When asked if their dental practice has been affected by consumer review website Yelp.com, dentists were divided between feeling that Yelp is good for their practice, Yelp has caused problems for their practice, and being unsure if Yelp was having an effect on their practice.
Yelp.com is a social networking, user review, and local search website. A few years back it was accused of burying negative customer reviews in exchange for money.
Due to this allegation and the backlash it ensued, Yelp changed its review policies and advertising techniques.
We were curious if this was having any effect on dental practices. Many of the dentists surveyed had strong opinions about their experiences with Yelp.
“One of our dentists had one negative review and many positive reviews,” noted one dentist. “Yet the negative review was always the first one shown.”
In this survey, 41% of dentists didn’t know if Yelp was having an effect on their practice, 31% felt Yelp caused problems, and 28% say Yelp is good for business.
Here are some dentist comments:
- “We have had a couple poor reviews from two young males. Both complained about our fees.” (California dentist)
- “Patients get to lie on Yelp, but because of HIPAA, we cannot tell the truth about the patient and what really happened.” (Georgia dentist)
- “I’m not a big believer in Government Regulation, but I don’t believe attacks should be one-sided . . . there are always two sides to every story, and the dentist’s side Never gets out! These sites should be forced to allow the Practitioner response.” (Arkansas dentist)
- “Only one review — and it’s positive — so don’t know the impact.” (Georgia dentist)
- “According to San Francisco Chronicle, the owner is a lawyer who started his business by fabricating bad reviews about 800 businesses, which he extorted money from in order to remove the same bad reviews. He tries to hide behind the first amendment. He has caused tremendous damage to dentists all across US by letting disgruntled patients vent numerous insults, while making good reviews about the practice from happy patients disappear to an unreachable filtered section.” (California dentist)
- “Anonymous blogs/posts can be placed demeaning anyone! The Tattletale websites: Yelp, Angie’s List, Yahoo, etc take no responsibility on the accuracy. These sites have a poor track record (in my opinion).” (General dentist)