5 ways to get more reviews

Having instant, easy access to the internet has changed how people shop. These days it’s rare to make a purchase decision about a product or service without first seeing other people’s opinions.

In fact, 86% of consumers will read reviews for local businesses, with ten online reviews being read on average before the consumer feels able to trust a local business. 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and did you know that a business’s response to reviews is just as important, with 89% of consumers reading them?

With online opinions having so much influence on your prospective clients’ behaviour, what can you do to increase your reviews on VetHelpDirect.com?

1. Ask for feedback

It sounds obvious, but we hear of practices that are embarrassed to ask for reviews, but please don’t be. People are used to sharing their opinions online nowadays, and your clients probably won’t even be aware of how much you would appreciate a review unless you ask. As much as 70% of consumers will leave a review when asked.

There are a variety of different ways you can ask for reviews:

In-person

This is probably the most successful way to gain reviews, particularly if you can time it right during the client’s experience. Have the review platform ready on a tablet at reception to be completed straight after the client’s consultation, or give them a note with their receipt with a weblink.

By email

Send a follow up email after their consultation with a link to leave a review - if you use iRecall you can include a direct link to your VetHelpDirect review page.

On social media

A great way to reach a wider audience and remind your clients to leave reviews is via social media. Post a reminder every two or three months and include a link to the platform.

2. Explain why reviews are important to you

Receiving feedback will help your practice deliver a better service and improve the client experience. Also, by collecting reviews on VetHelpDirect.com you are automatically eligible to enter into the Best UK Vet awards which runs annually in February. Ask your clients to help support your practice and increase your chance to win a Best UK Vet award.

Practices which receive the most four and five star reviews can win this prestigious Best UK Vet accolade. There are a number of different categories and chances to win, including overall Gold, Silver and Bronze winners, Geographical winners, Specialist practice area winners, Best New Start up and Top 25 Practices. In addition, there are Certificates of Excellence for practices who receive an average of one good review per week throughout the year.

3. Make it easy

People are busy, they don’t want to spend ages looking for a web link and then have to sign in to leave you a review (like they would have to for Google reviews).

Provide a link directly to where they can leave a review and explain to them that it is easy and quick.

4. Offer an incentive

Consider holding a prize draw and enter everyone who leaves a review. Remember to let them know that all reviews will be entered (and published), not only positive ones.

You might want to look at other ways to encourage clients to leave a review, for example, if you have been given free samples you could offer these to clients as a thank you. Consider having a theme for the incentives around seasonal events to keep it fresh and relevant. You don’t need to spend much on the incentives just keep it manageable and regular.

5. And don't forget to say thank you!

When somebody leaves a lovely review, it's important to thank them - either as a comment on the review itself or on social media (doing it publicly will be great for your image), in an email, or even when they next come in. On this note, it's also important to respond to negative reviews - thanking clients for the feedback and taking it on board, will be appreciated by everybody who reads it.

Not only will the reviews attract new clients, it’s great for your reputation.

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Swanspool Veterinary Clinic in Northamptonshire saw how great reviews helped their practice when they won Gold in the Best UK Vet Awards 2019 and received extensive PR coverage as a result.

The practice was featured on a number of national and regional media including a BBC Look East live TV broadcast, BBC Radio Northampton and on the front cover of the Vet Times. All the PR activity was funded by VetHelpDirect as part of the prize.  

Gathering reviews is an ongoing process, but there’s still plenty of time to get your clients reviewing the practice and be in with a chance to win an award.  So, what are you waiting for?

If you would like some more advice or have any questions about the VetHelpDirect directory and reviews platform, or the Best UK Vet Awards, please contact us - we’d be delighted to help!




“Help! Dr Google is not my friend!”

“Help! Dr Google is not my friend!”

I’m sure we’ve all had them - the client who turns up for their consult with a pet, a ream of information from some rather eccentric online sources, and a firm (but absolutely wrong) diagnosis. When the vet tries to explain that in actual fact, the reason their pet is itching is the massive flea infestation and not an obscure food allergy, the client becomes angry. They may even leave to seek a “properly educated” (for which, read “more compliant”) practice somewhere else, but even if not, they can cause you untold grief.

So, what can you do about it? Read on for our Five Point Plan!

Now live... our newly revamped Symptom Checker and Poisons Guide!

Now live... our newly revamped Symptom Checker and Poisons Guide!

One of the most common things clients tell us on Live Web Chat is that they don’t know whether something’s an emergency or not - but that they’re worried about calling because if it’s not, they might sound stupid. Equally, one of the most common complaints by vets is that clients don’t know what an emergency is. So, surely in this online age, there is a solution to this problem? With our medical colleagues using novel and innovative technologies like Babylon to triage their patients, can’t we do the same?

Best UK Vet Awards 2019

Best UK Vet Awards 2019

Once again, we are in a position to announce the winners of the Best UK Vets 2019. Unlike other awards, BUKV winners and losers are decided by the clients of the practices in question - no judges who might be biased, no “fee for awards ceremony”, just a recognition of good customer service. Over the course of a year (February to February), the reviews left on www.vethelpdirect.com and www.any-uk-vet.co.uk are added up. All reviews of 4* or 5* contribute towards the Best UK Vet and the practice with the most top reviews wins. It’s really simple and transparent! This year, the winner is [you’ll have to imagine the drumroll]...

Should we be using pictures of pets in Christmas jumpers for practice marketing? Veterinary issues with online advertising

Should we be using pictures of pets in Christmas jumpers for practice marketing? Veterinary issues with online advertising

This Christmas, we’ve been seeing a lot of practices running Facebook and other social media campaigns promoting festive costumes for pets. However, as veterinary professionals, we are expected to meet a higher standard. I’m sure many of you would baulk at using a severely compromised brachycephalic to market your practice (#brachywatch!), and there are equally significant welfare concerns about festive costumes for pets.

New client data gathering from your website - what's legal?

New client data gathering from your website - what's legal?

In the past, it was commonplace to put information on your website which you knew people would want to have access to (for example, “top tips”, information about promotions you’re going to run or special offers, pet health resources, or whatever), and then ask for people’s email addresses, However, this becomes legally much more complex in the age of GDPR, as your data subjects have many more rights. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the legal issues around this approach to client data.

Is your website as secure as you think?

Is your website as secure as you think?

It’s very easy to think that attackers wouldn’t be interested in your website - after all, even the biggest veterinary practice looks like small fry next to BA, or the NHS, or one of the big department stores. And that’s true, from a certain point of view - you have far fewer visitors. However, that also makes you an excellent target for people distributing malware, or trying to set up a botnet, or indeed any other “black hat” (aka “cybercriminal”) out there. In this blog, I want to talk about a worrying trend we’ve seen recently in terms of hacking attempts on what seem like really low profile websites.