We as rehab therapists are generally proud of ourselves – and rightly so.
We’ve worked hard to earn the credentials that we now hold in such high regard, many of which have been earned long after graduating from physical, occupational or speech therapy school. These credentials distinguish us from one another and convey specialties in which we now have expertise.
And, while professional recognition of our accomplishments has its place, it is important to remember that our value in the marketplace is not about us. It is about our patients and the experiences they have.
To put it more simply, our value doesn’t lie with who we are. What we do – how we as rehab therapists positively affect and improve the lives of people within our communities – will always form the foundation on which we’re judged.
It’s from these outcome-based successes that we can glean some of the most powerful marketing opportunities available to any consumer-based business: consumer testimonials.
The Value of Testimonials
One way to focus our marketing and communication strategies around our value propositions is to put our happiest and most satisfied patients under the spotlight. And, if you want to make these patients a central part of your brand, one of the best ways to do so is through the use of testimonials.
Many satisfied patients are more than happy to spread the word and share their success stories. And, this “social proof” – credibility that only our patients can provide – is far more important to the market than anything we can ever communicate on our own.
Testimonials can take various shapes and forms, but they are only fair game if proper consent has been given by patients who wish to disclose their relationship with you to the public. Once you get approval, here is a list of ways you can use and present these stories within your marketing efforts:
No rehab therapy website is complete until it features a handful of testimonials from patients discussing their positive experiences and outcomes. So, sprinkle testimonials throughout your website, from automated slides on the homepage to relevant pulled quotes on service and treatment pages.
After location and insurance acceptance, online reviews are the third-most critical driver of consumer decision-making when selecting a new healthcare provider. This is according to YouGov, an international market research firm that also found that more than 70 percent of new patients read customer reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook.1 So, encourage happy clients to leave online reviews!
Even the most casual amateur videos highlighting testimonials from happy patients can quickly draw the attention of people scrolling through social media sites. This includes popular sites, like TikTok, which can lead you to newer audiences. You can also share these videos on your website. Just keep them brief as few are going to watch for more than a minute or two.
Whether first- or third-person, writing and sharing patient stories allows you to deliver more in-depth details about a patient’s entire healthcare journey – how challenges affected their lives, why they opted for rehab therapy, how their healthcare journey progressed, and how their lives have been affected since completion of care. Such stories can be posted to your blog, shared via newsletters and/or social media, and perhaps even distributed as a press release or letter to referral sources.
Which form(s) your testimonials take is completely up to you and will likely be based on the time and skill you and your staff can dedicate to such marketing efforts. Keep in mind, though, that capturing and leveraging positive patient testimonials can be well worth the effort as few things pack a more powerful punch than the words and personal experiences of the patients who know you best.
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1 PatientEngagementHIT, “72% of Patients View Online Reviews When Selecting a New Provider,” Feb. 9, 2022