False Online Reviews Even More Difficult than Negative Reviews

A recent court ruling regarding Yelp reviews is generating a lot of controversy. Digital Journal reported that a Virginia appeals court ordered Yelp to identify the reviewers who were responsible for seven negative reviews of a carpet cleaning company.  In today’s world, knowing how to manage your online reputation is critical to your business success.

When a patient expresses dissatisfaction in your office, your staff has been trained to identify and resolve the issue.  Unfortunately, resolving an issue isn’t quite so easy with online reviews.  When a negative review is posted anonymously, it can be difficult to identify the patient. If you can make a connection, you can move forward to correct the issue before the damage to your reputation spreads.

But, negative reviews aren’t the biggest issue for most medical spas and/or plastic surgeons. It’s the false reviews that create havoc and harm your reputation.  Reviewers who aren’t patients or hide behind assumed names in the name of free speech are like snipers who shoot at people from concealed locations. You don’t know it’s coming, so there’s little you can do to prevent or correct it.

Businesses and medical practices have grown weary of the sniper philosophy. It’s not just about their online reputation, but sniper activity causes many people to question to validity of online reviews.  Thus, you can see review sites add processes and measures for greater authenticity for online reviews.

The latest court case isn’t the first for Yelp.  But, the court’s decision to reveal the reviewers’ identity has the potential to change the way review sites manage anonymity and negative reviews. At the very least, it encourages business and medical practice owners to actively manage their online reputation and take a stronger stand against sniper activity.

When is the last time you looked at the online reputation for your medical practice? For you as a doctor?  For products or services that you offer? Right or wrong, a poor review can spread like a wildfire across Internet channels.  Don’t leave your online reputation to chance. Establish a process to manage it efficiently and effectively.  If you need help or encounter problems, contact our PUMC reputation management expert. She’s an expert at sniper control.

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