I bet you checked out prior-customers’ reviews and testimonials, and researched the heck out of the website before determining your final decision. I know I have!
This type of behavior is normal in the digital world. In fact, obtaining Internet information is the first tool of choice for more than seven out of ten users looking for health information. And just as I would read reviews from Amazon when purchasing my next pair of shoes… patients carry the same type of buying behavior when selecting a doctor or hospital.
Let’s dive deeper into why online reviews and testimonials mean so much in the digital buyer’s journey.
There’s a study by psychologist Stanley Milgram I find interesting and aids in my picture-painting for how “social proof” plays such a huge factor. Let’s dive in.
“In 1969, physiologist Milgram hired actors to stop on a sidewalk and look up toward the sky. He discovered the more actors he hired to look up, the more passersby, up to 80% of them, copied their behavior and also looked up… There is some debate as to whether the physiological phenomenon is innate or a learned behavior, but the result remains: people emulate the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation in which they are unsure of how to act.”
Did you catch that? Let’s backtrack for a minute. Social proof is identified as consumers finding validation for their decision from observing others. Pretty fascinating, right?
How does this relate to the buyer’s journey? Let’s find out:
Even though this is an antiquated analogy, the concept is even truer today. When consumers are in the market for your higher-priced services, they’re going to want as much information as possible before making a purchasing decision, and they’re going to follow the steps of what other customers are saying or doing as well (i.e. look up toward the sky when everyone else is, too).
Testimonials are pushed primarily through the Internet, but the principle of influence and persuasion still remains. Therefore, the reason reviews and testimonials carry such a huge weight in the purchasing process is pretty simple: the higher the price, the higher the risk for the purchaser, meaning the higher likelihood reviews/testimonials will influence the purchasing decision.
So the next time you’re in the online market for items or services and you evaluate the prior-customers’ reviews and testimonials before making a buying decision, consider how your online reviews and testimonials influence your prospective patient’s buying decision as well.
DoctorLogic specializes in growing online reputation. If you’d like to gain a stronger online presence, let’s connect. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know.