The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown what feels like a lifetime of curveballs at us. As essential businesses, veterinary clinics and hospitals have had to adjust operations multiple times over the past few months to maintain the health and safety of their staff and their clients.

Yet something that hasn’t seemed to waver during this ever-evolving time is the trust that people put in their veterinarians to care for their beloved pets. After all, just because much of the world has seemed to hit the pause button doesn’t mean their furry friends have followed suit. They still get sick or injured, and they still need care.

Continuing to provide that care under the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves can prove to be a different and stressful experience. Still, it’s a challenging time like this that can really propel your business’ online reputation forward.

Here’s what you need to know about not just maintaining a positive online reputation during this crisis but building it up as well.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Trying to know how to best stay safe during a pandemic amidst varying state, county, and even city mandates can befuddle anyone. We’ve seen countless comments and direct messages come in across social media channels asking to confirm hours, available services, and more. Your website, social media accounts, and Google My Business must always reflect the most up-to-date information, including your contact info, hours of operation, services offered, and unique protocols you’ve put in place.

But don’t just quietly make these updates and bounce! One way you can maintain a personal touch in this era of social distancing is to include a brief note or statement from a staff member or collectively from your team. Take the opportunity to thank your community for their incredible patience throughout the myriad changes. Reassure them that their pets are safe under your care. You might even want to include a photo of your team in your personal protective equipment to give an insider glimpse! Not only does this help ensure that your clients see your change of hours, but they’ll also feel more connected to you and your business.

READ MORE: What To Do When Your Veterinary Hospital Gets A Bad Review

Keep an eye on your social media.

When people have a great or a subpar experience somewhere, what do they often do? Share about it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Now more than ever, you ought to be keeping a pulse on your clinic’s social media accounts.

If someone is raving about you, write them a personalized response to thank them. If they are saying something less than favorable, reach out to them to address the issue. Is someone asking you about when a particular suspended service is coming back? Reply to them promptly. And if you’re getting direct messages and comments with the same question over and over, it’s probably time to make an announcement over social media with further information. Social media is where people go to look for the most recent changes and updates, especially now with constant changes and updates everywhere. So it should be your primary form of communicating news.

Review your reviews.

Reviews are another crucial area where you can set your clinic apart online—providing responses that are personal, professional, and empathetic shows that you’re listening and paying attention to your community.

COVID-19 protocols usually call for strict safety measures like curbside service or only allowing in one pet parent at a time. These sorts of adjustments can exacerbate already high-running emotions, which can—for better or worse—translate into reviews. Good or bad, reviews can also give you ideas for where to improve and grow.

We have fielded countless reviews on Facebook and Google that have specifically highlighted tremendous service amidst pandemic protocols. These present perfect opportunities to voice appreciation for your clients’ support and patience. Negative reviews also happen, and, as Dr. Jessica Vogelsang previously said, it’s essential to think about what outcome you want when they do come up.

READ MORE: How Bad Reviews are Like a Piece of Chicken

Whether it’s crafting visually pleasing posts for social media announcements or fielding comments and reviews, we’ve got your back. WhiskerCloud offers full reputation management and social media management. If it’s being said about you online, we’ll see it.

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