What makes a great testimonial?

Press the ▶️ button on the video above, in which I explain how you can ask for and use patient testimonials in order to market your Private Practice.

What makes a great testimonial, and how can you get better testimonials from your patients?

Many clinicians in Private Practice make use of paid-for platforms (such as ‘Doctify’ and ‘I want great care’) as a way of collecting testimonials, and it’s certainly a strategy worth considering.

But, sometimes this can be a very passive process (i.e. the patient leaves a testimonial, and you only get to hear about it once you’ve been alerted about the review). I’m going to make the argument that you should roll up your sleeves and get a lot more involved in the process.

Why? Because with a little ‘coaching’ from you or your team, patients will deliver up amazing testimonials, rather than ones that are a little ‘meh’.

Why does this matter? An amazing testimonial can literally get someone to hit that ‘book now’ button, who might otherwise have been left sitting on the fence.

So how do you get a testimonial in the first place?

As Andy Crestodina (a leader in all things SEO) likes to say, ‘Start with your super fans’.

Typically these people will be falling over themselves to praise you, so look for the cues, and then ask them.

For instance, if you’ve been able to come to someone’s aid during lockdown, and you were able to help them via Zoom, and quickly get their problem resolved, you could reach out to them and say in an email:

“Hello Kate,

I’m so glad to hear your sciatica is better, and you’re able to get through a workday without pain. I’m getting in touch to ask if you wouldn’t mind giving me a short testimonial for my website. It’s been brilliant to be able to help you during lockdown, and many people are still holding back from getting care, because they don’t realise what can be achieved over a video call. I’d love to help more people like yourself.

Would that be OK with you – no worries at all if not. If it helps, I could send you a few questions which you might find help when putting together a couple of sentences.”

What makes a compelling testimonial?

Let’s look at an example of a wonderful testimonial a patient recently sent to a Dianne Ashcroft – a wonderful podiatrist.

Her patient said:

‘For over ten years I have suffered with an ongoing toe nail fungal on four toes. I have tried many topical treatments Curanail, Scholl, Vicks, tea tree oil, to name a few. I have also visited a Chiropodist in the past. I would file my fungal nails down on a weekly basis and tried various cream to improve the skin on the sole of my foot. Whilst at times some of the treatments helped keep the fungus under control to a degree, it has never gone away and has always looked unsightly. I never wear sandals.

Contacting Diane was a great decision. I found Diane so approachable and her knowledge is vast. During my consultation I was informed of the bigger picture, my fungus was not just on my nails, but on my entire foot – the white bits of skin which I thought were dry was actually the fungus too. Diane explained why other treatments had not worked and provided me with a lot of information.

Diane prescribed a treatment process and I was able to purchase all the items I needed directly from her. I am approximately 10 weeks into treatment, the sole of my foot is so soft and all the fungus on my nails has gone.

I cannot believe the results, I am so happy. You may think it’s an odd thing to say about your foot, but fungal infection isn’t a pleasant thing to have. My parents have been sent photos of my ‘new foot’ so far 😄, they too have suffered with fungal toe nail infection for years and yet attend a chiropodist on a regular basis!

Even though I didn't have any direct treatment in the clinic itself, I have felt well looked after by Diane at every step of my treatment. Diane’s level of knowledge has given me a foot I am sure I am going to be able to show off in sandals soon enough. I am now waiting for the new nail to grow back whilst treating with anti-fungal treatment prescribed by Diane to ensure it doesn’t return.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Diane to anyone. I am over the moon with the results so far. Thank you so much Diane for sharing your knowledge and being there every step of the way during my treatment. You are obviously an expert in Podiatry, no one else has been able to treat my foot/nails and I have seen many professionals over the years.

Don’t be embarrassed about your fungus, seek treatment from Diane and get it sorted, trust me it’ll be the best money you have spent in a long time. Can’t wait for my new fungal free nails to grow and buy that pair of sandals 😄'.

So, what makes this a compelling testimonial? The patient shares with us how long she had been suffering with her problem – for four years!

She shared that she’d tried all these different things, had seen ‘many Professionals over the years', and it never really solved the problem. She went on to state until she had help from Dianne, she never wore sandals.

The sandal confession would have resonated with any patient reading the testimonial who also has a fungal foot problem. It’s powerful, because it hits on the underlying emotion, which is shame. This patient felt shame about getting her feet out in public.

Dianne’s treatment brought about a cure of the patient’s feet, but it also cured the patient’s shame.

The testimonial beautifully described the transformation that had occurred for the patient, particularly on an emotional level, so if you can coax out how you made the patient feel, the testimonial will be much more powerful.

How to coach people through writing a testimonial

Patients often want to say nice things about us, but sometimes the challenge of writing the testimonial seems too arduous; some people literally don’t know what to say. So, help them!

It’s literally worth cutting and pasting the questions below in an email to the patient:

Thanks so much for kindly writing a testimonial for me. These are a few questions to help:

  • What was the problem that you were experiencing before you came to see me?
  • Did you try anything previously, and if so what?
  • What happened as a result of coming to see me and what was the best thing about it?
  • Did you have any concerns about coming to see me?
  • What would you say to anyone else who is in a similar situation and why might you like to recommend that they come and see me?

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

Make it easy for them to post the testimonial

It’s fabulous to have amazing testimonials on your website, and even better if you can ask the patient to also leave a review for you on Google and LinkedIn, Doctify and any other channels that are important to you. The patient themselves has to do this, so make it easy for them. Ask if they are happy for you to send you them a LinkedIn ‘Ask for a recommendation’ request (they could cut and paste the testimonial they wrote for you).

Send them a link to your Google My Business page – it’s the URL link that will pop up when you hit the blue ‘Write a review’ button. This will be lengthy, so shorten it with a URL shortener such as Bitly.com

If you can get a video testimonial – they are gold dust! – We’ll talk more about what makes a great video testimonial, and how to get one, next time.

Ask if they are happy for their name, and ideally a little thumbnail photo to be displayed – this is so much for powerful than a nameless testimonial.

Finally, present the testimonial on your website with a punchy headline – because if the testimonial is a meaty long one, you want a ‘headline’ to be the first thing someone reads – just in case the reader doesn’t scroll further.

So, if we use Dianne the podiatrist’s testimonial – we could make the headline:

“For over ten years I have suffered with an ongoing fungal toenail on four toes. I cannot believe the results; I am so happy.”

See if it’s possible to incorporate one of the keywords you want your website to rank for, in the testimonial. In our example – this would be ‘fungal toenail’.

Finally, remember to place the testimonial on the most relevant page of your website. Yes, it’s great to put it on the testimonials page, but even better would be to put it on the toenail fungus page!

If you need help figuring out how to get testimonials, how to use social media to your advantage, and how to grow your Private Practice, ping me an email. I’m at css@privatepracticeninja.co.uk

Why not book a Ninja Power Hour, and let’s get stuff done!

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See you next time!