Importance of Managing Your Vet Clinic’s Online Reputation 

As a vet clinic owner, you have more than your fair share of entrepreneurial concerns. Not only do you need to deal with the day-to-day tasks of running a business, but you also need to liaise with concerned or bereaved pet parents and of course, provide the best possible care to the animals at your clinic. 

With all those responsibilities, it can seem challenging to spare time and energy to cultivate your vet clinic’s online reputation. Yet, doing so is essential for the health of your brand and the future of your business. Here’s why. 

Negativity Happens. How You Deal with It Matters.  

No matter how dedicated you are to your clients and patients, and no matter how hard you work to save furry, scaly, or feathery lives, there will always be clients who are dissatisfied for one reason or another.  

Unfortunately, people are often more willing to leave online reviews when they harbor resentment toward a business than when they had a great experience. To add fuel to the fire, it’s easier than ever for a disgruntled client to harm your clinic’s reputation with just a few clicks online. 

Because negativity happens and can adversely affect your business’ reputation, it’s essential to be proactive about managing your online reputation. Taking a proactive approach involves actively encouraging happy clients to leave positive reviews for your business, as well as quickly addressing negative reviews when they happen. 

One great way to encourage clients to leave a positive review is to give them an incentive in doing so. Maybe it’s free pet toys, treats, or a discount code for something related to your services. This encourages them to leave a positive review, but it also gives them an additional positive experience with your business since they get something out of it.  

The Rippling Effect of a Poor Online Reputation 

What happens on the internet doesn’t always stay there. In fact, negative reviews from clients online can lead to reduced traffic to your website and fewer booked appointments with new clients. 

Established clients likely won’t think twice about negative reviews, especially if they are happy with the care you provide for their fur babies. However, when pet parents are searching for a new veterinarian, they will undoubtedly give serious consideration to the negative reviews. Most responsible pet parents care deeply about the welfare of their animals and want to ensure that they receive the best possible care. It is most likely that they will book an appointment with a vet who receives glowing reviews. 

Given the weight an online review has on a prospective client’s decision-making, the importance of managing your vet clinic’s online reputation is critical. Below are some tips and tricks you can deploy at your veterinarian practice to start building a strong online reputation.  

Tips for Bolstering Your Online Reputation 

While you can’t erase negative reviews, you can take a proactive approach toward managing your digital reputation so when a bad review does happen, it doesn’t take your Google ratings or other online reputation source. Here are a few strategies to try. 

Solicit Reviews 

It might feel a bit awkward to verbally ask your clients to write an online review for your clinic, especially if they’ve just received bad news about their pet’s health. Fortunately, you don’t have to ask them directly. There are a number of ways you can encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews without verbally asking them. 

Try the following: 

  • Place a link on your website to your business’ page on an online review site and ask clients to spread the word. 
  • Print special business cards that include a QR code that will take clients to a review site. 
  • Print pamphlets that briefly discuss your clinic’s mission and your staff’s commitment to the welfare of the animals under your care. Then, ask your clients to leave an online review for your clinic and point them in the right direction to do so. 
  • Use an email management service to schedule automatic marketing emails. Send an email after each visit reminding clients to call the clinic if they have any further questions. The email should also politely solicit a review and provide a link. 
  • Offer prizes and discounts. Whether it’s 20% off on their next Chewy purchase, free pet toy and treats, a free grooming session, or whatever else you come with, everyone loves saving money. If you do this, just make sure you have a way to confirm people’s reviews before handing over the gift.  

Claim Your Google Business Profile (GBP) 

Your business can be listed on Google Maps and in search results even if you haven’t created a Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) account. How? Google gathers information from various sources, including public directories, third-party websites, user submissions, and data aggregators to create business listings.  

Utilizing Google My Business for your clinic allows businesses to have more control over the information displayed about them on Google, such as their business hours, contact information, and photos. It also enables them to interact with customers through reviews and messages. Creating a Google Business Profile account is free and provides businesses with additional visibility and management options. With an up to date and well-maintained GBP profile, your customers can more easily leave glowing reviews online. 

Get Active on Social Media 

Another strategy for developing a solid online reputation is to get active on social media. Facebook and Instagram are both platforms that lend themselves well to a vet clinic’s mission. It allows practices to share their brand via photos and videos with their community and to showcase their beliefs, ethics, and standards of care. 

When harnessing social media for vet clinic marketing, it’s possible to build a thriving online community of animal lovers who support your business. In addition to posting pictures of patients, you can post seasonal advice (e.g. how to protect dogs’ feet from hot pavement) and keep clients up to date on any promotions you may be running (e.g. sales on flea and tick meds). Encourage comments by asking questions and running polls. 

Equip Your Vet Clinic with Nothing but the Best 

For years, TriStar Vet has equipped veterinary clinics across the U.S. and Canada with high quality veterinary exam tables, professional grooming equipment, and other innovative products for vet clinics that are ergonomic, ultra-durable and affordable. Contact TriStar Vet today to request a free consultation and product catalog.