Why are testimonials so powerful?
As a patient, if we see an endorsement from somebody who has been through a similar thing to ourselves, we're much more likely to feel safe about booking into seeing that person.
Testimonials are a way of turning an interested online researcher into a patient who actually books in to see you.
It's all because of something called conformity bias.
We want to belong as human beings, and we want to know that something is safe and that someone has done it before.
Testimonials are a very powerful tool for this. Perhaps you have been to see a great film or a fantastic restaurant; you’ll want to share that information with your friends. Patients want to do the same, and we should let them.
It’s worth appreciating that some patients want to say good things about us because it makes them feel good to share their fantastic experience.
Why do we hold back from asking patients for testimonials?
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
“Oh, I hate asking things from people. It just feels really cringy.”
“What if they say no?”
“Sometimes when I'm asked for a testimonial, frankly, I just don't know what to say.”
“Surely if I was that brilliant, they'd give me one anyway.”
One of the reasons patients don't rush to give us a testimonial is that it simply doesn't occur to them. They might have been thinking they’d like to leave a testimonial, but by the time that they get onto the Jubilee line, they've forgotten all about it.
When we're asking patients for testimonials, we can really help them out by making the process easy for them by suggesting to them what they could write.
We need to get over the idea that we shouldn't ask people for testimonials, and it might have a little bit of something to do with our upbringing. I come from a generation of British people who are utterly C**P at accepting praise.
Might that be something that’s holding you back too?
These are my 4 Ninja Tips for getting great testimonials…
Committing to asking for testimonials.
The easiest place to start is with your raving fans. Go on. I know you've got some really! If you've had a particularly good interaction with a patient during your clinic session, you could ping them an email saying something along these lines…
“Hi Mary, I'm delighted that your marathon training's going so well. I wonder if I could ask you for a small favour about possibly leaving a testimonial for me? This could be either for my website or on Google. Please don't do this if it makes you feel in any way uncomfortable, but you've done so well, I would love to help other people in your shoes. Let me know, thanks very much.”
Hopefully, Mary's going to come back saying…
“Yeah, of course, Doc. You’re bleedin’ amazing. Of course, I'm love to leave you a testimonial.”
And then you could perhaps guide your Mary with a few suggestions…
“Could you write a sentence or two about what kind of problem you had before you came to see me, and whether you had any concerns about coming to see me? (that part's important to help other patients overcome their objections). How did you get on after you'd come to see me? Is there anything else you'd like to say.”
Testimonials are best when they're short and snappy. If you've got a patient who's really keen to wax lyrical about you, you can take the testimonial text and put in bolded ‘highlights’, so that when other people are reading it, their eyes are drawn to the juiciest bits.
Testimonials need to be authentic. It's imperative to try and get a person's name, and ideally, a little picture of them. Now, they might be very shy about that and feel that they don't want to do it. If you can at least put something along the lines of their initials under the job that they do, that'll help.
But it's much more powerful if you can say: ‘Mary Ducker, runner, London.'
Gaining reviews on your Google Business page.
“What the heck's that?” I hear you cry.
As clinicians, we should all have set up a Google My Business account. (If you need any pointers on how to do this, get in touch with Ninja Tech).
If you research somebody on Google, you'll be able to find a little area on the right-hand side of your page where it talks about Dr Josephine Blogs, here she is, this is where she works etc.
We can help patients find the opportunity to leave a google review by sending them a link to that area.
The URL link, will be pretty long and spidery; it's all kinds of words and letters and numbers. Another nifty thing you can do is shorten it by using a FREE URL shortening tool, such as ‘Bitly.com’. Paste your long link in and ‘hey presto' a lovely neat diddy one is produced, ready for easy use.
Why not go one step further and put that URL link behind a ‘leave a review’ button on your website, and then patients could easily click on the link to leave their review?
Knowing where to put the flippin' testimonials.
Patients are like the rest of us. We don't tend to trust when something seems a bit ‘salesy'.
Although it's a very good thing for Google and SEO to have a testimonials page, it's much more powerful to also scatter testimonials throughout your website – if you have one, and you should have one.
What does that look like?
For example: Let’s imagine you’re a physiotherapist who also runs Pilates classes. It makes sense to have a little testimonial or two, from patients who attend your Pilates class on the Pilates classes page.
Place testimonials where they're going to be the most powerful – where you get the most traffic. For most of us, that means on the ‘homepage' and your ‘About' page.
If you have got a particularly enthusiastic patient, you might be able to persuade them to give you a video testimonial.
These are so powerful because they connect with patients on a different kind of level. It helps them to themselves in that person's shoes.
“I'm like them; I'm that runner with that injured knee”.
Carefully consider who to approach for a video testimonial. It helps if they’re someone with a bit of verve, who won’t be terrified behind the camera.
Here's the crucial bit, it's all about how you ask them. You could approach Mary and say…
“Mary, you've done so brilliantly with all your rehab, would it be too much to ask you to do a little video testimonial so that other runners who are injured could be inspired by what can be possible? It would really help me reach other runners who need help”.
Don't hesitate; start collecting those testimonials today.
Let me know what worked best for you.
Now its time for you to grow your Private Practice.
email or call us 0207 993 6425