Your patient testimonials probably aren’t doing you any favors. But before we can fix them, we have to know why they’re not working in the first place.
Patient testimonials and reviews are a huge part of a healthcare organization’s digital presence. It’s an opportunity for them to shine — or fall flat. And it’s understandable why soliciting, curating and publishing testimonials can be contentious — after all, it’s content created for the brand, not by the brand. This lack of control and certainty can lead to unease and distrust.
But never fear. We’ve outlined what’s not working for your patient testimonials … and how to get it right.
1. You only have negative reviews.
People are more apt to write a review (for anything, not just healthcare) if their experience was a negative one. There’s something cathartic about sharing a bad experience: You hope to move past the negativity, warn others about possible issues and inform organizations about how they can make amends. However, we’re often less motivated to write a positive review.
What you can do about it: It’s simple: Ask. Let your patients know how important their opinions are to the work you do. Make sure to get written permission before posting any reviews (it’s a legal requirement), but don’t be afraid to ask. Chances are, patients will be more than willing to help.
2. Testimonials feel forced — or, worse, fake.
People can smell a fake review a mile away. Granted, if you’re actually posting false reviews, that’s a whole other issue, but the problem still remains: If you have too many stilted, fake-sounding reviews, you could lose credibility.
What you can do about it: Don’t shy away from authentic feedback. Definitely don’t delete negative reviews. The best way to combat an issue is head-on — and if you can make it known to others that you’re willing and open to accept feedback, that often works in your favor.
Another way to avoid corny or canned reviews: Consider alternate content types. For instance, consider soliciting video testimonials or audio clips, instead of relying solely on written reviews. Not only do these mediums offer increased personalization (you’re actually seeing a patient or hearing their voice), you can also reuse and repurpose this content (with permission, of course).
3. Reviews are too generic.
“I had such a great experience with Dr. Smith!”
“My level of care was exceptional!”
“I’ve never felt so taken care of!”
What’s wrong with these reviews? They’re great, right?
Wrong. They sound like they could be from any company, anywhere. There’s nothing unique or specific about them. There’s no way for someone reading this review to connect with the patient’s experience.
What you can do about it: Ask specific questions. Whether it’s in an email, a phone call, in person or in an online form, ask the questions that are going to get the best answers. Consider these:
- What were you feeling before meeting our team?
- Did that feeling change after meeting with us? How?
- What major questions did you have early in the process?
- How did we address those questions?
- What are the things you’d like us to continue to do?
- How can we improve?