How to get the perfect patient testimonial (6 questions dentists must ask)

Dental patient testimonials will work wonders to boost your patient numbers. Asking these six questions will help your dental practice receive quality testimonials. Video testimonials also work wonders.

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Dental patient testimonials will work wonders to boost your patient numbers. Asking these six questions will help your dental practice receive quality testimonials. Video testimonials also work wonders.

We’ve seen them 1,000 times. A bunch of faceless online reviews that promote something as the product or service of the century. “Dr. So-and-so is my favorite dentist! I can’t wait to go see the team at ABC Dental.” “Man, this is such a great dental office! I always love how the staff treats me and what they’re all about!”

You might think these types of reviews are better than negative reviews, and you’d be correct. But, there is a hidden danger in having a seemingly endless stream of glowing reviews that align more with what you’d expect at Disneyland than from your local dental office.

They’re like eating sugar. At first, they’re sweet. You know that this dentist did enough to help patients that he or she received over 20 glowing Google reviews.

Dr. Michael Zhou in Ellicott City has over 20 testimonials on Google based on his ability to efficiently deliver care and treat people with respect. Almost all of these reviews are nothing short of the utmost praise. Studies show that asking for Google reviews can dramatically improve your ability to earn offline word-of-mouth referrals. Obviously, when someone does a Google search for Dr. Zhou, it’s nice to see those five stars.

But there is a problem beneath the surface. In fact, this problem exists in nearly every dental office. Despite knowing that patients are happy, most dental professionals have never been coached on how to ask for reviews. Here is how most testimonial requests go down.

Someone on your team asks a patient for a review, or a software program asks via email or text for an online review. The patient is not sure where to start and how to approach it, so the practice either gets sugary testimonials or no testimonials. Prospective patients have zero idea what kind of clinician you are. So they look to signs of familiarity and trust. They look at your photography and bio, your Facebook posts, and above all else, your online testimonials. They gauge your clinical skills in an insane way, by “feeling” whether or not your online reviews are legit or not.

Practices that are successful receive lots of online reviews, such as Hansen Dentistry, who bought a practice with only a few existing Google reviews and turned it into more than 90 reviews within eight months. While the testimonials these dentists earn have helped them grow their practices (both are adding new operatories to deal with an influx of patients), there is a superior formula for earning reviews that is more credible than what other dentists in your area are doing—video testimonials.

Video testimonials mean more. They’re more credible, more human, and when your patients are assessing the myriad of online reviews, they will help you look remarkable.

With the help of consumer psychology expert Sean D’Souza, I’ve discovered six insightful questions you can use when you have a long-term patient who is extremely happy with you and your staff, and who is also camera-ready. To begin, to succeed at creating the perfect video testimonial, you need a smartphone and a great attitude.

Here are six questions for your next all-star patient video testimonial:
1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from choosing us?
2. What did you find as a result of choosing us?
3. What specific feature did you like most about your experience here?
4. What are three other benefits you found at our office?
5. Would you recommend us to others you know? If so, why?
6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Keep in mind that this questionnaire is not for new patients. Ideally, this is for a raving fan of your office who has been through a lot with you and your staff. This is the difference between credible reviews and the reviews that actually stand out. These detailed reviews will reveal what I call the “black swan” in your dental marketing message, something that you thought was fairly meaningless but that means the world to your favorite patients.

The testimonial goes from this … “Dr. So-and-so is really good at root canals. I had an emergency and they got me right in!” ... to this: “When I was a kid, I had a really bad dentist visit and it really stuck with me. I’m nervous whenever I relocaet and realize I need to choose a dentist. I just wanted a dentist who had good reviews. At least that way I would know he or she did a good job for others. When I called a new dentist about my toothache, I just wanted a dentist who would care about my pain and do everything possible to end it.

“When I met with Dr. Hansen, she was refreshingly nice. I didn’t think this would be a pleasant experience, but she put me at ease. I told her I’m not a big fan of the dentist, and she totally understood. The thing I liked best was that she immediately relieved my pain. She was really understanding and quick to respond.

“Over the years, I’ve found the staff to be really courteous. They have complimentary tea, which might not seem like much, but I like it! The wait time is always very short. They usually get me in within a few minutes of my appointment time. Being a busy professional, that really means a lot. I recommend Dr. Hansen to everyone I know! And, I really like how Dr. Hansen supports my son’s little league team. That kind of thing doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Not only do you get memorable, authentic online reviews, but you also gain incredible insights about what your patients value most in their dental experience. By using these six questions on your veteran patients who always express their gratitude toward you, you’ll be in a prime position to convert more patients from your website.


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Justin L. Morgan is an SEO expert who specializes in helping dentists gain new patients through Google. Known as “The Dental Marketing Guy,” Justin teaches an SEO course for dental professionals, where he teaches the step-by-step blueprint for how he safely ranks dental websites all over the country on Google. His SEO techniques are compiled in this system he teaches, which he calls The Invisalinks Method. Justin can be found at dentalmarketingguy.com.

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