Sunday, May 22, 2011

Patient testimonials on your website aren't good enough

We all do it. We put a few great testimonials on our websites that speak to how great we are. It's expected. But our customers are more savvy these days, especially when it comes to health care. Patients don't want to see a few well-written letters on your corporate website. They want the truth -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

They're seeking out healthcare ratings websites and they're in search of honest opinions from other patients. Believe it or not, they actually want to see a few negative comments. Because those negative comments validate the positive ones. Plus, how you handle these public comments also provides insight into how your organization might treat people in general. For example, are you argumentative or apologetic? Do you use feedback to improve? Your responses say a lot.

So what is a healthcare marketer to do? Participate in a healthcare ratings website! Here's how to incorporate a ratings website into your healthcare marketing plan:
  1. Evaluate your options. Use a healthcare specific ratings website rather than a general site (like Yelp, etc) because they give prospective patients more relevant and useful information. Questions are geared toward patient care scenarios and focus on things that patients actually care about. Plenty of healthcare ratings websites exist, so do a little homework to determine which one works best for you. First, find out which sites already have reviews on your organization (do a Google search using a phrase like "southgate surgery center reviews"). Working with a site that already has a good base of reviews can give you a head start. Next, determine whether the website allows you to respond to comments or add marketing information to your provider profile. Also look for additional features like alerts when you get new reviews or resources to help you promote your reviews.
  2. Ask patients to rate you. The more reviews and patient testimonials you can collect, the more accurate a picture you can present to prospective patients. Therefore, you should make it your practice to ask every patient and visitor to 'share their experience on a third party ratings website to help others determine whether your practice is right for them.' Saying something along those lines on your website, invoice and on a script during the checkout process will increase your response rate. Here's something to keep in mind: In a recent study of surveys on, we found that 90 to 95% of reviews were positive.
  3. Share your ratings on your website and social media profiles. Much like the travel industry does, you should proudly display your ratings. Post a link to your reviews page on your website and social media profiles. Post them in your lobby and waiting rooms. And every once in a while when you get a really moving testimonial, go ahead and post it as a status update on your Facebook page and Twitter stream. The more people see your ratings online, the more they will trust your organization. Not just that you'll do a great job taking care of them, but that you truly care about your patients and what they think of you.
Read more about testimonial marketing and incorporating reviews in your healthcare marketing campaign:

What is Testimonial Marketing, risks and how to do it
Testimonial marketing case study: Western Wayne Family Health Centers
How to respond to patient reviews

Have a question? Just ask in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Good information here. I will post this information to my Facebook page. It is really informative for others.
    Patient Satisfaction Survey