As a veterinarian, a major part of your job is to ensure that your customers are happy with the services you provide. You want to make sure that you and your staff are doing a great job delivering on expectations when working with your furry friends. If a mistake occurs, it can become a major issue and lead to a loss of business. That’s why knowing how to manage your reputation matters.
In addition to dealing with customers in person, you also need to know how to manage your online reputation. Typically, this comes in the form of reviews and your responses to those reviews. In this article, we’ll break down the details on online reputation management and help you discover the best reputation management platform for veterinarians on the market: Surefire Local.
Why Does Online Reputation Management Matter?
More and more customers begin their searches online when looking for a business in their local area. Vet offices are no exception. When someone Googles your business and your listing comes up, one of the first places they look is at your current star ratings and your reviews.
People want to know that the business they are entrusting their furry family members with is reputable and can help resolve their issues without problems. In order to determine this, customers will rely on word-of-mouth advertising. Reviews, responses to reviews, and star ratings are all important parts of word-of-mouth marketing and are the core of your online reputation management.
If you have a large number of positive reviews with active responses and a high star rating, you will get more business coming your way than if you had only a few reviews, poor responses to negative reviews, and a low star rating. In order to generate leads and find new business, you need to know how to manage your online credibility.
Why Reviews are Important for Reputation Management
Reviews are really the cornerstone of online reputation management. Reviews are the direct response customers have after an experience with your business. They are honest, direct, and explain whether or not the customer would recommend your services to someone else who is exploring your business.
If you have poor reviews, it tells potential customers that your business isn’t worth their time. After all, would you want to go to a business that the community dislikes? You tend to trust the opinions of people who have lived through a similar experience that you will have, and if they didn’t enjoy their time, then you don’t want to risk your pets with that vet clinic.
On the alternative side, the more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to get new business. If people read reviews and note that the general public enjoys your services and trusts you with their animals, they will be more likely to give you a try if they are in your local area.
How to Build a 5-Star Reputation
Building a 5-star online reputation is all about customer service. From the minute someone brings their pet into your office to the moment they leave, you want to create a positive experience that delivers on expectations. And even beyond the physical visit, you can work to create a digital 5-star experience with your customers.
By having a strong online presence on multiple platforms, such as social media or your business website, you can attract more people, deliver more information, and create a better environment for your customers. And by carefully nurturing the reviews you have, you can prove your dedication to customer service online.
Responding to reviews is an important part of online reputation management. Whether the review is positive or negative, you need to leave a reply. This shows potential customers that you care about their feedback and want to work out a solution if something doesn’t go right. Giving an apology on a public negative review can go a long way in mitigating the damage the review might have caused.
Best Practices for Responding to Reviews
Now that you know more about why reviews matter and how important they are for online reputation management, let’s dive into some best practices and strategies for your review management.
1. Ask Clients for Reviews
This strategy is one of the most impactful, but also the most ignored, tips for veterinarians. When a customer has a poor experience, they are more likely to leave a review warning other customers about their bad time. They are less likely to leave positive reviews when they have generally good experiences with your business. By asking happy customers for a review, you can boost the amount of positive reviews you have online and capture reviews when a customer is most satisfied.
2. Follow Up on Review Requests
Sending an automated email or text message is a great way to ask for reviews and feedback from your customers. However, sometimes those emails and text messages can get lost as the days go on. Sending follow-up reminders can help customers remember that they were going to leave a review and can guide them in the right direction to find the links to post their replies online.
3. Respond to All Reviews
While this may seem like an unnecessary step, responding to reviews is an important part of your online reputation management. It allows you to thank people for their reviews, give your explanation to negative or inflammatory comments, and show potential customers that you are open to feedback and are an active business online. By making your review replies a priority, you can help foster positive emotions about your vet clinic in the community.
4. Apologize for Negative Reviews
Not every review you have will be positive. There will always be a customer or two who has a bad experience, whether or not it was your fault. However, those reviews still need responses as well. If someone leaves a negative review, you need to know how to handle it. Apologize for the negative experience, and offer your sincere regrets. If you can make it right, publicly suggest ideas to move forward, or ask the person who left the review to contact you to discuss options. Never react defensively or try and silence or delete the negative review, as this can backfire and further damage your reputation.
How Surefire Local Can Help You Get More 5-Star Reviews
In order to keep up with reviews and reply in a timely manner to new entries, you need the power of the best reputation management platform for veterinarians. The Surefire Local Marketing Platform connects you with the top review platforms, like Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp, so you can see all of your current reviews in a timeline view.
You can also use Surefire Local to send review requests to your happy, satisfied customers with text messages and emails. You can also use the platform to respond directly to reviews without ever having to leave the Surefire Local dashboard. That helps you get in front of your potential customers and make sure that no review goes unanswered.
Surefire Local also allows you to send reminder emails to people who have already been sent a request for a review but haven’t done so yet. Following up with these customers can help you capture latent reviews that might have gone unposted without the reminder. You can use Surefire Local to avoid the stress and wasting time of going from platform to platform checking to see if you have new reviews and responding to any that have already been posted.
Surefire Local also has important metrics tools for online reputation management. You can measure brand sentiment with a word cloud graph that shows you the most frequently used words by customers in their reviews. You can optimize your brand presence across all review sites and on more than 80 local business directories with the help of Surefire Local. You can manage all of the information about your business like the photos displayed, the special offers you are running, and even more so that your customers know exactly what to expect.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
At Surefire Local, we want to help you improve your veterinary practice and grow your business. Our platform is designed to help veterinary professionals achieve their marketing goals and manage a multitude of tasks within a single platform. Our marketing software helps you control your reviews and so much more with a single login. To learn more about Surefire Local and experience what makes us great, schedule a demo today and discover what Surefire Local can do for you.