We highly recommend using testimonials to reach out to prospective patients, clients, and employees because they are an efficient and reliable way of communicating the value you offer.
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Like all forms of feedback, patient testimonials are a great tool to improve patient engagement. The help by:
- Reaching patients in the community with messages related to healthcare without making it sound like a cheesy sales pitch
- Explaining complex medical terms and conditions in laymen terms. Because they are presented in the patient’s own words, they are likely to be understood by others who are going through the same problem. Feedback from individuals may be perceived as anecdotal, but the insight obtained through real-life examples, without overwhelming medical jargon, has proven to be very effective in reaching wider audiences.
- Establishing a connection: Potential patients looking for treatment options feel a kinship with those who have suffered through the symptoms of the same medical conditions and trust their experience as patients, as opposed to clinical assurances from a medical team, spouting data and numbers.
- Helping providers improve the quality of care after identifying gaps in processes.
- Increasing patient satisfaction to ultimately drive revenues.
1. Feedback collection: How can testimonials be gathered?
Data shows that 76% of consumers who are asked to leave a review go on to give one. It is therefore useful for an HCO to:
- Establish a feedback loop, creating surveys for collection of data manually after appointments, on discharge, or through emails.
- Create online accounts on Google My Business, doctor review sites like Yelp and Vitals as well as on social media platforms, where many can share their experiences.
- Requests for audio and video testimonials, as a variation in content, engages wider audiences.
Understand the limits of testimonials, being careful not to overstep patient privacy regulations, as per HIPAA guidelines in the United States or the PIPEDA guidelines in Canada. Patient consent or authorization should be procured before sharing testimonials online, through websites or social media accounts, as well as other marketing material.
2. Perfect placement: Where should the patient testimonials be displayed?
Health care organizations are witnessing the need for establishing their online presence. Surveys show that 74.6% of people have turned to the internet to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care, which means that healthcare organizations with a minimal or negligible presence online, are missing out on potential patient foot fall. [ are missing out on potential opportunities to engage with new patients]
Along with showcasing their services through websites and patient portals, displaying comments also helps to improve visibility – such as on-site, showcasing success stories on digital signage.
Testimonials on social media
For healthcare organizations, social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc, builds on their engagement and marketing to potential patients, employees, physicians, or donors. Displaying reviews on these platforms helps to establish social proof. Users and followers have access to the thoughts and feelings of patients, caregivers, and family members as they experienced the services firsthand. These are ideal recommendations, which can be used to generate more traffic to websites.
“The internet wields a tremendous influence over people’s choices in all areas of their lives. Healthcare professionals must carefully curate their online image with the same thoughtfulness and intentionality as their bedside manner or office decor.”
Founder, and CEO, Reputation Rhino
Testimonials on websites
Displaying patient testimonials on a website’s landing page, creating testimonial tabs or banners are effective ways to grab visitors’ attention. It also gives the website legitimacy and builds patient trust. Research conducted by Software Advice in 2020 revealed that almost (71%) of surveyed patients use online reviews as the very first step to finding a new doctor, indicating that online reputation is often the first impression a healthcare provider makes on potential patients.
Search engines show a preference for websites that have fresh testimonials, as they signify ever-changing relevant content that indicates potential patients are interacting with the website and therefore the brand. This kind of authentic, user-generated content scores points with search engines while creating engaging conversations with patients online.
This kind of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is valued and preferred, which means that reviews are often the first impression a patient will get of a medical provider while conducting a search online.
It shows that search engines are not only listening to what the brand says about itself … they are also playing close attention to what the public says about the brand.
3. The dreaded bad review: Does negative feedback affect search engine rankings?
Search engines take an overall view of a website or service, and a variation of performance reviews indicates organic traffic. Instead of ignoring or brushing off bad online reviews, answering them acknowledges patients for their effort and willingness to connect with the HCO. This may explain why 45% of consumers say that they are more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews. Google knows no one is perfect, and that even the best sites can get bad reviews! It’s how those reviews are handled and resolved that will make a difference in patient perception in the long run.
“When healthcare practices address a patient’s negative feedback, patient satisfaction doubles.”
4. Showcasing clinical case studies
Asking patients to share their health journeys with a healthcare organization, gives a holistic view of the services delivered. This has a greater impact in complicated cases, with rare diagnoses and unexpected complications, leading to creative treatment options that highlight the HCO’s competence in dealing with challenges.
It humanizes otherwise complex clinical scenarios into anecdotal, personal stories about the patient’s experience. Thereby leveraging the power of storytelling to showcase the clinical excellence demonstrated by the healthcare organization. In a nutshell, it offers hope to potential patients.
It would be beneficial if the case study could include specifics from the patient’s point of view, like:
- What brought the patient to the healthcare organization for treatment? What made the HCO stand out against the competition?
- What were the patent’s expectations at the beginning of the treatment, and how did they benefit after the care delivered by the HCO?
- Why would they recommend the HCO to other patients?
- What was the tangible impact of the healthcare they received? Data and numbers substantiate claims.
A case study serves as a double-edged sword, combining scientific acumen with empathetic personalized care.
It’s time to stop guessing what people think about your healthcare provider. Feedback is the power that drives your online reputation, and it should be utilized effectively to build a better organization. Reviews are a great way to make prospective patients curious about the experience they read about. This will drive them to seek out those experiences for themselves.
Wow Digital is so excited to have helped organizations show off their patient testimonials. We understand the inherent value of these reviews, and we are on board to help bring them to life!