Word of mouth has always been one of the most efficient marketing strategies that every business would always love to have intact. The beautiful thing about word of mouth marketing is that not only you spent literally zero amount of resources once it starts to roll big, but it also influences people’s decisions in a big way.
According to statistics, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other form of marketing, advertising or promotion. What’s even more important though is the fact that patients in need of physiotherapy treatment will value referrals and recommendations even more compared to retail purchases for example.
The reason is simple – if you buy a product from a vendor, which turns out to be of poor quality, it’s not the end of the world. However, if you get a poor treatment at the doctor’s office, there may be some serious consequences that will continuously harm your well-being over time.
This is exactly why people are always a lot more careful when choosing a health center or a doctor. Your PT clinic might have a good online reputation, a great local marketing strategy and dedicated team of professionals, but if you really want to grow your business, word of mouth marketing cannot be neglected.
First step: customer satisfaction
The first, and probably the most important, step towards leveraging the power of word of mouth marketing is exceptional customer service. People will only be inclined to recommend your PT clinic to their friends and families only when they are completely satisfied with your service, including the quality of treatment, the attitude and professionalism of your staff, the timeliness of treatment, etc. In other words, every single detail matters.
What most PT clinic owners fail to understand though, is that simply offering great service isn’t enough to really leave a trace in the minds of your patients. After all, there are a lot of physiotherapy clinics that have a professional staff and offer high quality treatment: why would a potential patient choose your clinic over the rest?
The secret lies in the ability to go an extra mile for each of your patients. When you set expectations for people, they will typically look forward to you doing everything exactly as you promised and that would make them a satisfied client. However, when you over deliver, or go an extra mile for each patient, is how you acquire loyal followers who will be more than happy to share their unexpected positive experiences with friends and families.
When thinking about the extra mile, it doesn’t have to be anything big to do the trick: it could be like a small discount for a patient that undergoes a fairly expensive form of treatment, or if your clinic offers massage services, it could be a one time, free massage session. The form of the extra mile doesn’t matter that much, as long as it is aimed to increase patient satisfaction beyond what was expected.
Reviews and testimonials
After increasing customer satisfaction as much as you can, it’s time to turn your attention to online customer reviews and testimonials. Surveys have revealed that 88% of people trust customer reviews and testimonials almost as much as they trust friends and family referrals. This is a great chance for your PT clinic to gain even more trust online and help spread the word about your great services with the local community.
Whenever you have a highly satisfied patient complete her treatment, ask her politely to leave feedback on your website and share her experiences with others. If the patient is really satisfied, you will definitely love the feedback.
It’s also important to update your testimonials frequently. People trust real time information more and there is no better way to show everybody that you continuously deliver great services to patients than having a steady flow of great testimonials from different patients.
Social media engagement
Social media websites have long since become the go-to channel to connect with friends, find out the latest news and share experiences with the world for almost every person. An average person has around 338 Facebook friends and 208 Twitter followers. Given the fact that almost every 2nd person you encounter has at least one active social media account, you could roughly conclude that every satisfied patient can potentially share his or her great experience with more than 150 people. This is probably the most efficient way to increase your reach, brand awareness and trust among potential patients, while spending literally zero dollars in the process.
Word of mouth has been around since ancient times and it worked pretty well throughout history. People are social creatures and tend to trust each other more than they would trust a business or a brand: if somebody close and dear to you recommends a PT clinic, then it can most certainly be trusted and will be at the top of your options list.
Testimonials have always been one of the best ways to build trust with potential prospects. The key to having a great testimonial is for it to be authentic, unique and share an experience that isn’t like any other. Take a look at our testimonials at PatientSites.com