Biting reviews: Online veterinarian ratings and you
In last month’s issue of Veterinary Economics there’s an article by Mark Opperman, CVPM on the power of online veterinarian ratings to either boost or bite into our bottom lines. Apparently, service-review sites like InsiderPages, CitySearch and ReadyVetGo can really make a difference to our potential Web-surfing clientele.
Vets are urged to Google their hospitals to learn more about what others are saying about them so they can defend their good name and/or find ways to address perceived or real problems with their services.
It’s a good exercise in sensitivity for vets. It’s also a great sign of the times that online reviews by YOU can make a difference to how vets practice.
Unfortunately, I find that most of these sites disproportionately provide more of a forum for the disgruntled than for disarmed veterinary clientele. As such, these online services provide little more than a “don’t go there” admonition from a handful of unhappy people than it is a truly beneficial resource for the rest of us. Here’s an online sample taken from the Vet Econ article:
“They have the highest clinic death rate. That’s because no certification is required to work there! There are four investigations pending against this clinic, including animal cruelty. Records prove that most of the deaths occur either when the pet is left alone overnight or during procedures. I don’t recommend this clinic to anyone who values their pet’s life.”
Now, is that review valuable? Maybe. If it hadn’t been a confirmed blast issued by a disgruntled employee. If the information contained therein hadn’t been fabricated.
See what I mean? It takes lots of e-pinions to make an online community difference. And most sites suffer from a lack of YOUR input.
We could say the same about a zillion other online resources. Save the Amazon-esque social-networking style of opinion sourcing, most customer reviews are pretty weak, courting only the highest volume opinions out there—which isn’t always the most helpful, right?
To that end, I’d urge all of you to find the network you like for telling it like it is and pen your own balanced review about your vet. And be honest. Do you like their techs? Do you hate their wait time? Do they make you feel at home? Do you distrust their pricing?
Go ahead and write the best and worst you’ve seen in a number of establishments you’ve patronized over the years. Spread it around. Here’s a list of review sites just clamoring for your insight:
Veterinary clients like you will thank you. And veterinarians may well learn a thing or two about themselves. The best of these vets will take your information and improve themselves. What more could you ask for? That’s power. And that’s power that can translate directly to the health of a large number of pets.