Visit almost any dentist’s website and have a look at the patient testimonials. You’ll see a large number of “Everybody in the practice is wonderful!” testimonials, together with some specific mentions of how gentle a particular hygienist was or how understanding the dentist is.
Exactly what you’d expect, and basically required in today’s internet age. Any dentist who doesn’t have those general testimonials on his or her website would be viewed with suspicion. But while that type of testimonial is necessary, it’s not sufficient. General testimonials are exactly worthless for attracting dental patients with specific concerns.
Not attracting those condition-specific prospects is a hit on your collections. Those patients generally offer higher case values and the opportunity to do more personally rewarding work.
Even worse, having run-of-the-mill testimonials on your website does nothing to differentiate you from the great mass of dentists. Dentists today are assumed to be competent. By extension, their staff people are assumed to be competent. Receiving professional treatment in a courteous, caring manner is the absolute minimum expected of dental practices these days.
When it comes to attracting the patients you need to grow your practice, rather than an unending string of drill and fills, you’ve got to do better with your patient testimonials.
Market for What You Want
People with specific dental issues are looking for dentists who can provide solutions for those issues. Your website certainly tells prospects what you do, but your credibility with a newcomer to your site is low. Prospects are looking for “social proof” that dentists really is as good, as innovative, and as concerned with patients’ comfort as they say they are.
Patient testimonials about how the practice addressed specific dental problems are the social proof that your better prospects are looking for. If you have one or more testimonials about how a patient had been told that he or she couldn’t have dental implants, but you found a way to make implants possible, that’s gold. If you have testimonials about the superior cosmetic dentistry results you provided for people with highly challenged smiles, that’s money in the bank.
General testimonials don’t help connect the dots for patients with specific dental needs. They’ll gravitate to the practices where patients like them are singing the doctor’s praises for solving dental problems like theirs.
If you want more new patients who present specific dental problems that you will gladly solve, you need to ask for testimonials from patients who you’ve already treated for those problems. Those aren’t always easy to get – relatively few people are happy to admit that their mouth was a mess, or that they’d lost significant numbers of teeth. But with patience and persistence, you can market specifically to attract higher-value cases that will help you grow your practice.
What your patients say about your practice does matter, but not all testimonials are created equal. Use condition-specific patient testimonials in your marketing to attract the new patients you want and do more of the cases that you love to handle.