First off I want to apologize for not posting sooner as for those who know me know that I am always connected, always working and I never shut down. I spent 10 days in St. Maarten over Christmas and New Years and promised myself that I would not do any work while on vacation and I actually kept my word. For my subscribers and for those who have emailed me I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I envision exciting things for Reputation Matters in 2015 and look forward to sharing them with you. If you like this let me know and more importantly tell your friends to subscribe. Now onto this weeks blog post….
In my last blog post I talk about the roller coaster of emotions when dealing with reputation by describing real life experiences that occurred in my office from a negative perspective. Now I want to talk about the great things that can occur when it comes to your reputation. In the last post there was an incident that I related about a negative review left on Yelp by a patient of mine. Unfortunately even though the patient had a limited presence on Yelp with only 8 reviews and zero friends her negative review never got filtered (or not recommended) by Yelp. FYI , I will be spending a lot of time talking about Yelp and their business practices in future posts. From my perspective the reason why it has not been filtered is that is a very detailed explanation of her visit regardless of whether it is true or not. As I have pointed out before the best defense against a negative review is more positives. When I receive a negative I start asking other patients who I know have had a great experience in the office to post feedback for us. If you ask 10 you may get one or two to post. In my office we actually use a software program that I helped develop to facilitate the process of collecting and sharing the reviews. If you would like more information about it, please do not hesitate to contact me ( I will also talk about the software in future posts). What I did not expect but it is great when it happens is that a loyal patient of yours comes to your defense and posts an unsolicited review in defense of your office. One week after City L posted her negative Yelp review, Mike A posted a review in defense of me. Here is his post….
It felt so good when I was alerted via my numerous reporting software that Mike went out of his way to counteract the negative review left for my office. Yelp believe it or not filtered his review but I am working with a company has proven time and time again that they can get negatives filtered and positives out of the filter and a week later it appeared out of the filter and my rating went up from 2 1/2 stars to 3 stars. You can see that Mike had 5 friends and an amazing 168 reviews. He is what you would consider a Yelper (someone who is active on Yelp with a lot of reviews and/or friends). These are the people you want to focus on when leaving reviews on Yelp. If the reviewer has minimal friends and/or minimal reviews you can expect that the review will get filtered. Like it or not you need to play by Yelps rules. If you have a Yelp review that is not left by an actual patient for example a husband of the patient, friend, etc Yelp will take it down if you let them know as Yelp states that all reviews must be left by actual patients. I have gone on a Yelp rant which was not the direction I was looking to take.
The point I was trying to make is if you make reputation a culture in your office and are active in social media your followers will come to your defense and help combat negativity that gets posted online. I will repeat that you need to proactive and not reactive when it comes to reputation.
Almost every day a new patients come to my office and mentions to me that the reason they chose my office was because my “reviews”, I also mentioned that my reputation helps patients trust me more. The same day the patient who left the negative Yelp review was in, a new patient came in and I want to show you how powerful reputation is.
When I reviewed Mel’s health history this is what I found….. for the question who may we thank for this referral , his answer…. All those who provided good reviews.
A little background on Mel, he had not been to a dentist in almost 10 years and was coming in for an evaluation. My hygienist saw him and as expected he had moderate to advance periodontal disease requiring scaling and root planing. His insurance was very limited but after explaining to him what he needed done and reviewing the cost associated he said the magic work, no problem, whatever it takes, I trust you. When I hear that I always like to further the discussion and he told me he had done a lot of research before choosing my office and although my prices were higher mostly everyone who had written reviews about my office said the same thing and he believed them. Mel proceeded to have his scalings done and a few days later he referred his wife to my office ( a personal word of mouth referral). Turns out she chose not to have treatment done but would rather go back to India to save some money. Mel also referred his brother to my office and he should be coming in this week for an initial exam and I would assume that he the trust factor has already started with him based on what Mel has told me. At the end of the day regardless of the bad experience that someone had in my office my online reputation was responsible for getting patients to do treatment. This is a daily event in my office and the same can occur in your office if you make reputation a priority. I left that night with a smile on my face knowing that my reputation matters.