I'm adding one more thing to your plate


I know being a provider these days is really stressful. Trying to keep up with Medicare's ever-changing policies—do those cryptic DME MAC updates even help?—as well as keeping up with everything every other business owner has to keep up with, like payroll, community involvement, taxes, etc. is a huge job.

And then, as if keeping track of all the paperwork isn't enough, consultants are saying you need to branch out to new products, keep thinking about the future, embrace social media—all great advice but, at the heart of it, even more things to juggle. 

Well, I'm sorry to say, there's one more thing you guys should be paying attention to: Yelp.com. 

Here's the deal. A lot of people, rather than going with the 1870's technology of the phonebook, turn to search engines when they need to find a phone number. Within the first few listings, the number should be on the search results page, without even having to click on a site. 

Another one of these top search results is often Yelp.com, a site where people leave reviews of everything from restaurants to bridal shops—and to HME providers. 

Now, I know you are doing an excellent job taking care of patients on top of all the other stuff I mentioned before. But there's always that one customer who had to be on hold for a minute and was cranky about it, or who thought their insurance should cover something it didn't—and those are the people going on Yelp.com to leave reviews. 

Those reviews are among the first thing people see when they search for your name online. For example, when I was first starting here, I was writing about a company that had earned some sort of honor and forgot where they were based. I searched on Google, and the second search result was Yelp.com, with a scathing review of the company. Yep, this award-winning provider's first impression to the internet was that they were an incompetent, unhelpful provider. Not a good thing. 

How to combat this negative impression? 

Elmora Pharmacy has asked its Twitter followers to leave a positive review if they've had a good experience. 

@ElmoraPharmacy: Shopped here? Like our service? Let us know by writing a review on yelp, superpages or yellowbook! Show me the review n get a Free gift!

And one dentist threatened to sue someone who left him a bad review

I'd recommend Elmora's approach. Step 1 will be to search for your company and see what comes up. Step 2: reach out to satisfied customers and ask for their comments; help ensure that one cranky customer won't be the only review associated with your name.