We’d like to wish all our clients a very happy New Year! And we’d also like to remind you that there are only 5 weeks left before the Best UK Vets Award closes - so if you’re planning a blitz on reviews for your practice, now’s the time!
What are the Best UK Vets Awards?
To recognise excellent customer service and client experience, VetHelpDirect sponsors awards each year for the practices, based on the reviews given by their clients. The reviews are independent and are screened only for two factors - whether the reviewer is a genuine client, and whether they have written anything defamatory. As a result, they are an excellent guide to how well your clients feel you’re doing. The winning practices in each category is the one with the most 4* and 5* reviews over the preceding 12 months.
What are the categories?
It varies a little from year to year, but in general, only practices with over twenty 4* or 5* reviews are eligible for an award. The overall award (gold, silver and bronze place) is open to all, plus there are also categories such as Best Scottish Vet, Best Mobile Vet, Best Equine Vet and Best Small Practice. Finally, there’s a list of the Top 25 practices!
What’s the value of the awards?
Well, the winning practice overall gets a publicity boost courtesy of us, banners for the practice, website and social media, an award ceremony, and a team night out on us! The other winners get press releases, media coverage, and online banners, all of which reinforce your status as a client-friendly practice.
However, in many ways these are all the icing on the cake (literally in the case of the Winner’s Cake!). The greatest benefit the winning practices will reap is the number of high-quality reviews. The greatest factor in winning new clients is the “WOM-Factor” - Word Of Mouth. This can be verbal, of course, but increasingly people are crowd-sourcing their decisions, looking to see what other customers thought of a business - typically through genuine online reviews. And our industry is no different - people want to know that you’ve treated other people’s animals with kindness, respect, compassion (and success) before they’ll entrust their own pets to you. There’s not a lot you can do in the offline sphere to promote your practice in this regard, but that isn’t true online. Offer clients a review service and make sure they know you have one, and then let them advertise you.
How do we enter?
You’re already eligible - reviews can be made on either VetHelpDirect.com or any-uk-vet.co.uk, and your practice will already automatically have a listing on Any UK Vet. If you haven't claimed it yet, do so and update your profile: click here to begin.
Once you have claimed your place, you can upgrade it to a full VetHelpDirect Listing (contact us for details on how to do this!) or just start promoting it to your clients. As they leave reviews, your chances increase with every one you receive!
How do we get clients to leave a review?
In most cases, all you need to do is tell them that they can! Some practices actually ask for reviews at reception after seeing the vet, but most people prefer to fill them out at home. Useful approaches include sending out review emails to existing clients, or even printing a reminder on the bottom of invoices or receipts. Essentially, though, if you’re providing a good service, expect a remarkably high percentage of your clients to be keen to tell everyone how good you are!
What if we get bad reviews?
Well, a few bad reviews aren’t a problem - in fact, there’s a lot of evidence that they make clients believe the rest. They see a perfect 5/5 score with no dissenting voices, and they don’t believe it’s real. See here for more details! If, however, you’re getting a lot of bad reviews, it might be that there’s a real problem with your customer service. In this case the reviews are actually even more helpful to you, because they’ll allow you to isolate the problem. If you think that you’re being unfairly targeted though, do talk to our Reviews Team, they’ll be able to help you get to the bottom of it!
In an online age, online reviews can make or break a business. So make sure you use them appropriately to build your practice (and be in with a chance at cake and a ceremony!).