Testimonials can be a very powerful tool when used correctly on your website. They can dramatically increase the success of your cosmetic surgery marketing efforts and make a huge difference in conversion rates. Some people are hesitant to use them, believing them to be a bit hokey or too self-congratulatory, but testimonials really do represent one great opportunity that should not be missed. In fact, surveys have shown that Internet users spend around 85% more time on sites with testimonials over those without them.
A solid testimonial can create trust in a potential patient while also lending credibility to you and your practice, which is particularly important when it comes to the Internet. Patients realize that, though they may be searching online in the somewhat ‘unreal’ atmosphere of the Internet, there are real-world people out there who have been your patients and are raving about you as a doctor. Further, testimonials inform people that, though they may have not heard of you, you and your practice really do exist and are legitimate. If necessary, excellent testimonials can also help to prove that your services are worth the price.
Cleary, Internet users are influenced by testimonials, and there are several reasons why this is so. First, testimonials are ideally suited to the way that people read on the Internet because they are typically short, contain important information, and deliver a punch. They also visually break up text and create an easier pattern for reading. Though they accomplish the same thing as standard promotional copy, Internet users far prefer to read testimonials.
So, just what makes for a good testimonial? Ideally, a testimonial should be no more than one to three lines to increase the chance of it being read. It should be punchy and specific.
You do not want to use lousy, lukewarm or mediocre testimonials, or testimonials which sound only marginally positive. An excellent testimonial can summarize what is good about you and your work, providing in just a few lines what people are generally searching through an entire site for. Authenticity is also very important. Testimonials should be and sound authentic, retaining the style and voice of real people, and should not be converted into marketing-speak. The attribution can be important too as many people first look at the source of the testimonial before reading it. It’s best to have full attribution on your testimonials, ‘Jane Doe, Somewhere, CA’, for instance, instead of ‘Jane D.’, ‘J.D’, or ‘J. Doe’. However, this is not always possible as many plastic surgery patients prefer some amount of anonymity. Testimonials can also prove much more powerful when a picture of the testimonial giver is used alongside the testimonial.
Where you place your testimonials on your website can be important as well. Powerful testimonials should be placed in a prominent location, namely front and center on your front page. Remember, testimonials build credibility and legitimacy for you and your practice. Specific testimonials can also be used on specific pages, thus allowing them to be sprinkled throughout your site. For instance, procedure-specific testimonials can be used on each procedure page or a testimonial about your excellent post-surgical care can be listed on a post-surgery informational page and so on. When used on multiple pages in this way, they can also help to visually break up text.
Many people feel uncomfortable about asking for testimonials. Asking someone to say something nice about you may feel a bit awkward or immodest. It is, however, well worth the effort and you’d likely be surprised by how willing your patients are to provide you with a testimonial. One way around this is to incorporate the collection of testimonials into your customer service process by asking patients to fill out a customer survey either online or on paper. One rule of thumb, however, is to make sure that you always ask for permission before using a testimonial.