As essential workers, veterinary professionals have been on the front lines for the “new normal” that we’re currently living. New protocols and changed routines from what most people remembered from their last visit to the vet can lead to confusion, frustration, and anger. We’ve heard the stories, seen the social media posts, and have heard directly from our customers that some clients are making things very difficult in an already difficult situation.

“I don’t want to wear a mask!”

“I don’t want to wait in the car!”

There are some things you just cannot fix given the circumstances – and there are some things you absolutely can fix right now. Why is this important? Seventy percent of consumers reported spending more to do business with a company that could deliver a better customer experience. It’s important to remember that it’s much cheaper to keep an existing client happy than it is to get new clients.

Keep in mind that customer service begins on a new client’s first interaction with your company. Let’s say a family moved to a new city, Googled “vet near me,” saw your ad, called, and was put on hold for four and a half minutes. That’s a very bad start. An American Express survey showed that 68% of customers surveyed believe that a pleasant interaction with a customer service representative is necessary for a positive experience. This is why it’s so important to ensure that all members of the team that have any type of interaction with clients remember the importance of customer service.

Is someone managing your online reputation and digital presence?

The customer service should extend to digital portals, too. Do you have someone managing your social media and reputation management? WhiskerCloud has an entire team that manages online messages and reputation for our clients. Why is this so important? Thirty-five percent of consumers are using social channels to initiate customer service inquiries. And more importantly, 74% of millennials reported improved brand perception of companies responding through social media channels. If you are not currently replying in real-time to customer queries on social media, you may be leaving a bad taste in the client’s mouth.

A single bad interaction could lead to a long-lasting negative review for your brand.

We have endless guides on reviews and reputation management, but the key should always be to have a plan in place before you need to respond to critical online comments.

READ MORE: How To Stop a Negative Review Before It Happens

Once a review comes in, you’ll have to get to work to make it right. First, respond immediately to the review, and work to get the reviewer on the phone. Fifty-three percent of customers expect businesses to reply to their online reviews within seven days. 

Once the review has been replied to, take the interaction offline, do what you can to fix it, and ask the reviewer to remove their review. It may not always work, but at least you know that you’ve done all that you can on the matter. Plus, 41% of consumers say that brands replying to reviews make them believe the company really cares about their customers.

Important customer service statistics that you need to know:

  • US consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that are able to deliver higher quality service. (American Express, 2017)
  • Millennials are willing to pay 38% more to do business with companies that are able to deliver a better customer service experience. (American Express, 2017)
  • 95% of consumers believe that a good customer experience is important to brand loyalty. (Microsoft, 2018)

WhiskerCloud has curated our top posts and statistics on review and reputation management in one place for you to browse and learn. Click here to keep exploring!

Tell us in the comments below—how important is customer service at your veterinary hospital?

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