As a compassionate health care provider, this proven method to grow your weight loss practice may be a no-brainer. Or, it can be overshadowed by various paid marketing tactics that can lead to an unpredictable return on your investment.
Having a new patient find you through someone they know, or as a result of seeing the positive results your weight loss patients have experienced, is one of the greatest compliments you can receive. So it’s no surprise that patient testimonials and online reviews are some of the best ways to grow your weight loss practice. Another term for such efforts is “social proof marketing.” Although it sounds easy enough, there is an art to being consistent meaningful testimonials and displaying them for others to find easily.
Social proof is a form of behavioral influence that was coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book called: Impact: Science and Practice.1: Social proof marketing refers to evidence that other people have purchased and found value in a product or service offered by a business.2: Especially in today’s competitive market, social proof is critical when it comes to effectively growing your weight loss practice. In fact, here are some convincing statistics.3, 4:
- Nine in 10 people say they trust what a customer says about a business more than what the business says about them
- 79 percent of people have watched a video to learn more about a company or its products and services
- Two out of three people are more likely to buy something after seeing a video from a previous customer
- 88 percent of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations
- The average consumer reads 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision
- 57 percent of consumers will only buy or use a business service if it has at least a 4-star rating
The healthcare industry is not immune to these consumer statistics. Your weight loss patients are exploring their options. You should stand out with lots of positive testimonials and reviews.
The benefits of social proof marketing efforts, such as testimonials and reviews
The benefits of having testimonials and positive reviews from your weight loss patients are many. Below are some of them.
- Builds patient trust in you and what you offer
- Validates your authority
- Adds credibility to you and your practice
- Confirms your patient’s decision that you are the right choice for them
- Showcasing and celebrating your patients’ success and your ability to help them achieve the results they want
Bottom line, social proof marketing efforts like testimonials and online reviews increase your ability to grow your practice while regularly having fun celebrating your patients’ accomplishments.
How to systematically acquire patient testimonials and online reviews
While almost everyone loves a great success story, it’s easy to make the process of getting one and then effectively sharing it with others more difficult than it needs to be. Additionally, some common reasons that practitioners and their teams may avoid getting testimonials or online reviews in the first place is because you’re too busy, unsure of how to ask, and/or don’t have a simple process to capture it or once to use. obtained.
If this sounds familiar, here are proven steps to get great testimonials and 5-star reviews for your weight loss practice and maximize their positive impact on growing your practice.
1. Find your happy and successful patients and ask them to share their inspiring story: Your patients will consider this an honor and 90 percent of the time they’ll be happy to oblige (even if they’re hopelessly shy). Then find One or two people in your office who like social media, photography and/or video; usually you don’t have to look too far. Put them in charge of creating a simple system that includes patient authorization documents and testimonials and a way to efficiently process online reviews (written, photo and/or video).
2. Easily shoot your testimonial photos and/or quick promotional videosThere is no need to be too fancy. your phone or iPad will, and video editing has never been easier than it is today. Hopefully, you always take photos before the first visit, as well as after photos that show the patient’s transformation. Be sure to document their permission to use their photos/comments. Try to capture their personality and take advantage of those special moments like when you catch someone on the scale when they squeal with delight when they reach their 100 pound weight loss goal. To get great content, focus on some of these questions:
- Before you lost weight, tell us about 2-3 of the biggest challenges you were experiencing in your life at the time related to your weight.
- How have these issues affected your life?
- What finally made you say “enough is enough” and inspired you to decide (join our program or have weight loss surgery)?
- What made you choose Dr. _____ as your physician/surgeon?
- After weight loss surgery (or participating in our program), how much weight have you lost? How has this affected your health?
- How has this changed your LIFE?
- If you were talking to someone who is considering weight loss surgery (or joining our program), what advice would you give them?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with anyone considering weight loss surgery (joining our program)?
3. Leverage your social proof assets: You can take one video and cut it into shorter segments, create a graphic that includes their before and after photo with a quote and how much they’ve lost, or create a simple graphic with just their quote and initials. Doing all of these things can take one asset and turn it into many. Use your patient stories in prominent places like your website, social media sites, office posters, promotional emails, etc. emails and any other way you can think of. You can easily create an eye-catching social media branding template with your logo, before and after photos, and an inspirational patient quote. This helps bring consistent attention to your practice so you stay top of mind when people are ready to get serious about their weight loss efforts. And don’t forget to ask your team to share them too.
4. Grease the wheels to get patient testimonials and reviews easily:
- For your patientsHonor them with your request and, if you can, have them complete their testimonial or online review before they leave your office or at the end of their appointment. For online reviews, make it easy for them by having a software-ready device to listen to their feedback while they’re in your office. Alternatively, you can do the same without such software by emailing or sending them your online review link or having business cards/cards with QR codes so they go directly to your Google Review web page or Facebook review link. Links to positive reviews can also be included in your block signature on every email from your team, as well as on your website.
- For your teamEnthusiastically talk to your staff about the importance of happy, successful patients sharing their inspiring story with others. They may think that marketing is only for the “professionals” when in fact they are the ones who have the relationship with the patient. They are the ones a patient is most likely to say yes to when it comes to writing an online review or filling out a written or video testimonial. Make sure they understand the system you’ve chosen to use to get testimonials and online reviews. It’s important to ask for their input and suggestions to make this whole process easier.
Getting social proof for your marketing doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can even have a campaign and a “batch” collection of them so you can use multiple months of assets. The most important thing to do is ask for a patient testimonial or 5-star online review, then make it easy for them to share their experience and story.