Online reputation for your business is critical as you only get ONE shot to get it right. Alienate your clients/patients/customers/enter title for the people who give you money here OR ignore their feedback and you may just go out of business as a result. Back in the pre-Internet days, you would ask your neighbor what they thought of that new steakhouse on Main Street or how the Honda dealership treated them. But times have changed, and changed in a profound way. Now you just hop online and head over to Google Places, Yelp, Dealerrater, Citysearch or any of the countless other sites that allow consumers to rant, and rave, about local businesses. Your online repuation is now KEY to your success.
Then there is Dr. Stacy Makhnevich, a dentist in New York. “She is alleged to have gotten her teeth so deeply into a patient that she began charging him $100 a day for negative Yelp reviews. The way TechDirt examines it, Makhnevich requires patients to sign a form handing her copyright to any online reviews.”
And now she is being sued in what could be a Class Action lawsuit [http://www.docstoc.com/docs/106140901/Lee-v-Makhnevich-complaint]
A bit extreme, I grant you, but equally as extreme I would argue as asking your patients to refrain from posting reviews online about their experience at your practice.
The reality is this, business owners need to treat people better. Those who do will receive glowing reviews. Those who do not will get hammered as I think they should. Online reviews have even made their way into Google algorithm so it is definitely something to pay close attention to. How you treat your client today may affect where you rank organically tomorrow.
If you find yourself in the need of online reputation management, ReachCast, is ReachLocal's award winning solution for business owners who wish to outsource their web presence optimization (Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Reputation Management rolled into one) to trained experts in the field of Internet Marketing.
What do you think of the dentist’s actions? Were you amazed to find that someone sued her over it? How do you feel about the power of online reputation on a business owner’s bottom line? Do you have a horror story of your own to share?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1.4 million in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
For your information, this blog was inspired by http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57334784-71/dentist-charges-patient-for-negative-yelp-reviews-suit-says/