The Internet is the primary location for business these days, and business is booming. With client-friendly review sites like Yelp and similar, smaller outfits, business-owners are more obligated than ever to make sure their services are well represented. Even better, since Yelp is free to use, a company can really use the feedback to improve their services.
Client-Heavy Services Such as Physical Therapy
More than most other business, hands-on services such as physical therapy clinics are a lot more sensitive to Yelp reviews; especially since there’s plenty of competition and relationships with clients reflect more strongly than some of the more impersonal types of business.
Additionally, given that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has all-but decreed that Yelp reviews cannot be manipulated in any way by the businesses being reviewed, customer relationship management is crucial right from the start—and as the Wall Street Journal highlighted, bad reviews will probably stay up forever. There are a handful of things a company can do to best protect itself as prospective clients navigate Yelp to find the best services.
Don’t Post False Reviews
According to Eater New York’s blogger, Amanda Kludt, this has become a common practice and that popular websites have sprung up to find and lambast these kinds of reviews. Businesses that pay writers for false reviews are being discovered through the efforts of both Yelp and third parties, and this can be very damaging once the information is released. It’s much better to use digital marketing techniques on the actual company website, making sure that the incoming traffic is based on the keywords they expect to find –this minimizes the negativity that springs from unfulfilled expectations.
Don’t Pretend the Bad Reviews Don’t Matter
Simply put: Any company knows that it can have a ton of good reviews, but it’s the bad one(s) people will remember–it’s just human nature. Instead of pushing it far down the list, the business should, as Patient Sites recommends, take the opportunity to address the review kindly, respectfully and accurately. A physical therapy website, which is such a hands-on business, cannot afford to have a disgruntled customer’s bad review glaring prominently at the reader. A proper response generates a lot of goodwill; besides, reasonable people understand how unlikely it is for any business to have 100% positive reviews.
Don’t Take It Personally
One of the worst things a business can do when they receive a bad Yelp review is to launch into a heated defense of their services. The business would do well to remember the age-old customer service mantra “the customer is always right.” The general public still feels that way, and arguments between clients and the physical therapist never work out well for the therapist or the practice.
Remember to Conduct Relationship Management
The website coordinator might think it isn’t necessary to respond to good reviews; this is wrong. Although it’s not as important as crafting good responses to critics, it definitely improves the overall good will. The general feeling is, that kind of attention to detail translates to the businesses practices, as well.
Do Not Neglect the Company Page on Yelp
People can tell – easily, in fact – if the home page isn’t current. Consistency will also ensure the hours of operation are correct, the employee schedules are on point, and any other important aspects of the business that the public needs to know, are up-to-date. Yelp has huge potential to bring in more clients, which is why the savvy business keeps their page pristine.