Healthcare profiles on Yelp continue to gain credibility for potential and current patients. They serve as a reliable source of feedback regarding patient satisfaction and experience. While many doctors refuse to accept the overall effects of online patient reviews, the fact remains that Yelp reviews have a profound impact on your practice.
Your Yelp business profile can easily help or hurt your healthcare practice. People turn to Yelp to gain insightful information on the quality of services your practice provides. Therefore, it’s important to stop ignoring Yelp reviews from your patients. Focus more heavily on how you can use your Yelp profile to boost your patient intake, and you will see a drastic change in patient retention.
Yelp Reviews Capture Patient Experience
More than 80 million online users read and write reviews yearly. Reviews greatly affect a customer’s purchase behavior and while most health care providers assume this doesn’t pertain to the type of services they provide–they’re wrong. A bad review of your practice can turn potential patients away in an instant.
The average doctor’s name or practice is Googled anywhere from twenty to over one hundred times per month. That’s a lot of traffic when it comes to your health care provider information. Especially for independent practices, bad reviews can have a negative effect on your bottom line revenue.
Not only can a bad Yelp review cause a potential patient to turn away from your practice, existing patients often head to the internet to find your phone number, address, or business hours and if they land on your Yelp profile and see a negative Yelp rating, you might find your existing patients being influenced to switch health care providers.
Improve Your Practice with Proactive Yelp Profile Management
As with most things, the effects of Yelp on your practice can go both ways. Yelp profiles have gained search engine optimization priority over time. This can lead to an increase in your rankings when patients go to the internet to search your name or practice, especially when it comes to Google. Yelp reviews are exceeding online content in search engine results, so it’s important to be proactive when it comes to managing your Yelp profile.
The first step in using Yelp to your advantage is to go online and claim your business profile. Unfortunately, although HIPPA protects patients, there is no system set in place to protect your name or your practice as a health care provider. This can be an absolute nightmare for doctors. According to Fortune.com, some doctors note that even non-patients have gone online to submit bad reviews from an experience they had with the office staff or parking.
When you take charge of your business through Yelp, make sure all your information is correct. Use the business description as an opportunity to describe the level of care you provide to your patients. You can highlight any accolades and awards you have received. Submit quality images that portray a vision of your practice that closely meets your mission. Unfortunately, many patients head to review platforms like Yelp to complain and add their own unflattering photos (dirty office, overflowing trash cans) that can greatly damage your online reputation.
With social media at the forefront of communication, patients often turn to these platforms to share perspectives on their diagnosis, treatment, and personal experiences. It serves as a coping strategy for patients and can aid in their recovery. Because online reviews and social media content can impact your online reputation, the fate of your practice lies primarily in the hands of your patients. Many doctors don’t like this trend because of the power it gives to patients from a business standpoint. But, if you focus on the benefits of doctor and patient interaction, and use your Yelp profile as a marketing and communication tool, you can shift patient power to drive clients to your practice rather than turning them away.
Patient to patient communication is a vital part of building trust among your current and potential patients. Therefore, doctors have little choice but to participate in the world of online reviews. So, stop ignoring the importance of Yelp, when it comes to your practice. Focus on giving your patients the entire experience. This will improve your online reputation and leave your patients fully satisfied in your capabilities as their health care provider.
As a leading provider of online reputation management for healthcare providers, our goal is to provide you services that improve your practice.