I would like to learn how to get testimonials from people. I haven't been successful in getting good ones. I've had patients tell me how much they appreciate our service, why they chose us over another location, etc. They agree to do the testimonial on camera, but they become stilted, can't find words and it's a disaster. Then they feel bad and I feel bad. What is a better way to approach this?
Given that many people now go to the web to find information it's valuable to have video content on your website, including videotaped testimonials. Many practice managers and people over the age of 40 (including me) are becoming adept at using "smart phones" to record and post these patient testimonials on their websites. As you state in your question, however, most patients aren't Meryl Streep or Robert DeNiro. When the glowing testimonial comes across as inauthentic it's counterproductive and certainly not worthy of being posted on your website for the world to see.
Fortunately, there is technology that you can use that allows you to capture positive reviews of your practice without the need of Woody Allen-like directorial skills. Commonly referred to as "online reputation management" you can create a "testimonial" link on your website. This is the modern version of the customer comment card. Instead of using a pencil to complete the card, now patients can go to the web and record their comments.
Using old fashioned business cards with the link printed on the back is one way to drive patients to the site where they can enter their feedback about your practice. Each time a patient records a comment about your practice you are notified via e-mail. If it's a glowing response, you can post it on your website for others to see. If the response provides you with constructive criticism you probably do not want to post it, but you do want to fix the potential problem or provide a personalized solution to the patient providing you with the constructive feedback.
The added bonus of an online comment card is that all the positive reviews can be prominently displayed on the first page of your website for all shoppers to see. A byproduct of such a service is that this traffic to your website keeps your practice on page one of any Google or Bing search. To learn more about adding a "testimonial" link and online reputation manager to your practice, contact your website service provider.
Editor's Note: This Ask the Expert was taken from the eSeminar "Unitron Professional Development Series: Testimonials Demystified - How to Harness the Power of Positive Reviews." To access the recorded course, please visit www.audiologyonline.com/ceus/recordedcoursedetails.asp?class_id=19770
Brian Taylor, Au.D., is the Professional Development Manager for Unitron. Brian is responsible for all Unitron initiatives related to enhancing our customer's expertise, professionalism, and effectiveness in the areas of hearing aid fitting, product selection, and practice development. Brian earned his Au.D from Central Michigan University and has over 15 years of clinical and practice management experience. For more information about Unitron, visit unitron.com or the Unitron web channel on AudiologyOnline.