Why Are Testimonials Vital to Healthcare Businesses’ Success?
On average, 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from their family or friends. While testimonials may seem like just another section of the website, they help a great deal in converting potential patients into paying ones. More specifically, testimonials provide social proof of your services and help you earn the trust of new patients, thus making them vital to healthcare businesses’ success.
Online Reviews vs. Patient Testimonials
The major difference between testimonials and online reviews is typically how each is collected. As reported by Forbes Media, while third-party platforms such as Google My Business or HealthGrades, collect and publish customer reviews, testimonials are generally collected by the businesses themselves. However, businesses can gather positive online reviews to use as testimonials, too.
Testimonials are defined as positive statements testifying to benefits received, such as personal recommendations gathered from patients. Online reviews, on the other hand, include all feedback from patients and is not limited to only positive feedback. Patient testimonials and positive online reviews are a vital part of healthcare business’ success, since patients trust the recommendations and feedback from their peers found in testimonials and reviews, and heavily rely on them to select their healthcare providers.
How to Get Patient Testimonials
With about 72% of patients saying that positive reviews and testimonials increase their trust with a practice, it's crucial that you ask your patients to write reviews and testimonials for your website. However, it's important that you understand how your patients actually feel about the services you provide and take proper steps to address your patients' issues before asking your patients to write reviews and testimonials. If practiced regularly, this will help you build a trusting relationship with your patients and encourage them to write positive reviews and testimonials for your practice.
You can get patient testimonials through the following ways:
Survey Patients - After a patient visits your office, give your patients the opportunity to write about their experience with your practice. Ask patients for written permission to use their positive feedback as testimonials.
Online Reviews Identify positive and credible reviews from your digital platforms and add them in the testimonials section of your website.
Patient Testimonials and HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires institutions, such as hospitals and healthcare practices, to protect patients’ private health information. According to the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services (HHS), HIPAA compliance also applies to patient testimonials because gathering real testimonials may require you to use some of the patient's health information, such as their name, age, type of illness, and services offered. While HIPAA does not prohibit the use of testimonials, you must seek a written authorization from patients to share their private information on your platforms.
Where and How to Position Your Patient Testimonials
The fundamental purpose of testimonials is to market your practice by earning the trust of your prospective patients. This means that testimonials should be part of your marketing platforms. If you have an online presence, ensure you include a section of testimonials on all platforms, including your business website, personal website, social media profiles, and public forums.
In other words, publish your testimonials in every place that your potential customers may find. Additionally, ensure you position them on the landing page of your platforms to ensure they are more accessible to reach a wider audience.
How to Use Patient Testimonials to Grow Your Practice
Testimonials are a valuable addition to your marketing strategy and help create a deeper, more trustworthy appeal for your prospective patients in the most real and organic way. When your prospects hear feedback from other real patients about their positive experiences with you, your credibility is solidified.
Here are some ways to use testimonials effectively:
Be Genuine – Even though the goal of testimonials is to market your healthcare practice, it doesn’t mean you should create fake ones. Ask for real reviews from real patients so that prospective patients will trust them.
Be Specific – Generic testimonials don't represent any particular strength in your practice. Therefore, strive to provide top-quality service and request your patients to be as specific as possible when writing their feedback so that you receive unique testimonials
Stay Consistent – Potential clients will always want to read the latest testimonials to assess what your practice has to offer. That said, be sure to gather regular testimonials from clients and update your website. Asking for regular testimonials can help you determine your healthcare business's progress and point out the areas that need improvement.
These are some of the reasons why testimonials are vital to healthcare businesses’ success. To manage your patient testimonials effectively and show off all the positive things your patients have to say about you, use RepuGen’s testimonial widget. Call us at 866-246-7891 to learn more! or contact us today for a free demo.