By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Testimonials—a patient’s expression of appreciation for you, your practice and their results—are powerful motivators for potential patients, and highly useful in medical practice marketing. And, being mindful of HIPAA, many professional situations can use this tool effectively.
While patients are often happy to make referrals and testimonial statements, they often don’t have a clue about how to do it. Patients, like everyone else these days, are busy. And no matter how thrilled patients are, it’s the rare patient who can actually put pen to paper or take to the Internet to share their satisfaction with the world.
The solution is to provide them with all the tools that make it quick and easy.
Our illustration is how it might occur in otolaryngology, but the principles transfer easily from ENT to many other professions and specialties. Let’s say your office has helped a patient with allergy symptoms or has stopped a snoring problem.
It’s the moment for you or your staff to say something like:
“Thank you! You know, helping people resolve health problems like yours is why I became an ENT in the first place. But I’m often surprised that many people don’t know that there is help available. Would you like to share your thoughts with others so I can get the word out?”
If they agree, walk them to the front desk to handle some simple paperwork. You’ll need permission and release forms. (Forms are available from the American Medical Association, and you’ll want to consider state and association rules that may apply.)
Have a staff member take notes on exactly what the patient says. That staffer might remind patients of key aspects of the practice to capture the positive feelings about the results, practice capabilities and staff. Transcribe the patient’s words as they are expressed.
A testimonial doesn’t need to be long…just a few sentences. As long as it is an accurate and honest statement from the patient. When the words are right, ask the patient to sign what they’ve dictated and the release forms. Some patients may prefer to write it for themselves, but most will appreciate the help and convenience of doing the work on the spot.
If you have questions about testimonials, referrals or bigger picture marketing issues, let’s talk.