How to Build Your Library of 5-Star Reviews
The biggest way we need to work to gain these is to make it as easy as possible for our clients to leave those reviews.
"There are a lot of ways that we can work to elicit good reviews," says Caitlin DeWilde, DVM, owner of The Social DVM, LLC.
"We want to build our library of those 5-star reviews for several reasons. No. 1: We want to share our story and share the good experiences that our clients have had and give us that social proof that so many clients are looking for when they're choosing a veterinarian. But the biggest way we need to work to gain these is to make it as easy as possible for our clients to leave those reviews. So, the fewer clicks the better. One thing you can do is try to get the direct link to your Google reviews, to your Facebook reviews, to your Yelp reviews, get that URL—it's going to be a weird URL—but you just copy and paste that, and then you can embed that in any digital communication you have with your clients. So, if you're sending out a post-visit follow-up email, you're sending out a monthly newsletter, you can even embed it in the bottom of your email signature. But bottom-line, make it as easy as possible, 1 click and they're directed to your review site so they can make it an easy trip for them to leave you that feedback.
It gets a little tricky when you're asking for reviews. So, technically, asking for a review directly violates some of the platforms terms of service. In particular, Yelp is going to be, that's a no-no. But Google, on the other hand, has embraced it and there's a new tool out from Google—called Small Thanks from Google—they actually help you share your reviews, they'll let you download social media graphics that are pulling from your reviews that are making beautiful little quotes, you can also print them out as posters, you can get them in the mail. So, they're really encouraging us to, as small businesses, share that with our clients and let them then give us that feedback, as well. It makes it really easy to get a review when you're sharing that out there. But, yeah, you want to be a little more subtle and say, 'We'd love your feedback. If you happen to be a Yelp user, we'd love you to share your story.' But I would never go to a client and say, 'Hey, we need another 5-star review. Will you leave us one?' That's definitely not the way to go."