If you’re a private practice owner, then you likely know that there are many ways to attract new patients and grow your practice. From online marketing to in person events, the list goes on. However, there is one option that you may not consider as often, but is actually one of the most important and that is…patient reviews and testimonials. That’s right, when was the last time you asked a patient to provide their feedback about your clinic and services or give a testimonial about their experience? If you’re having trouble remembering, chances are you aren’t asking your patients enough!
Before we jump into the best ways to obtain patient’s reviews and testimonials, let’s distinguish between the two…because there is a difference!
A review often represents a patient’s true opinion and experience with your clinic. Not only that, but reviews tend to end up on third party websites, such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, and you typically have no control over them. On the other hand, a testimonial is a quote you can use on your website or other marketing materials to make your clinic stand out. Testimonials are always positive and you can choose where and how to use them. Even though these are technically different things, they should not be viewed as two separate entities as more often than not, you can pull a testimonial from a patient’s review!
Now that you know the difference, here are 5 of the best ways to gather patient reviews and testimonials for your clinic:
1. Ask During the Appointment
One of the best ways to obtain a review is to ask your patient during their appointment in the office. This allows the patient to provide direct feedback while they are face to face with you, which not only gives you the opportunity to express your thanks, but also to make note of and address any negative feedback they provide for an improved experience in the future!
Feeling awkward about randomly asking your patient? No worries! Two great times to ask are when the patient is giving you or your clinic praise or when you are inquiring about the patient’s experience, possibly at the end of their plan of care. Also, according to BrightLocal, 7 out of 10 people will provide an online review if asked so make sure you ask!
2. Send Automated Emails
Another great option is by sending automated emails via an email platform, such as MailerLite or Mailchimp. Automated patient review requests via email can have the same impact as an individual email, provided you set them up correctly. If choosing the automated email route, it is important that you personalize the email and send a series of emails to your patients so that they understand how much a review means for your clinic.
You can include a direct link to your own review page or a third-party site, but make sure that it is easy to submit a review and that the instructions are clear. It also might help to include an example of a review as some patients don’t always know what to say. Always remember that before sending out automated emails, your patients need to provide their express consent to be contacted via email!
3. On Your Website
If patients frequently visit your website to make appointments or access any information, then it’s a good idea to add a way for patients to leave reviews there. One of the simplest ways is by placing a call-to-action (CTA) button on your most frequently-visited pages to ask for a review. The CTA button should lead directly to a landing page on your website that again, makes it easy and clear for the patient to leave a review.
4. Social Media
In this day and age, social media is all the rage and can actually help make or break a clinic. If your clinic is on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and you have an active following, then this is another great place to ask for reviews. The best way to do this is through creating a post that directs the patient to the review landing page on your website or asking them to leave it directly on Facebook so that other potential patients on social media can quickly see the review as well! Don’t be afraid to post more than once and you’ll likely have to post at various days and times to see which one receives the best response.
5. Text Messages
Last, but certainly not least, is text messages. This may be a great way to gather reviews from your patients who are constantly on their phones (aka millennials and the younger generations). A carefully crafted text message that is clear and provides a direct link to your review page may just convince your patient to go and leave a quick review. HelloNote has a built-in review feature which will send your patient a link to leave a review!
Patient reviews and testimonials are truly the bread and butter when it comes to attracting new patients to your business as they are an easy way to help your clinic stand out and show the exemplary care you provide. As author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Doer once said, “Your reputation is in the hands of others” so make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure that the reputation of your clinic is a great one!