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Remove a negative Yelp reviews about my medical practice

Removing negative Yelp reviews is a common question we receive from doctors and medical practices. Unless you are the person who wrote the review, getting a review removed from Yelp or edited is rarely possible. The main exception would be if it violates the Content Guidelines or Terms of Service published on Yelp.com. 1st amendment rights allow for the protection of most reviews and comments online and this has been defended by Yelp in court successfully on many occasions.

YelpRemove Yelp Review Overview

  1. Removing a Yelp review – Yelp reviews are displayed on more sites than just Yelp.com. Yahoo recently started posting Yelp reviews on their site. So it’s important to go to the source. The most common way to get a review removed is to contact a customer or patient directly. They can at any time modify or remove a negative review. It’s very important not to make the matter worse by having an emotional, threatening or argumentative discussion with a customer or patient who has logged a complaint.
  2. Respond to a negative Yelp review – In most cases, it is very important that you respond to negative reviews on Yelp or other sites. For medical practices and physicians HIPAA rules do not prevent you from responding as long as you do not share specific details about the patients treatment or visit. Consult with a HIPAA professional before responding if you are unsure. Responding to reviews and providing an apology or explanation and a remedy is viewed positively by others reading reviews. Nobody expects a business or medical practice to be perfect and how you respond to complaints is a good measure of the quality of service one can expect.
  3. Minimize the impact of a negative Yelp review – Everyone will get a less than stellar review at times. As a matter of fact there have been studies that show that consumers who don’t see any negative reviews are less likely to believe the reviews if they are all perfect and discount them as fake. The goal is to have a large volume of with authentic and positive feedback which will result in a 4 to 5 star rating for a physician or medical practice. Developing a plan to encourage and embrace reviews (positive and negative) should be implemented by every practice. Not sure how to do this – request a free consultation.
  4. Correct the issue that causes bad reviews on Yelp – Bad reviews on Yelp are often a symptom of poor service or poor business practices. Yes there are times the reviewer is not correct and those reviews can be minimized by having a lot of positive reviews. But do make sure you take advantage of the feedback that a negative (and positive) review says about the service they received. What can you do to solve the issue from happening again or at least minimize the chance of it happening. Poor customer service is often the failure of an experience to meet a customer or patients expectations. Whether it’s an issue with mismatched expectations or a poor business practice, take the opportunity to study your methodology to improve your business.

Common Questions and Answers about Removing a Yelp Review

Q: If a review is based on a lie, false information or or not true can I get it removed from Yelp?
A: No unless it violates Yelp’s terms of service and even then removal is questionable. Even if a competitor, ex employee or other person writes a negative review it is not typically possible to remove it. Your best defense is a good offense in getting a large number of positive reviews and monitoring review sites on a daily basis. Here is a link regarding how to report a review on Yelp and their position and process as it relates to removing false or defamatory Yelp reviews.

Q: I don’t have any reviews on Yelp so why should I worry about a negative Yelp review?
A: Not having any reviews or a low number of reviews on any review site or Yelp means that one negative review can greatly impact your overall rating. For example if you have only have 2 reviews and they are both negative, your company will be perceived negatively online.