Most of our readers will probably be aware of the Best UK Vets Awards which we sponsor, but for those who don’t, it’s a reflection of our commitment to genuine, client-led reviews. On the websites VetHelpDirect.com and Any-UK-Vet.co.uk, clients can leave reviews of their practice. They are invited to leave a star-review (one star for abysmal, five for excellent), plus any comments about that practice.
On 10th of February we then count up all the four and five-star reviews, and the practice with the most is declared the winner. They receive free publicity from us (like this blog, among other things!), a series of press releases, and an awards ceremony & after-party for their clients, PR materials, a trophy, certificate, banner...the list goes on!
This year, the winner is…
Penmellyn Vets’ Columb St Major hospital, with a grand total of 839 top reviews! This impressive result left them 200 reviews clear of the runner up, and really reflects their commitment to building reviews and good client service over the last 12 months. In particular, their decision to run a pro-review marketing campaign really paid dividends.
Silver and Bronze Winners
The runners up were Blacks Vets in Dudley (Silver award), who have held a place in the Top Three for three years now (excellent consistency!) and Inglis Veterinary Hospital in Dunfermline (who also launched a publicity campaign last month, just pipping Blacks’ branch in Lye to the Bronze Award). Both of the runners-up will also receive publicity packs and promotional materials from VetHelpDirect to help market their services and celebrate their result.
However, not all practices are the same, and to try and reflect that, we also run a series of Best-in-Category awards. To qualify, a practice must be either in the Top 25, or have over 52 reviews over the previous year. For 2017, we had four category winners…
Best Scottish Vet Practice
Inglis Veterinary Hospital at Dunfermline (meaning Inglis get a double publicity boost!).
Best Small Practice
Heathside Vets (for practices with five FTE vets or less, across all branches).
Best Equine Practice
Penmellyn Equine (the only large-animal or equine practice to make it into the Top 25).
Best Mobile Vet
St George’s Vets 2 You, Stourbridge (this is a fairly new category, but with more and more mobile practices setting up, we felt we should recognise it as a genuine growth area within the industry).
Top 25 Practices
Finally, we also provide online marketing and publicity resources for every practice to make it into the Top 25:
Penmellyn Vets St Columb Major
Blacks Vets - Dudley Hospital
Dunfermline Inglis Veterinary Hospital
Blacks Vets - Lye Surgery
St George's Vets - Wolverhampton Hospital
Blacks Vets - Oldbury Surgery
Blacks Vets - Sedgley Surgery
Heathside Veterinary Surgery
Manor Veterinary Centre - Halesowen Hospital
Penmellyn Vets Newquay
Blacks Vets - Quinton Surgery
Penmellyn Vets St Austell
Penmellyn Vets Pool
St Anne's Veterinary Group
Manor Veterinary Centre - Northfield
Penmellyn Vets Bodmin
Bilton Veterinary Centre
City Road Veterinary Centre
Penmellyn Equine Vets
Manor Veterinary Centre - Edgbaston
St George's Vets - Perton Surgery
St George's Veterinary Group - Sedgley
St George's Vets - Bushbury Surgery
Bridgnorth Veterinary Centre
St George's Vets - Stourbridge Vets 2 You mobile surgery
Runnymede Hill Veterinary Hospital & Chobham Road Veterinary Surgery
(Yes, we know there are 26 practices there - but we had a dead heat at the end!)
Not only are reviews a great way to give your clients feedback on how you’re doing, they are an excellent client acquisition tool. Most customers in the 21st century want to know what sort of service they’ll get before they sign up to any business - and the honest reviews of other people like them make a far bigger impact than any amount of glossy publicity from the company itself. After all, being honest, who hasn’t checked out the reviews online before purchasing a product?
Finally, of course, reviews also allow a practice to differentiate themselves from their rivals - more and better reviews can be a marketing strategy in its own right, or a stepping stone to a publicity campaign.
Here at VetHelpDirect, we’d like to congratulate all our winners, especially Penmellyn, Blacks, Inglis, Heathside and Vets 2 You. If you want your practice to be further up the list in 2018 - give us a call!