By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
When finding and attracting patients to a medical spa practice, the best med spa marketing tools you can ask for are reviews and testimonials from existing patients. Positive reviews don’t just grow on trees, though. You have to actively cultivate them in your everyday processes throughout every part of your business.
I love the above cartoon because it’s so true. People are most vocal when they are angry and unsatisfied, not when they are happy. Think about it: If you have a positive experience somewhere, chances are you’ll leave happy, maybe tell your spouse or a friend, and then you move on. Even if you think you’ll circle back and leave a review complimenting the good service, let’s be honest—chances are you won’t. It just doesn’t work that way psychologically. Even though we know we should do the right thing and post a positive comment, most of the time it doesn’t happen. You blink and a week has gone by, and next thing you know—out of sight out of mind.
But if you have a bad experience? That’s a different story. After some truly bad experiences, I’ve actually sat down and written letters to management. Not just an email or a post on a site, but an actual letter. On paper and stuff. People are much more likely to be vocal, motivated and industrious when they’ve had a bad experience than when they’ve had a good one. Again, it’s psychology. And in the med spa business this is even more important because we’re dealing with peoples’ appearance, and let’s be honest—there are some craaaaaazy people in this industry.
This is why it is so crucial that medical spas make collecting positive testimonials and reviews a part of their processes and systems. The best medical spas are not just diligent about this, they’re downright militant. Every person on the staff is part of this process, from the providers to the front desk staff. If a patient mentions that he or she is a happy and satisfied, it is the duty of the entire medical spa to ensure that a testimonial is taken and the patient knows exactly how to access the practice’s Yelp, Google+, Facebook, and RealSelf pages.
And you absolutely must get both testimonials for your website and positive reviews on all the applicable review sites. Testimonials on your website are a must because everyone—even if he or she is given a glowing verbal referral from a friend—will go to your website before they book. That’s just a fact. Positive reviews increase the likelihood that you’ll book a patient, because patients also always check out your reviews; perhaps more importantly, the more positive reviews you have, the less likely a negative review will stand out. And if you’re in business long enough, you’ll get a bad review. That’s also a fact.
Keep in mind that, while reviews and testimonials are very important, med spas are subject to strict advertising requirements and you need to be careful with what you post. Also, HIPAA/patient privacy is a potential issue with respect to reviews. Both should be dealt with carefully and med spas should always have a healthcare attorney take a look at their website to make sure they are being fully compliant. As a reminder, AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute legal consultation with our partner law firm ByrdAdatto.
So to my medical spa friends, it’s vital that you create a specific process for getting testimonials and reviews. Don’t just tell your team it needs to be done—establish a protocol and hold them accountable. It’s part of their job, after all, and if you don’t do it, the entire practice will suffer. Use the front desk staff as the gatekeepers—no happy patient leaves without providing a referral. Track the number of referrals each team member gets, and reward each month’s top performer with a spa treatment, dinner, or night out.
Need more ideas? Come to an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp! Faculty experts Bryan Durocher and Dori Soukup share a ton of ideas on incentivizing your team. Click here to learn more about and register for AmSpa’s forthcoming Boot Camps. Make your plans today to join us in Denver in May, Dallas in July, Boston in September, Nashville in October, or Orlando in November.