"Would you go tell everyone on the Internet that I am the most awesome vet that you have ever met? Oh...that's weird? OK, I'll just be over here playing with my stethoscope..."

It's not uncommon to feel uncomfortable asking your clients to write positive reviews for you. Many veterinarians and business owners simply refuse to do it at all. But for those who take the plunge and find a way that feels natural, it becomes a great way to keep people talking about your hospital and referring friends, relatives, and even strangers.

Some things to keep in mind as you plan out what you'll say:

  • Keep the focus on the fact that the client is helping you and others. Most of your clients feel that you are helping their pets and that leaves them willing to help you in return. Let them know that their reviews can help others find the same quality care for their pets.
  • Plan out how you will start the conversation. You want a lead-in question of some sort that is typical of what you always ask your clients. Something like, "Is there anything else I can do for you and Fluffy today?"
  • Have something you can put into the client's hands. A note with your website address, the link to the review site you want the person to use, or a nice postcard with instructions on how to leave an online review or why you are asking for reviews will serve as a reminder for the client when he or she goes home.
  • Have a plan of escape. Most of your clients are going to be happy to leave you a review, but there will sometimes be a client who doesn't use a computer or who will say they are just too busy to leave reviews. Have a plan for how you will respond so you don't feel awkward ending the conversation.

Let's look at a possible scenario:
You: Is there anything else I can do for you and Fluffy today?
Client: No, I think we are all set!
You: Great, then I would like to ask for your help. One of the ways people learn about our services and find our website is through review websites like Yelp and Google+ Local, so it helps us immensely when our clients leave an online review about our hospital. Would you be willing to visit Yelp's website and leave us a review?
Client: Sure, I'm on Facebook all the time--I can do that!
You: Fantastic! I really appreciate it, and please be sure to let us know if there is anything you feel we should be doing better. We can't improve if we don't know something is wrong.

Piece of cake, right? But what if he or she says no? Maybe your escape plan would look like this:
Client: You know, I'm just never on the computer and I can't figure those darn things out at all.
You: Not a problem. I can certainly understand that--computers can be confusing and I don't have much time for them myself. If you do think of anything that we can be doing better, though, please feel free to let us know--we always want to be making sure we are meeting your needs, and Fluffy's needs as well!

There are many ways you can approach this with your clients, and it is important that you find a way to ask for reviews that feels comfortable to you. Make a plan and start asking for those reviews--your online reputation will soar and your practice will reap great benefits!

Written by Ann Pearson, online reputation manager for Beyond Indigo.

Need help with your online marketing journey? Take advantage of our free, one-on-one consults by visiting or call Melissa Neff at 877-244-9322, ext. 100.

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