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Generating patient testimonials

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Patient testimonials play a crucial role in marketing as they allow past and current patients to share their experiences.

testimonials | © Toowongsa - stock.adobe.com

© Toowongsa - stock.adobe.com

Attracting patients in a competitive market can feel like an uphill battle. So, how does your practice stand out from the competition? One powerful tool in today's marketplace is patient testimonials.

By highlighting the positive experiences of existing patients on your website or other online platforms, you can validate how your practice is unique and different from other practices in the area. In fact, 78% of new patients say a positive testimonial increased their likelihood of using your practice.

Many physicians are uncomfortable asking for a testimonial. Others are not sure how to use testimonials for maximum effect. This blog will cover the essential details about obtaining and sharing patient testimonials.

A patient testimonial is an endorsement of you and your practice from a patient who has had a positive experience with your practice. Testimonials detail the positive experience in the form of written reviews to increase your trustworthiness to new patients.

Patient testimonials play a crucial role in marketing as they allow past and current patients to share their experiences and highlight how a physician and their practice met and exceeded their expectations.

These testimonials also serve as the psychological generator for increasing the number of new patients. When potential patients see positive feedback and success stories from previous patients, it gives them confidence that your practice is appreciated.

By showcasing these success stories in your marketing materials or on your website, you can attract new patients and ultimately increase your patient satisfaction scores and online reputation. After all, nothing convinces new patients more than genuine evidence that others appreciate your practice.

Let me share my approach to obtaining a testimonial. Whether you are a new physician or a well-established doctor, patient quotes are easy testimonials to acquire. When a patient complimented me or my staff while I was in the exam room with the patient, I want to capture that compliment as a testimonial.

My first attempt at generating a testimonial was to provide patients with business-sized cards (see figure at the end of the blog) and ask them to go to one online reporting site and rate their experience with my practice. Most patients who complimented me were invited to go to the online review sites and submit a few sentences regarding their experience with my practice. The response rate was less than 2%! Hardly a return on the investment of my time and energy.

A more effective approach was to ask the patient who provided a compliment to use their mobile phone while in the office to rate their experience. Often, this required the assistance of one of the staff members skilled at navigating online review sites. Using this approach, I obtained 2-4 testimonials a day. I also asked the patient if I could place their testimonial on my website. If they agreed to post the comment, I would obtain written permission to use the testimonial and include their name. A testimonial with just the patient's initials is less effective or impactful than a signed one. Using this method, I rarely had a patient decline my suggestion to include their name.

I have also created scrapbooks that are placed in my reception area. Again, I ask patients for permission to display their testimonial. Many of these testimonials are heart-warming and demonstrates the care and compassion of my staff. I have observed that these scrapbooks are the most looked at written material in the reception area. On several occasions, patients have asked, “Dr. Baum, how do I get in that book?” I tell them that they just need to write me a note or letter and I will include it in the scrapbook. My take home message is that these testimonials promote your practice and placing one in the reception area is a motivation for others to contribute their testimonial for the scrapbook and the website.

Bottom Line: Your most loyal patients who have been in your practice for years are great candidates for testimonial requests. Seek these patients and capture their compliments at the point of service, i.e., when they are in the office.

Card given to patients requesting that they go online and provide feedback about their experience in the office

Card given to patients requesting that they go online and provide feedback about their experience in the office

Dr. Neil Baum is a physician in New Orleans and the author of The Business of Building and Managing a Healthcare Practice, Springer 2023

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