When a prospective patient is looking for a partner to work with, there are three things that they’re fundamentally looking for.
- Somebody that understands their challenges.
- Somebody that they can trust.
- Somebody that can prove that they’ve helped people like them before.
The problem is, you just saying this on your website (like 95% of the industry) is no longer enough.
They need proof.
They need to hear it from other people who they can relate to.
This is where patient testimonials become very powerful and are critical to building a trustworthy online presence.
However, the large majority of this industry are doing them wrong.
In this “how to” guide, we’re going to outline why testimonials are so important, what makes a good testimonial, and two processes that you can put into place to build a library of powerful testimonials that will make you impossible to compete with.
But first, let’s look at the three reasons why testimonials are so important.
#1 – They Build Trust & Credibility
Although you know that you’re awesome and take care of patients like nobody else does, prospective patients will undoubtedly be skeptical.
They’ll be wondering if hearing aids will work for them, if they can trust you, if you’re going to be worth the investment, and every other possible objection that they could have.
That’s why before making any decision, prospective patients will want to know if they can trust you and that you will be able to help them.
Testimonials are a powerful way to achieve this.
Testimonials allow your satisfied patients to step forward and address the questions and objections that fill the minds of your prospective patients for you.
This puts their anxious minds at ease knowing that other people like them have been happy and satisfied with what you have done for them, resulting in them building trust that you can do the same for them.
This is called “Social Proof,” and it’s one of the most powerful persuasion tools at your disposal.
Because, after all, sales messages are easier to believe when somebody without an agenda is backing them up.
#2 – Nothing is as Powerful as Emotion to Driving Decisions
Testimonials aren’t just a reason to market your services; they’re an opportunity to connect with your audience on an emotional level.
Given the level of emotion and the life-changing capabilities of what you offer, testimonials become much easier to our industry than most.
There are neurological studies which all confirm that people rely on emotions — not logic — to make decisions.
“We feel our way to reason.”
Brands that connect with their prospects on an emotional level are better positioned to persuade them to buy.
Therefore, brands that use advertising to drive laughter, tears, or excitement are often the brands that drive attention.
When people feel emotionally connected, it drives them to action.
#3 – We’re Hard-Wired to Love Stories
The best part of powerful testimonials is that they’re essentially stories.
You have the character (your patient) who had a problem (hearing loss) and found the solution (you).
Understand this: Story is THE universal human language.
In fact, stories are scientifically proven to tap into our brains in a unique way, pulling us into the plot.
Our brains are literally wired for stories.
We’re literally programmed to think in terms of narrative stories. It’s how we relate with the world and construct our identities. Scientists have even discovered that when you’re engrossed in a story, it’s all-consuming.
Well-structured testimonials tell stories that are powerful, engaging, and build a huge emotional connection.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Testimonials.
When it comes to testimonials, they’re not all the same.
Quality definitely trumps quantity.
If we go back to the reason that testimonials work, it’s because of the emotional impact that they have AND their ability to tell a story.
Yet many testimonials in this industry are more sound bites than stories.
So, let’s look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
If we focus on the good being story-based and emotional, then good testimonials are where you capture the narrative of a story.
The best way that we do this is by asking the patient five questions that allow them to tell their story.
We recommend that these questions are:
By asking these questions, it allows the patients to tell their story.
They talk about their first signs of hearing loss, they include the thing that was holding them back (whether it was price, fear of looking old, or something else) and it shows them now.
It has a before, a middle, and an end.
We’ve had clients ask these questions on video, edit out themselves asking the questions, and create some incredible “Patient Story-based” testimonials.
We’ve also built these questions into a form that has been printed and used following appointments for patients.
It results in powerful story-based testimonials.
The reason that these work so well is because the patient shares their preconceived beliefs or fears prior to an appointment.
If a prospective patient sees somebody else that had the exact same fears/beliefs that they currently have but who has come out of the other side saying that it’s a great thing to do – it’s more powerful than anything that you could ever say.
These testimonials are always backed up with a real-life patient’s photograph, making them feel authentic and genuine.
Look through most hearing care websites and you’ll see the bad.
It’s a faceless individual saying something like:
“Dr. Audiologist is great. Love my hearing aids.”
They’re nice, they feel good to you as the audiologist or business owner – but they do nothing for the prospective patient.
They have no emotion, they tell no story, they have no face to back up the statement.
Yet if you ask a patient to leave a review and don’t give them any guidance, then this is likely what you’re going to receive back.
I always smile when I see the “ugly” testimonials. They’re usually one word.
They’re space fillers.
They’re usually something like:
They do nothing for anybody and they’re typically a result of you not giving the patient the guidance or help to create something special.
The Fast Way to Build a Library of Video Testimonials from Existing Patients
#1 – You need to hire a local videographer.
If you hop on Google, you’ll be able to search for a videographer in your area. We would recommend contacting 3+ with the following message to get a price comparison…
This is a relatively simple inexpensive job for a videographer and with the investment required being slightly different depending where you are in the country, you will be estimating between $1,000 to $2,000.
If you need advice/input when they come back to you, then we’re here to help.
#2 – Contact Key Patients and Invite Them
You’ll have patients in mind that would either be awesome on camera or have a super powerful story.
Although we could write an email for you to send to them, given the sensitivity and your relationship, our advice is to pick up the phone and personally call them or drop them a personal email.
If you’re looking for help with the script or what to write in the email, our recommendation would be:
With each interview taking no longer than 20 minutes each, I would recommend scheduling as many interviews as possible.
#3 – Ask Them The Five Questions
Have the videographer set up their kit, and ask the patient the five key questions.
- Q1 – When did you first realize that you may have a hearing loss?
- Q2 – What were your preconceived beliefs or fears before visiting us?
- Q3 – What were your first impressions of us?
- Q4 – How have hearing aids changed your life?
- Q5 – What would you say to somebody that is considering visiting us for the first time?
One important thing that you need to do is encourage the patient to repeat the question in their answer.
For example, if you asked them, “When did you first realize that you may have a hearing loss…?”
… the patient would answer, “I first realized I had a hearing loss when …”
This ensures that the videographer can edit the videos to make them seamless and easy to watch without your voice being in the video or title being added to the screen.
The Simple Ongoing Process to Collect Powerful Testimonials Starting Today
Every week, you have happy patients walking through your door and telling you how much you’ve impacted their lives – they’re desperate to scream how great you are from the rooftops.
Here’s a simple four-step process to start turning these patients into powerful patient stories.
#1 – It’s All in The Timing
You need to catch the patient at their happiest.
Our recommendation would be at the follow-up appointment following their fitting.
By this stage, the patient will have experienced the differences, be amazed at the impact you/technology has had on their life, and be in the perfect place to share their story.
This is the time that we would recommend introducing the “testimonial” conversation.
#2 – Asking the Patient
Towards the end of your appointment, you can then introduce the conversation of leaving a testimonial.
You can do this naturally or if you would like a script/guidance on how to use a talk trigger to initiate the conversation, then you can use this:
#3 – Take a Snap!
Nothing brings a testimonial to life more than a picture of the patient.
However, asking the patient to sit there and smile can make them feel uncomfortable, as we naturally dislike pictures on our own.
That’s why the perfect way to remove this fear is by joining the patient in the picture.
An easy way to introduce this is to say:
You: Thank you so much for that, it will help so many people. All we need now is a happy smiling picture of you and me to accompany it.
The outcome is that you’ll now have a process for collecting powerful testimonials that tell a story, hold emotion, and drive readers to have some form of response.
Does it require work? Yes.
Is it difficult? No.
Follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll be able to have a web presence that documents the great work that you’re doing.