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Responding to Reviews: A Guide for Veterinary Practices

Responding to Reviews: A Guide for Veterinary Practices

According to a recent survey by Bright Local, nearly half of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation by friends or family. And as we all know, personal recommendations are like gold in the veterinary industry. So, your online reviews matter a lot. Aside from getting good reviews though, there are a few ways you can respond to reviews to help amplify the positive and turn around the negative.

Responding to Positive Reviews

When it comes to online reviews, it’s easy to focus on the negative ones and overlook the positive feedback. However, acknowledging and responding to positive reviews is just as important as addressing concerns or criticism. It’s usually a lot easier too!

Why Bother Responding to Positive Reviews?

Responding to positive reviews shows your appreciation for your clients’ support and encourages them to continue engaging with your practice. When a pet owner takes the time to leave a glowing review about their experience, a simple “thank you” can go a long way in strengthening your relationship with them. It demonstrates that you value their feedback and are grateful for their trust in your practice.

When you respond to a review, it also amplifies that feedback to help you attract new clients. Potential clients seeing you actively engage with your satisfied customers strengthens your customer’s testimonial and the positive impression created by the review itself.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

So, what do you say when you respond to positive reviews? Well, it’s usually best to take a personal approach meaning you’ll want to let your practice’s voice shine through. This helps separate you from your competitors. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your responses to positive reviews:

  • Personalise each response by using the client’s name and referencing their specific feedback
  • Express genuine gratitude for their trust and support
  • Reinforce your commitment to providing exceptional care and service
  • Respond to client questions such as when they can schedule their next appointment
  • Encourage them to continue engaging with your practice

Example Responses to Positive Reviews

To put this into practice, here are a few examples of what a response could look like:

  • “Thank you so much for your kind words, [Client Name]! We’re thrilled to hear that you and [Pet Name] had such a positive experience at our practice. Your trust in us means the world, and we look forward to continuing to provide the best possible care for your furry friend.”
  • “Wow, [Client Name], your review just made our day! We’re so glad to hear that our team provided such exceptional service during your visit. We truly appreciate your support and can’t wait to see you and [Pet Name] again soon.”
  • “[Client Name], we’re honoured to be your trusted partner in [Pet Name]’s healthcare. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others. We’re committed to always going above and beyond for our clients, and your satisfaction is our top priority.”

Addressing Negative Reviews

While receiving a negative review can be disheartening, it’s essential to remember that the way you respond to criticism can make all the difference in protecting your online presence. In fact, the only thing worse than getting a bad review is not responding to it at all.

Why Should You Respond to Negative Reviews?

Ignoring negative reviews can give the impression that you’re uninterested in your clients’ experiences or unwilling to address their concerns. This can lead to a decline in trust and credibility, as potential clients may interpret your silence as an admission of fault or a lack of care.

On the other hand, responding to negative reviews in a professional and empathetic manner demonstrates your commitment to client satisfaction and your willingness to take responsibility for any shortcomings. Sometimes, you’re required to respond to complaints sent to the RCSV as well.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Like we said earlier, responding to negative reviews takes a bit more finesse than responding to positive reviews. But, with the right tactics, you can give those negative reviews a positive spin. Here are a few tips for responding to negative reviews:

  • Respond promptly: Aim to address negative reviews within 24-48 hours to show that you take feedback seriously and are committed to resolving issues in a timely manner.
  • Stay calm and professional: It’s natural to feel defensive when faced with criticism, but it’s crucial to maintain a calm and professional tone in your response. Avoid getting into arguments or placing blame, as this can escalate the situation and damage your reputation further.
  • Acknowledge their concerns: Show empathy and understanding by acknowledging the client’s experience and expressing your genuine concern for their dissatisfaction. This helps to validate their feelings and demonstrates your commitment to making things right.
  • Take responsibility: If there was indeed a shortcoming on your practice’s part, take responsibility and apologize sincerely. Always look for opportunities to enhance client interaction and explain the steps you’re taking to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
  • Offer a solution: Whenever possible, provide a solution to the client’s problem. This could involve offering a complimentary service, a refund, or a personalized plan to address their pet’s specific needs. Show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to regain their trust and satisfaction.

Example Responses to Negative Reviews

Usually, it’s easier said than done, so here are a few examples of what your responses to negative reviews should look like:

  • “[Client Name], thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We are deeply sorry to hear about your experience and understand how frustrating it must have been. Please know that we take your concerns very seriously and are committed to making this right. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you and find a solution that meets your needs. Thank you for your feedback, as it helps us continuously improve our services.”
  • “Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We understand how upsetting it must have been to have a negative experience at our veterinary practice, and we sincerely apologize for falling short of your expectations. Our team strives to provide compassionate, attentive care to every pet and their owner, and it saddens us to know that we did not deliver the level of service you deserve. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to have an open conversation with you about your experience and explore ways to remedy the situation. Please contact us directly at [contact information] at your earliest convenience.
  • “We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent experience at our veterinary practice. It’s disheartening to learn that we failed to meet your expectations and that you left feeling disappointed with the care your pet received. At [Practice Name], we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality of veterinary services, and it’s clear that we fell short in this instance. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at [contact information]. We are committed to regaining your trust and ensuring that your future experiences with our practice are nothing short of exceptional.”


Online reviews can help you build a strong, positive online reputation that sets your veterinary practice apart from the competition. But, there’s more to it than just asking your customers to leave you a good review. You also need to respond to your reviews, both positive and negative ones. Responding to each review shows your practice’s commitment to providing a positive customer experience.