The Role of Patient Testimonials for Doctors
When choosing a provider, healthcare consumers have always tended to trust the honest opinion of fellow patients more than what the provider may say about their services. Practices can use this to their advantage by turning some of their patients’ positive care experiences into patient testimonials for online display.
When used well, these endorsements from happy patients can help your practice build a reliable reputation and accelerate the growth of your patient base.
So, what are patient testimonials, why are they so important for practitioners, and how can you leverage them to benefit your healthcare business?
In this blog, we answer these questions and show you how to get impactful testimonials from your patients.
- What is a Patient Testimonial?
- Why are Patient Testimonials Important?
- Statistics on Testimonials and Online Reviews We Need to Know
- Reviews vs. Testimonials: What’s the Difference?
- 3 Outstanding Patient Testimonials Examples Worth Emulating
- How to Get Testimonials from Your Patients
- How and Where to Use Your Patient Testimonials Effectively
What is a Patient Testimonial?
Patient testimonials are heartfelt endorsements of care services that happy patients write for their doctors. They often talk about the overall positive experience an individual had with a provider and their practice. Patients that write them for you are essentially vouching for your healthcare services. Since these are direct consumer statements, they can inspire confidence in prospective patients to consider calling or visiting your practice.
Why are Patient Testimonials Important?
Endorsements from happy patients are a powerful healthcare branding and marketing tool. Displaying them on your practice’s website helps in ways such as:
1. Social proof: Patient testimonials can lend credibility to the positive claims you make about your practice. Not all new visitors to your website will take your word for it, so other patients vouching for you can go a long way in building your brand’s credibility.
2. Human touch: Showcasing real-life patient-doctor interactions and experiences with happy outcomes for patients humanizes your healthcare brand. It can help you connect better with clients.
3. Patient acquisition and retention: The nice things that patient testimonials say about your healthcare services can be decisive for consumers exploring provider options. They also give your existing patients another reason to stick with you.
4. Patient education: You can create informative testimonials featuring key aspects of a typical care journey. They will be helpful to patients researching similar conditions/treatment options online.
Statistics on Testimonials and Online Reviews We Need to Know
Multiple studies affirm the importance of patient testimonials for doctors as follows:
- 81% of consumers check online reviews when choosing a physician (RepuGen)
- 90% of consumers trust a customer’s opinion about a brand more than the claims the brand makes about itself (Wyzowl)
- 79% of consumers have watched a video testimonial when researching a business or its products/services (Trustmary)
- A video testimonial about a product persuaded 77% of viewers to make a purchase (Trustmary)
These statistics show that prospective clients trust your existing patients more than your practice’s marketing messaging. By publishing honest testimonials that promote your brand, you can grow trust in potential customers to choose you as their doctor. Make the content more relatable and compelling by incorporating patients’ video testimony, photos, and online reviews.
Reviews vs. Testimonials: What’s the Difference?
A patient review is a brief written feedback about an individual’s healthcare experience with a practice, usually with a star rating or score.
On the other hand, a testimonial also describes a patient’s interactions with a practice, but it’s often longer, in-depth, and can be in writing or video format.
Consumers usually leave physician reviews on third-party platforms like Yelp or Google, but testimonials usually appear on the doctor’s website or marketing materials. While it’s okay to get positive and negative reviews for a practice, testimonials should focus on only positive patient experiences.
3 Outstanding Patient Testimonials Examples Worth Emulating
Testimonials aren’t anything new in healthcare – doctors, hospitals, and other medical practices have always used them to attract new clients. For some inspiration, check out the following patient testimonials examples from practices using them to build trust with prospective customers:
Cleveland Clinic displays detailed heartfelt patient experiences on its dedicated testimonials page. Clicking on a story launches in-depth content with direct patient quotes and treatment details in simple language. Lively pictures provide context and authenticity while featuring patient testimonials from diverse backgrounds makes the stories relatable to different types of patients.
Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute
John Hopkins provides short and sweet patient stories on its main testimonials page. It’s a more engaging way for prospects to hear first-hand from patients who have had happy experiences with the provider.
Cherrywood Dental Associates
Patient testimonials should always be authentic and credible. Cherrywood Dental Associates pulls this off with scanned handwritten notes from happy clients. The letters of gratitude don’t have patients’ photos, but the unique handwritings enhance their credibility.
These three practices have nailed their patient testimonials for doctors in their own unique ways. Whichever style you choose, honesty and authenticity are key to writing compelling stories.
How to Get Testimonials from Your Patients
Here are some critical considerations and steps to quickly get impactful patient testimonials for your practice:
- To get accurate and relevant feedback, ask for it immediately after seeing a patient while their care experience is still fresh on their mind (you can make the request in person or via text/ email)
- Send follow-up emails to patients that don’t respond to your initial request for testimonials (wait a few days before sending the reminders)
- Explain the process so that patients can easily provide the feedback you want, whether in writing or video format
- Always get the patient’s permission to display their post-appointment feedback as a testimonial on your website (follow HIPAA rules)
For example, our reputation management platform demonstrates how straightforward the process can be for you and your patients. The tool lets you collect post-care feedback by automatically sending out a satisfaction survey to patients via text or email. Patients are requested to rate their experience with your practice and write an in-depth review that you can publish as a testimonial with their consent.
How and Where to Use Your Patient Testimonials Effectively
Showcase the happy experiences that your previous patients have agreed to share in multiple places online. One of those can be a dedicated page on your practice’s website, as demonstrated in the patient testimonial examples earlier. You may also publish the feedback on your homepage to make a great first impression on prospects. Similarly, including patient testimonials in your newsletters or email campaigns can accelerate prospects’ decision to visit your practice.
The trust that consumers have in recommendations from fellow consumers has immense marketing and branding value for healthcare businesses. You can harness it by requesting for and displaying patient testimonials on your website. By encouraging happy previous clients to advocate for your practice, you can increase your practice’s patient acquisition and retention rates.
There are multiple places online where you can showcase the happy experiences that your previous patients have agreed to share. Examples include:
- A dedicated testimonials page on your practice’s website as demonstrated in the patient testimonial examples earlier
- On your homepage to make a great first impression on prospects
- Through social media profiles for social proof
- With blog posts to expand on stand-out patient testimonial stories
- In your lead-nurture newsletters or email campaigns to accelerate prospects’ movements down the sales funnel
Our proprietary reputation management tool, RepuGen, can streamline the above-discussed testimonial processes to help generate high-impact patient testimonials for your healthcare business. The resulting marketing and branding value emanates from the immense trust that prospects have always placed in recommendations from existing patients.
Therefore, by displaying patient testimonials on your website, you will be leveraging their experience as your brand ambassadors, consequently increasing your practice’s patient acquisition and retention rates.