It is common to see signs displayed in businesses which state, “The greatest compliment we could receive from our patients is the referral of a friend or family member.” Because this statement is true, one of the most important marketing investments a practice will make is in its own patient base. An important opportunity lies in collecting and marketing written patient testimonials. Practices can and should use these written responses as key items in their marketing strategy.
In order to have the patient’s permission to display the testimonial and use the testimonial for future marketing efforts, you must obtain the patient’s written permission to do so. A sample testimonial authorization form can be found below. Be sure to clearly specify whether you are requesting to reference the patient’s full name when you display the testimonial. Often, a practice will choose to only display the patient’s first name or first name and first initial of the last name.
In order for the collection of testimonials to be successful, the practice must be proactive about requesting and promoting the collection of patient testimonials. If you simply display the testimonial forms in your reception area without any other effort, patients will likely not offer to complete the form. You may choose to include the patient testimonial form with other health history forms that existing patients need to update. Have your front office staff request that the patient complete the testimonial form. You may decide to ask certain patients whom you are confident are satisfied with their experience in your practice to write a testimonial. Or you could create a friendly competition among your dental team and have a contest with a prize for the team member who can collect the most patient testimonials by the end of the month. Regardless of the method you choose, you must approach the patient with the request, similar to how you should request the patient refer their friends or family to your practice.
There are many ways in which you can utilize patient testimonials and comments to your advantage in your practice’s marketing plan. Here are a few ideas:
View the following sample authorization forms: