6 Ways to Outsmart Review Sites

The internet is bigger and more opinionated than ever.  Here are some secret tips when you are researching your Plastic Surgeon online.

1.       Are They Paying to Play?

You have probably heard a few gripes from business owners regarding the practices of Yelp, Google and others.  There is widespread belief that if you advertise with these companies, you will get preferential treatment in regards to filtered reviews and visibility.  While Yelp has been successful at keeping litigious matters at bay, it is no secret that those that advertise with review sites will be featured first on pages that might not pertain to your search, so be aware.

2.      Recognize Quality vs Quantity

If you could take a look in our junk email, you would understand how profitable online marketing must be.  They promise to increase reviews, social media likes, and even make some reviews disappear!  So how do you know a review is legit and not from a marketer? Look for quality detailed reviews and those that include the treatment details and possibly photos.

3.      “What’s in it for me?”

If a surgeon has a large amount of reviews in comparison to their peers, you can guess the patients are being incentivized. We have seen everything from free facials to free injectables offered to patients in exchange for a positive review.  This is not to say the reviews are false, but it easy to see how this practice can skew your perception.   

4.       The Constant Complainer

The majority of a surgeon’s reviews may be positive, but it is not humanly possible to please everyone.  What is even harder is to please the online Constant Complainer whose mission is to alert you of their every dissatisfaction.  Negative reviews are very helpful to consumers looking for any service.  However, have you ever clicked on that distinctively disgruntled reviewer’s profile only to find they have given many poor ratings before?  Take certain negative reviews with a grain of salt.

5.       Who Exactly Is Getting 5 Stars?

Did you find a practice with an amazing amount of positive and legitimate reviews? You might want to look deeper into who is being reviewed.  Many practices offer spa services to increase online reviews.  Let’s be honest…you’re more likely to publically post that you enjoyed a fantastic facial by the esthetician than a face lift by your surgeon!  While many patients are proud and loud when it comes to what procedures they have done, many more would rather keep that private.  You may also be dealing with a multiple physician practice or nurse injectors.  Do make sure the reviews pertain to the one who will be performing your service. 

6.      Be wary of the comeback!

An angry patient may be concerning, but so is a defensive surgeon.  While it is enjoyable to read, petty online arguments between patrons and business owners can show everyone’s true colors. Even more important, responding to online medical reviews can be illegal.  Look out for surgeons who mention any patient information in their response, even if the patient gave it out first.  This is a violation of your privacy rights.

For more tips on researching your Plastic Surgeon, contact Patient Coordinator, Jill Clark at (310) 539-6500 or info@sbaesthetics.md.