How to Get Good Reviews–Don’t be a Jerk
There is a word that can strike fear into the hearts of veterinarians and practice managers everywhere. That word…is Yelp.
You’ve done everything right.
You made all the right medical recommendations; you provided the services in a timely manner; you saved the pet’s life! And still, the negative review comes in. What’s a veterinary practice to do?
Well for starters…
Hiring a website and social media company like WhiskerCould, is a great idea. They’ll build you a website and manage your social media like a boss so you can draw those good clients in—the ones that fit your practice culture and engage in a level of pet care that fits with your standards. They’ll also engage in some pretty active reputation management—finding those bad reviews before anyone else and alerting you to them while working with you to handle the crisis.
But these companies can’t stop the bad review from coming in the first place.
So if you’ve done all of the above and you still can’t figure out why you’re getting bad reviews, maybe there’s one thing you forgot to consider.
Maybe you’re just a jerk.
Now don’t take this the wrong way here. I’m sure you’re actually a very lovely person. You got into vet med after all; it’s not a career for the callous and uncaring. You’re obviously not in it for the buckets of money that come with the job. You care about your patients and want to help them. But that just may not be coming across.
Let’s face it, our jobs are stressful. We are constantly battling burnout and compassion fatigue. We work long hours and find ourselves, more often that not, physically and emotionally exhausted. Put all these things together and it’s easy to see why we might find ourselves all out of empathy for the client that won’t use heartworm preventative or who waits until Friday afternoon to bring in their cat that’s been vomiting for three days. And with our hectic schedules, it’s understandable that we might run out of patience for the person who keeps asking the same questions over and over again.
But when we let ourselves fall victim to a bad attitude, it comes across to our clients. Treating your clients in a way that will have them singing your praises starts on the inside, with a good attitude—or vetitude, as I like to call it.
Vetitude is all about having empathy for the people we work with day in and day out.
So how do get some of that vetitude?
Well, it starts with taking care of yourself. If you’re so burnt out that you dread going into work every day, you can’t possibly look beyond yourself to provide genuine, empathetic care to your patient and your client. So make sure you’re using your vacation time, taking your lunch breaks, and leaving the office at a reasonable hour. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed in the middle of the day, take a moment to yourself—even if it’s only 60 seconds locked in the x-ray room to do a few breathing exercises. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish—it’s a necessary part of being able to take care of others.
Then, once you’ve made sure your own needs are taken care of, it’s time to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Don’t just put on a smile in the exam room, then head into the back and start complaining. People can smell a fake from miles away. You need to honestly try to understand their position. So take off that judging hat and let those ears do some listening. When a client feels heard and understood, they’ll start trusting you more, they’ll leave happier, and maybe, just maybe they’ll even take the time to leave you a 5-star review.