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:
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.
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.
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!