Imagine you run into one of your clients on the street. They tell you how much they love your practice and the care you’ve given their pet, and in response, you simply walk away. That is, of course, something you would never do, so why would you do it online?

Your clients are going to sites like Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Google+, Foursquare, and many others to voice their opinions of you and your practice (with measurable impact, according to this study). People who love your practice are saying so, and while they will still love your hospital if you say nothing in reply, they are more likely to get fired up, say even more great things, and tell others those great things if they see that you respond publicly to their comments.

What should you say? 

You don’t have to write a novel in response to a review. Keep it short, direct, and above all, personal. Here are a couple important points to hit:

  • First of all, say thank you! Your customer was pleased enough with your practice to take the time to write something nice about you. This, on top of being a compliment to you and other staff members, is publicity. Sixty-one percent of customers use reviews to help them make a purchasing decision. So thank the customer for their feedback—they’re doing you a favor!
  • Add a personal touch. Mention the pet’s name or breed. Your customers (and potential customers) want to know that you care about each client. Every pet owner thinks that their pet is special, and they want a vet who thinks that, too! Many businesses now have generic responses that automatically post to any review posted. These seem cold, and sometimes don’t make sense as a response. Take a look at these examples—they really demonstrate what a difference a good response can make! Show that your practice takes the time to know their clientele and cares for each of them.
  • End by saying that you look forward to continuing to serve the writer and their pet. Again, you want to emphasize that the reviewer’s business is valuable. This shows the world that you value your clients, and that you’ll value your future clients, too!

Here are some examples:

  • Thank you so much for your feedback! We love seeing Fido here, too! Who can resist that goofy Lab’s face? Hope to be taking care of you and your fur-baby in the years to come.
  • Thank you for your kind words about our business. We strive to provide the best care, and it means a lot that you and your darling cat, Fluffy, are happy with us! We look forward to taking care of him at his next appointment!

Taking the time to respond to a client’s review is a wonderful way to go above and beyond expectations. In a wide world of varied customer service, yours can shine and everyone reading along will notice. You may not be able to control what people are saying about you online, but your response makes all the difference.

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