Yelp Help – Removing Negative Reviews

Episode 032

Do you have some negative online reviews floating out on the interwebs? Today I discuss how we went to work on removing a negative Yelp and Yellow Page review…successfully! See what we learned.

We also cover an update on the merger of duplicate Google + pages. Yes, there are actual humans working at Google – I talked to one. All that with a couple of ideas from our listeners Kevin, Paul and Nick. Thanks for tuning in to episode 32 of Business of Dentistry!

Yelp Haters

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Do you have negative Yelp reviews that you’d like to dispute? Today I’ll talk about how to approach negative reviews on Yelp and other social media outlets. This topic was raised when a listener, Paul, wrote in with some suggestions for removing negative reviews online.

Now my suggestions won’t be about how to approach all negative reviews, I’m focused on what to do about negative reviews that were written by someone who was not in direct receipt of services rendered. Reviews that state the poster’s friend visited your practice and they give you 1 star or 2 stars as a result.

Paul wrote in to let me know that one of the clear-cut reasons Yelp, and other online review sites will remove a review is if it wasn’t written by someone who actually used or received your services.

Here’s an example from my own practice: we had a 1 star review on yelp. We couldn’t find this patient in our database, but the reviewer said I had refused to help her paralyzed son. I asked around in my office and none of us could remember a patient like that.

The person leaving the review didn’t give their name so we couldn’t track them down. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that review until after reading P aul’s comments, we went to task on this. We looked into how to report this review to yelp and we found when you log in Yelp gives you an opportunity to report the review and state your case.

I opted to report this review because it was not the customer who left the review, and that goes against Yelp policies.

We sent in our request to remove the review the day before I recorded this show, and I got an automated message back in response. It thanked us for reporting the review and said they’d look into it and get back to us in the next few business days; it also gave us a case number for future reference.

Later in the day I got another message from them and said they had had reviewed our case. They agreed that this review should be removed and they took it down. I checked and it is gone! It’s that easy when it meets their guidelines.

We repeated the same procedure with online Yellow Pages, and had the same experience. We reported a 1 star review that was left by a non-customer. Yellow Pages reviewed it and removed it at our request. So in 2 days we had two 1 star reviews removed from online review sites.

Also on today’s show I share how I fixed our Google+ presence, and actually spoke to a live human being in the process! To hear about all of that and more, listen to episode 32 of Business of Dentistry.

Tweetable: You have to pay attention to your online reputation.

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Drugs And Money

Episode 031

We are abandoning our plan to deposit our insurance checks electronically.  Find out why… We also discuss a way to save money on disposing of those wasted medications without having the corporate medical waste companies gouge you with their programs…this alone is worth the listen. Check it out on episode 31 of Business of Dentristy!

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Today I’m updating you on a few practices we’ve been trying out in my office: electronic deposits of insurance checks (versus in-person deposits) and medical waste disposal.

On a previous episode I received a question from a listener about whether or not I scanned checks electronically and deposited them. I explained on the show that I did electronic depsoits for over the counter personal checks but not insurance checks. I also explained I would look into doing so for insurance checks.

I did, I received a referral to a service provider that could do electronic deposits for us in conjunction with the system we have that runs our debit and credit cards. After going over the details I decided we’d give it a try for a few weeks. On June 1st we had the systems in place and started to make electronic deposits of insurance checks.

Two weeks later my office manager and I had to really dig into some issues that had cropped up. We had been getting letters saying the insurance checks weren’t being honored. All the checks went through, showed up as deposits in our business account, but when the request would get through to the insurance company’s bank they weren’t honoring the check and were kicking it back.

So at that point the money was being deducted from our business account, a frustrating experience to say the least.

Even with some digging by my office manager, Paul, we couldn’t find out what was going wrong exactly. We knew the money went to my account but the bank the insurance company sent the check from was rejecting the request for an electronic funds transfer. When that rejection occurred then the money was pulled out of my business account.

It was happening with about 20% of these checks, so not all of them but enough. Fortunately we were holding on to the paper checks just in case something went wrong.

My experience with this way of depositing insurance checks is that it isn’t worth it. Granted it was a narrow window of 2 weeks, but the 20% return rate of the checks was just too high to continue this practice. Until we can dig into this more we’ve stopped electronic deposits of insurance checks. We will either take paper checks or sign up with direct deposits with insurance companies.

If you have different information or have had a different experience, I’d love to hear from you. And if something has worked for you I’d love to know about it! Leave a comment below or email me with your experience.

Also on today’s show I weigh in with my thoughts on medical waste disposal (ie what to do with unused drugs from your practice). I think disposing of unused drugs is very important, and I explain some options I’ve explored. I’ll also get into my personal history of owning a small medical waste company and some of the more unscrupulous practices that I think are happening in that industry.

To hear about all of that and more listen in to episode 31 of Business of Dentistry.

Tweetable: “We are all in this together.

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Business Trend Awareness In Your Practice

Episode 030

Are you aware of the general business trends that may impact your practice? In today’s episode we discuss some of these trends and how they may play a role in the overall success of our practices. Check it out on episode 30 of Business of Dentistry!


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The 2016 trends I’ll be talking about today apply to the business realm at large, I will explain how they relate to our dentistry world. I’ll be talking about trends like part-time jobs, social media influence, the not-com movement and technology.

Let’s look at part-time jobs first. In general this trend is citing an increased interest in part-time jobs in the marketplace today. There are more people interested in these roles, which gives us as business owners and practitioners more potential candidates for our offices.

Personally this is true for me:  out of the 10 people in my office and five are part-time. For example, I have one dental assistant who works for me three days a week and works for a nearby general practitioner two days a week. I have another surgical assistant who works four days a week, as does my office manager. One of my receptionists is here four days a week as well.

One of the advantages of part-time help for you is you may not have to extend all benefits to all of them. In my office everyone gets paid holidays and paid vacations. I personally extend benefits to all staff across the board, but you may not have to do that.

If you need to reduce your overhead and your costs you can opt for part-time staff. This also helps you avoid paying for an over-manned or overstaffed office.

Whatever your choice, I’ve found that part-time employees have tremendous value. Take a look at your staffing needs and see if you can bring in part-time help. I’ve leaned on my part-time people to help me grow my practice.

Another trend in 2016 is social media influence. I like to think of social media as a new form word of mouth advertising. Social media is all about your reputation, online. Even if you aren’t using social media you still have to be aware that your patients are. If you aren’t going to participate you have to know you will be talked about online. And the only way to find out what is being said is to at least be superficially engaged in social media.

A great example is I had a recent client check in at my office on Facebook. She’s a repeat customer and was stopping in for a consult. I only knew because I had my notifications on and my phone was on my desk. I saw her check in and knew she was using social media to let others know the same.

The bottom line is people are engaged in social media whether you like it or not, so you will have to have some form of knowledge about what is being said about you in that world. I know some docs resist it but I personally think social media here to stay!

Those are just two of the trends I delve into on this episode. I’ll also talk bout how technology can be utilized in your practice (it’s another trend), as well as the not-com movement and the small mom & pop business trend. To hear about all of those and more listen in to episode 30 of Business of Dentistry – and leave a comment letting me know how these trends are showing up in your practice.

Tweetable: It is not easy, the struggle is real!

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Patient Paperwork Struggle

Episode 029

Do you have new patients pre-register in your office? That’s exactly what I’ve been working to implement with my staff and our patients.

In today’s episode I discuss the struggles my practice has had with patient paperwork and our attempts to move to a paperless office. I also discuss my use of Formstack as a work around. Thanks for tuning in to episode 29 of the Business of Dentistry!


More About This Show

One of the biggest ongoing frustrations I’ve had has been patient paperwork. All too often patients come in for their appointments and spend 20 minutes to 45 minutes filling out the basic forms necessary for their procedures.

We’ve tried a few other options including mailing the paperwork ahead of time, and emailing them with links to the forms online. Overall we’ve been moving towards a paper-free practice so the latter has been my preference. My office manager and I debated about gathering all the information online because he prefers the physical paperwork, and I would rather have everything done online.

So we’ve met in the middle and provide an online option, a mailing option and an in-person option. With the online forms we had some integration issues initially so I found a workaround in Formstack.

Formstack allows you to build your own online forms and documents; the forms can be customized according to your needs. Once the forms are built you add links on your web site and in your emails to your patients. The patients click the links and are able to fill in all the necessary information online, saving paper and making for a more efficient process overall.

In our experience there are pros and cons to taking information online. On the plus side your patients can fill out their information when it’s convenient for them, and they have their insurance information in their home so they don’t waste time in your office looking for it.

Also your staff knows who and what you are dealing with ahead of time. So if someone has special needs you’ll know that in advance. I know one practitioner who has gone so far as to have an online questionnaire asking his patients if they are afraid of the dentist, have any anxiety about their visit or if they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Knowing information like that helps him and his staff provide the best customer service experience possible.

While those benefits are great we’ve also seen some down sides to online forms. In some cases people are reluctant to fill in some information online (like financial details). We work around that by making some information optional online, and we gather those details when they come in.

Another drawback is some people either don’t have email or don’t check their email. If they don’t have email we’ve been mailing their paperwork to them. Of course sometimes they forget to bring their paperwork in and they have to fill out the information again, so they spend twice as much time on paperwork.

And if they don’t check their email we track that in our system and give them a call to remind them. Usually that is enough for them to remember to fill out their forms online, and everything is sorted by giving them that quick reminder call.

Overall we are working towards having 80% of our patient paperwork being done online, I think the more we can go paperless the more efficient and effective we will be as a practice. Going paperless and everything else we do is with the intention of providing the best overall customer experience we can for each and every person who comes into our office.

What do you think? What do you do in your office about patient paperwork? What has worked, and what hasn’t? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you!

Tweetable: A true 100% paperless practice is a unicorn.

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