dental practice’s Yelp listing...now what? For starters, determine if the review is positive, one that includes constructive criticism or maybe just an unhelpful rant. It’s important to point out that nearly 80% of reviews on Yelp are 3 stars or higher. However, when you do receive a review with constructive feedback, you may be able to look at this as an opportunity to respond.
In your business account on Yelp, you have the option to send a private message or post a public comment. While aiming to comply with privacy rules like HIPAA, dentists can and do use Yelp’s free tools to engage with patients in several ways. First, they can always privately respond to a reviewer. A private message is similar to sending a personal email and is visible only to the reviewer. This is a good first step to get more information from a customer about a less-than-positive experience. It’s also great to pay attention to happy customers by sending them a quick private message, thanking them for taking the time to write a positive review about your practice. Second, they also have the option of responding publicly without disclosing anything about the reviewer. Instead, doctors can describe their general practices as opposed to commenting on a specific incident or course of treatment.
3 - Always respond diplomatically: When it comes to responding to your reviews, remain professional, thank the reviewer for their feedback and share any updates that have been made to your business as a result of the reviewer’s feedback. When you use Yelp’s messaging tools properly, like Sacramento’s Children's Choice Pediatric Dental Care, it may result in a review update. Don’t forget to pay some attention to your happy clients by sending a quick message to thank them for writing a positive review, much like how Dental Care of Antioch does. Keep in mind that consumers are looking at the BIG picture about how a business is being perceived, so we recommend that they try not to focus or obsess over one single review.