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5 Ways to Prevent Negative Reviews

Updated: Jun 5

Reviews play a significant role in the online reputation of businesses today, and veterinary clinics are no exception. In fact, our industry is one of the most heavily impacted by reviews, because people want to know whether they can trust us to care for their cherished animal companions. That being said, one bad review can send would-be clients straight into the arms of a waiting competitor. While there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll never receive a negative comment, there are certain measures you can take to proactively lower that risk. Here’s what we recommend. To see the impact that effectively managed reviews can have, and how they contribute to a trustworthy reputation, visit our testimonials page "DVM Elite Reviews". There, you'll discover a collection of testimonials that highlight the importance of positive reviews and provide strategies for managing your online reputation to your practice’s benefit.

Provide Exceptional Service

This one should go without saying, but it’s absolutely essential so it must be listed. Keeping your clients happy should be at the very heart of everything you do. But that’s not enough. Exceeding their expectations is even better. And providing exceptional service isn’t just the job of one or two employees, either. It should be integrated right into your practice culture, and something that every team member strives to achieve. When you go above and beyond to wow your clientele, you can expect plenty of positive feedback in return.

Be Reachable

Oftentimes the reason a person leaves a negative online review is because they feel unheard. Most people will make at least some effort to reach out and voice their issues first, before heading to the World Wide Web. If they don’t receive the type of response they’re looking for, they may feel as though they have no other choice than to express their frustration and warn others publicly. By making yourself accessible and being willing to hear someone out, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to resolve the issue at hand before it escalates to an online forum for all to see.

Respond Quickly

In addition to feeling unheard, when a person feels as though they’re being brushed off or avoided, they’re far more likely to share their grievances with others. Even if an issue seems trivial to you, that doesn’t mean it’s not of great importance to the person raising the concern. When a negative experience is brought to your attention, no matter how big or small it may seem, take action right away, whether it be opening a dialogue or swiftly correcting the issue at hand. Show your clients that what matters to them, matters to you as well.

Make it Personal

As a practice owner or practice manager, you undoubtedly have a very busy schedule – especially if you are also a practicing DVM. While it may be tempting to either hand off the task of responding to complaints to someone else on your team, or worse – use a cookie-cutter templated response, doing so might only make an already contentious situation even worse. Resist this urge and keep your responses personalized. It may take a bit more of your precious time, but with your professional reputation at stake, the sacrifice will be well worth it.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Try as we might, we all sometimes miss the mark. When something goes wrong in your practice, embrace that as a valuable learning experience. Be open-minded and willing to evolve. Even if you end up losing a client or two in the process, the positive changes you’ll make as a result will help you better serve people in the future, which will lead to a greater retention rate over the long haul. Admit when you’ve made a mistake, learn from it, correct what’s wrong and move forward.

While it’s nearly impossible to completely prevent any type of negative review from being posted about your clinic online, there are some things you can do to make these incidents less likely to occur. By implementing the five strategies above, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your clients happy and your stellar online reputation intact.

Our Advice on Ways to Prevent Negative Reviews in 2024

How can veterinary practices effectively monitor and manage their online reviews across various platforms?

Veterinary practices can effectively monitor and manage their online reviews by using reputation management software that aggregates feedback from various platforms into a single dashboard. This allows for real-time monitoring and quicker responses to positive and negative reviews. Practices should also designate a team member to oversee this task, ensuring that all feedback is acknowledged promptly and appropriately, demonstrating the practice's commitment to customer satisfaction. Additionally, setting up alerts for new reviews can help practices stay on top of their online presence and address issues as they arise.

What impact do negative reviews have on a veterinary practice's bottom line?

Negative reviews can significantly impact a veterinary practice's bottom line by undermining its reputation and trustworthiness, which are crucial for attracting and retaining clients. A few poor reviews can deter potential clients, as many people rely on online testimonials when choosing a veterinary provider. This reduction in client base can directly affect revenue. Moreover, unresolved negative feedback can lead to a cycle of diminishing referrals and client loyalty, further eroding profitability. Proactively managing online reviews is essential to maintain a positive public image and ensure financial stability.

How can veterinary practices encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews, without being perceived as pushy or manipulative?

Veterinary practices can encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews by incorporating the request into a natural part of the service follow-up. For instance, after a successful appointment or procedure, the practice can send a thank-you email or text expressing gratitude for choosing their services and subtly include a link to review platforms. This can be framed as an invitation to share their positive experience to help others seeking similar care. Offering this as an option rather than a request ensures the practice remains respectful and not perceived as pushy.

What impact do negative reviews have on a veterinary practice's bottom line, in terms of lost revenue or increased marketing costs to attract new clients?

Negative reviews can significantly affect a veterinary practice's bottom line by deterring potential clients, leading to lost revenue. A tarnished reputation often requires increased marketing efforts and expenditures to attract new clients, counteract negative perceptions, and rebuild trust. These efforts might include targeted ad campaigns, enhanced social media engagement, and promotional events, all of which increase operational costs. Furthermore, negative reviews may necessitate additional staff training or improvements in service offerings, adding further to expenses. Together, these factors can substantially reduce profitability and operational efficiency.

What role does empathy and emotional intelligence play in preventing negative reviews and building strong client relationships?

Empathy and emotional intelligence play critical roles in preventing negative reviews and building strong client relationships in veterinary practices. By understanding and resonating with the emotions of pet owners, veterinary staff can provide more personalized and compassionate care, which enhances client satisfaction. Effective use of emotional intelligence allows staff to anticipate client needs and address concerns proactively, reducing the likelihood of dissatisfaction. Furthermore, empathetic communication fosters a trusting relationship, encouraging clients to discuss issues directly with the practice instead of airing grievances publicly through negative reviews.

Want more practice management tips and tricks? Bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often for fresh, relevant content.

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