Testimonials are known as “Social Proof” of your services. They serve as confirmation of your excellent care, great service, and outstanding results. Asking patients for feedback shows that your practice is committed to quality, and that you care about the patient experience. It sends the message that you want to know how each patient perceives their care. It also gives you an opportunity to commend staff excellence, and fix your practice’s weaknesses.
How do you get testimonials and response information that will be worthy of posting on your website and in other social media venues? You need to plan, execute, and evaluate. Here are a few tips that will help you to get the information you can use.
If you want to use testimonials, here is a step-by-step guide:
1. LET PATIENTS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT: Let your patients know that you appreciate their feedback, and that they will be getting a questionnaire after their visit/procedure/treatment.
2. CRAFTING THE QUESTIONNAIRE: A carefully written questionnaire will get you useful information.
– BE SPECIFIC: Ask about specific tasks and events. “Did the nurse explain the procedure in language that you could understand.”
– MAKE IT SHORT: The fewer the questions, the higher the response rate. Make it brief and make it to the point.
– USE OPEN-ENDED QUESTION(S): Allow at least one open-ended question that is tailored toward the information you need (and can use) to improve and promote your practice.
Results-Focused: “How has this procedure affected your everyday life?”
Process-Focused: “What was the most positive part of your treatment?”
Referral-Focused: “How would you explain this experience to friends?”
3. MAKE IT TIMELY: Send the questionnaire out in a timely manner, ideally within 1-3 days of the patient’s experience
4. REMOVE OBSTACLES TO RESPONDING: Make it easy for patients to reply. If you are mailing the questionnaire, be sure to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you want them to reply to a survey on the website, make sure to include a clickable link.
To get helpful information, one practice that I work with schedules a 5- minute period of time during the appointment. They offer the patient a comfortable desk space where they are asked to answer some questions. The patient is focused on the task at hand, and isn’t balancing a clip board in the midst of a noisy waiting area. The survey is seen as part of the patient wellness process, and an important tool for patient care. Since the practice puts a priority on the questionnaire, they get excellent, well-thought-out responses.
While we are interested in gathering information, we must be diligent about protecting patient privacy. If you want to use patient names and photos to accompany your testimonials, you will need to have the patient sign a release form. If you are using the information anonymously, be sure to remove any clues to the patient’s identity.
Consider how testimonials can help you attract new patients. Encourage your patients to tell you about their experience, and you will have a valuable resource to promote your practice. Patient testimonials are a very important part of the decision-making process for new patients. Start collecting testimonials, and keep them on file. They will serve as a great resource for ideas on information to blog, post & tweet about!
Need help getting started? Contact us at CareLink!