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5 Tips for Responding to Negative Review About Your Vet Clinic

Veterinary clinic owners and managers strive for the best experience for every patient. While this is a fantastic goal to have top of mind, there are unfortunately times when a negative experience is had by a patient of yours. It can be difficult to read a negative review about the clinic you've worked so hard to grow and maintain. While it always stings, there is a right and wrong way to respond to this type of negative review. Our reputation management platform is here to help guide you in creating a solid response to negative feedback online. 

1. Be Empathetic

Pets are family and that means it is often a highly-emotional experience when pets are involved. Keep this knowledge top of mind when reading negative reviews. A situation with strong emotions can often lead to a pet owner acting out of character. Try your best to be open minded and empathetic about the negative experience one of our patients had with your clinic. 

2. Always Respond

It can be tempting to close out of a negative review so you don't have to deal with it. While that can be helpful for a few moments so you can get your emotions in check, it's not a long term solution. If there is no response, the patient and other potential patients considering your vet will see that no response as a concern. Responding shows the patient with the bad experience (and all potential review readers) that you truly care about the patients at your vet office and strive for a great experience for all. 

3. Apologize for the Experience

Even if you don't feel you or your staff are in the wrong, a patient of yours does. It's best to publically apologize for the negative experience. Someone considering your clinic for their furry friend is likely checking out your credentials via reviews online. For the most part, consumers understand it's hard to make every patient happy 100% of the time. Offering an apology when a negative experience does happen can help showcase the "human" side of your venture, which can make you more likable in the long run. 

4. Take the Conversation Offline

It's best to avoid going back and forth in a debate online. Try to get the conversation offline as quickly as possible. You can offer for an upset customer to contact you or a manager to see how you can make the situation better. If the person with the negative experience doesn't take you up on it, it at least shows that you care about your patients, in the eyes of potential patients. 

5. Invite the Patient Back

After you apologize for the bad experience, it can be helpful to ask the patient to try your clinic again. Whether it's an immediate action or six months down the road when their pet is due for a check-up, it can be helpful to offer a free product or service to get them back in your door. If they do come back, make sure their experience is up to par this time! 

BlueJay Reviews sends out automated prompts to pet owners as they leave your clinic. Positive reviews can be set to automatically publish on a platform of your choosing and negative reviews can be sent directly to your inbox. This gives you real-time notifications about a bad experience AND gives you the opportunity to reach out to make things right with your patient in a timely manner. It really is the ultimate in online reputation monitoring platform for veterinarians! If you're interested in learning how you can improve your online reputation, visit and request a free demo today!

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