Some of the most powerful marketing tools you can utilize for your veterinary practice are reviews and feedback. Many of the practices that we work with are at a loss as to how to even GET feedback and reviews, let alone how to really make the most of them.
So, we thought we’d write a quick blog about Reviews and Feedback that explains why feedback and reviews are important, gathering feedback and reviews, how to increase feedback and reviews and what to do with your feedback and reviews.
Why Feedback and Reviews are important
The chances are that like the other 98% of the world, you read online reviews before making a purchase. And there’s a reason for this, people trust the voices and views of other people more than they do the voice of a company.
You can spend as much money as you want with Facebook Ads, Google Ads even posts in the local directory. But unless these are backed by strong, positive social proof such as reviews you might as well be hitting your head up against a brick wall.
When choosing what vet to register their beloved new pet with, people will not make the decision quickly. It will be incredibly important to them that their pet has a positive experience with the vets they choose, they want to know that their pets are in safe hands and that they will be getting the best service possible. And we all know where they find out this information – by checking online for reviews!
Put simply, the more (positive) reviews that are accessible from a quick google search, the more customers you are going to get. And as an added bonus, the more reviews you get, the higher your rank will be on Google, making you easier to find!
“But how do we gather reviews?” I hear you ask…
Gathering Feedback and Reviews
There are so many ways to gather reviews and feedback from your customers. But before you go around asking every client for feedback check that you have address the following things:
- Make sure that you are delivering a service that you WANT a review for. A bad review isn’t going to offer any reassurance to a potential new client that you will deliver excellent patient care for their pet.
- Have a plan for how you are going to use your reviews to really drive client sign up and sales.
- Choose the platforms you are going to use carefully. There are a lot of platforms that you can use for reviews, but the most powerful by far is Google (for obvious reasons). If you want to utilise this platform you will first need to make sure that you have claimed your Google My Business profile. It’s easy we promise.
- If you click this LINK it will take you through to set up your profile, where you can manage the business information you want to appear on Google Searches and Google Maps as well as reply to reviews as your business.
How to Increase Feedback and Reviews:
So, once you’re all set with your review platform or your Google My Business profile you are ready for the reviews and feedback to come rolling in. Only it won’t. Not unless you ask for it.
We get it, it can be awkward to ask for a review, but it doesn’t have to be.
With Google My Business, as with most other review platforms you can actually request reviews from customers using a short URL that is specific to your business.
This means that you can add the URL to consultation follow up texts and emails requesting feedback. You could even go a step further and automate these, saving time and allowing your staff to get on with other tasks. Remember, the more people you ask for reviews, the more reviews you will get.
But if you’re not comfortable sending review or feedback requests to your clients with no prior warning you can always get your receptionists to ask if it is okay whilst they are taking payment for the appointment. This might also provide a chance for them to ask how the appointment went at the same time, enabling you to tackle and potential issues immediately before the client adds them to your public reviews.
What To Do With Your Reviews
First things first, if you’re using Google My Business to gather reviews then Google will be doing a lot of that hard work for you.
These reviews will be easily available to view if a customer Googles your Veterinary Practice, and assuming you have set up your Google My Business correctly your potential new clients will have a fantastic summary of your practice in one easy to see place.
But there are other areas that you might consider where you can use the feedback you are getting.
- Your Website
Why not have a section on your website dedicated to displaying your reviews. No matter what platform you are using the likelihood is that you will be able to have a live-feed of up to date feedback demonstrating just how fantastic your service really is. You could even have a button on your site with a prompt to ‘leave a review’ that links to your review URL, encouraging your current customers to add one too.
This section could be on your homepage – but if you wanted to go the extra mile you could create a whole landing page dedicated to reviews and feedback. (We are actually in the process of doing this ourselves – more exciting details to come!) This could be a super powerful tool to direct potential new clients to, but try to mix up some written reviews with a video testimonial or two.
It’s worth noting that if you are using Google as your primary sources of reviews that they do not currently offer a quick and easy way to display these on your websites. Unless you have access to a developer you will most probably need to use a third-party app. There are loads of them around, and fairly inexpensive.
- Review/Feedback Hub
Something that we think is VERY clever, and we have seen one of our client’s utilize is having a tablet or thin client in their reception area, set up and ready to go for inputting reviews. At the end of each appointment, the receptionist asks about the clients experience then asks politely if they would mind leaving a quick review using the tablet, which is set up on a stand away from the reception desk. It’s a bold move, but one that has been working well for them.
Finally, the important thing is that you don’t leave reviews and feedback unacknowledged. No matter what review platform you are using be sure to reply to every single one – YES even the not so positive ones! In fact, we’d go so far as to say that it’s MOST important that you respond to the negative reviews, but remember not to take these personally and respond rationally.