For any industry, reviews are what draw new clients to your business. Potential customers judge the worthiness of any business by reviews on Google and Yelp. That’s simply the way it is today. Customers have the power to vote and vote they do.
The veterinary industry is no exception. In fact, it’s probably truer to an even greater degree than, say, restaurants. Only fanatics and scorned patrons seem to write reviews for restaurants, but that’s another story entirely.
For veterinary medicine, the general public tends to view all veterinarians as being the same: educated, licensed, and able to provide sufficient treatment and care. This couldn’t be farther from the truth but, again, it’s simply the way it is. It’s good to keep this in mind when considering the mindset of prospective clients on the hunt for a new vet.
The Buyer’s Journey
To understand the importance of reviews, it’s important to understand the buyer’s journey.
Let’s take a look at an example, shall we: Bob Smith, newly-minted pet owner with poodle-in-hand, is on the hunt for a cheap-yet-qualified vet in the area. Where does he go? The same place he goes for everything else — Google.
He searches for nearby veterinary clinics, is presented with the Google 3-pack in his local search, and is on his way to finding his next deliverer of care and bedside manner.
In the 3-pack, Bob sees business names, a few mysterious stars underneath them, and addresses. Those stars represent the cumulative rating of patrons who have written reviews. To prospective clients, they’re pretty important. Why go with a 4 star when there’s a 4.5-star vet a few more miles down the road?
The next and final step: Bob picks the closest vet to him with favorable ratings.
Important to say the least, your ratings and reviews represent your ability to effectively bring in new clients. Online reviews are your main client acquisition vessel, guided by these little stars under your Google business page. For Yelp, it’s similar enough.
Another important lesson here: Bob is just like any of your clients. His journey is no different than any of your other clients. He uses Google and Yelp to make educated decisions.
How Does This Apply to Your Practice?
We live in a buyer’s market. What people say about you (or don’t say) has the potential to affect your bottom line. Positive reviews drive new clients to your business. It’s as simple as that. This is the same for auto mechanics as it is for your veterinary practice.
Knowing this, how can you do your part and drive positive reviews to ensure a stream of new clients? To start, claim your Google place and Yelp page. After you claim the page, verify the information is accurate.
Next, actively promote your online presence to clients. This shows both your current clients that you value their feedback and promotes your business to potential customers.
If you run into any issues with actually getting clients to write reviews, remember that everyone likes free. Discounts are welcome, too.
Entice clients with an offer in exchange for a review. People are more than happy to share their experience with others in exchange for 10% off their next visit. Complimentary nail trims work as well.
If you’re using a service like PetDesk, the process is simpler and more streamlined. Once the appointment is concluded, the client receives a notification asking them to write a review. If the review is less than satisfactory, you’re able to reach out to the client and come to a resolution before the review is posted online.
The key takeaway here? Reviews drive business.
Do everything in your power to get your clients to leave their feedback online. Generally speaking, positive reviews will bring in more new clients than any other marketing service out there. As for negative reviews, you’re given a golden opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service. By publicly coming to a resolution with unhappy clients, you’re showing signs of a well-intentioned practice and a well-run business.
As always, if you’re interested in learning more about our online reputation management tools and how they can benefit your practice, feel free to request a demo below.