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How psychiatrist Dr Melané van Zyl uses Hellopeter to better improve her patients’ experiences

Dr Melané van Zyl, Psychiatrist

Apr 16, 2021 8:43:27 AM

The company

I am a psychiatrist practicing in the Vaal Triangle (Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark and Vaalpark/Sasolburg) since 2007. I’ve been fortunate to have a busy practice and I’m able to offer my patients various treatment options.

The initial challenge

Early in 2020, just before the COVID pandemic was in full swing, I developed and launched my first website. At that stage, I was still ignorant about my online reputation. To my shame, I must admit that I never bothered to check what had been written about me online. 

As I became more interested in the digital world, it struck me that my online reputation was quite shocking! It wasn’t so obvious at first sight, because reviews are scattered across different platforms. There were also two different versions of me on Hello Peter.

I started with only one-star reviews. Reading the reviews was quite upsetting, as some of them were not factual. Some of the reviews were from years ago. After being angry with the patients, I became angry with Hellopeter for “allowing” these reviews. Eventually, the penny dropped for me that I should be angry with myself for not managing my online reputation. And- after this realisation (we call it Radical Acceptance in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) – I could take constructive action.

The solution

After I worked through all my emotions, I decided to make work of my negative online reputation. I first contacted Hellopeter about six months ago. From the first conversation with Rochelle, I could immediately start turning things around. Hellopeter assisted with having the factually incorrect reviews removed. I learned how to respond to fair criticism, and I responded to the reviews that were indeed justified.

From December 2020 I have sent invites to all the patients I consulted with during the past week. I respond quickly and authentically to all the reviews I receive.

The results

The results were phenomenal!

1. My patients feel heard

Working in the field of mental health, I’ve learned it’s common for my patients to feel misunderstood, ignored, or stigmatised. I hope it’s been empowering for my patients to be able to review my service after visiting me.



2. I have learned so much about online reputation management

I was anxious to enter the online space due to the many ethical pitfalls that come with the medical profession and advertising/online interaction. 

Regardless of my opinions and emotions surrounding online reputation, it’s a fact that all businesses have a reputation, and this reputation is reflected online. I realised that if I don’t manage my online reputation myself, it will be managed for me by others. 

Hellopeter has helped me immensely to get a grip on how to manage my online reputation in a way that patients can still freely voice their opinion. The skills and strategies that I learned from Hellopeter I also apply to social media.

3. It brings me new patients

Many patients find me online, and more and more new patients tell me they chose to consult with me after they read what others had written about my service.


I have been the number one service provider in the Medical category on Hellopeter since December 2020

This has been a big motivating factor to keep improving my patients’ experience. I appreciate the way Hellopeter’s analytics (e.g. Trust index) reflect the way I respond to reviews, and not purely on how positive the reviews are. 

For this enormous compliment, I thank my patients - and of course Hellopeter.


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