As you’re probably aware, Google changed things dramatically for every local business on June 1, 2012. That day was the start of a new era where a business’ “reputation” is shown in multiple places online. And depending upon your situation, you may have to begin an aggressive online reputation repair process.
First, go to Google and search for your business by “your business name – city”. If you don’t see any reviews using this technique, try “your business name – city – reviews.”
Your website and Google Local listing should appear along with other listings (e.g., Yelp, YP.com, etc.) where your customers, clients, or patients (and others) can and probably have left reviews about your business.
Hopefully you have a large number of reviews showing across multiple websites, all with a 4 or 5 star rating.
If not, it’s time for serious online reputation repair…not doing so will probably cost you new business.
There are two main situations you need to address.
Not Enough Reviews
If you have no or few reviews immediately talk with or contact your existing customers, clients, or patients and ask them to leave a review on Google. This is the first place to start.
Also, if you see that some of your competitors have “stars” showing in their Google Local listing, you’ll need a minimum of five reviews showing in Google to get the stars to show for your listing.
Negative (or False) Reviews
You may find negative reviews left by someone who’s never done business with you, a not uncommon occurrence (you may have overly aggressive competitors who employ this tactic). This can be very disconcerting, but there’s a solution.
Or, you may have valid negative reviews left by a customer, client, or patient that was upset.
In both cases, the best response is to actually respond to the review (in Google, e.g.) very professionally and address the situation.
In the case of false reviews, we’ve seen responses along the lines of “We take all of our patient feedback very seriously. Unfortunately, we find no record of your ever having been in our office. Please call us and we’ll do our best to get your issue resolved”…or something like that.
Handling both of these situations are an important part of online reputation repair and can help your practice to grow.