“Did you know that one of the all-time most popular articles on Concierge Medicine Today, The DPC Journal and CMT CANADA is “How to write a Thank You Note?” ~Editor
By Michael Tetreault, Editor | Concierge Medicine Today | The DPC Journal | CMT CANADA | AJRM
Your Patients are the heroes of your career and the lifeblood of your practice. What would you do with out them? Better question, What would they do without you?
Often I pose the question to the Physicians we speak with … “how would your Patients react or feel if your medical practice closed up and didn’t exist any longer?’ Would they miss YOU? Would they notice? Would they just shrug their shoulders and move on? What would they say about YOU?
The two words ‘Thank you’ are the two words Doctors oftentimes don’t say enough. These two powerful words can encourage your Patients and increase loyalty. Today, we want to share with you 7 great ways you can show your appreciation and say ‘Thank you!‘ to your Patients.
1. Send a hand-written card, preferably on your own person, embossed note card sized stationary.
Despite the digital age, hand-written notes or cards will always be one of the simplest and best ways to say ‘Thank you’ because it’s personal and intentional. Hand-written communication will never be out of date. It is usually always a small, low-cost gesture, but it means a lot. Why? Because it was intentional and personal.
2. Contact your local newspaper
Send out a press release to your community paper celebrating your staff when they do something “above and beyond” and about the difference they are making among Patients or in your local community? Do they volunteer at certain times of the year at certain charitable organizations? If you don’t know, ask them. Not only is this great (and free) publicity for your practice, it will boost morale among your staff.
3. Remember birthdays
If you don’t have a record of your staff and Patient birthdays, start making one. Make use of the milestone to show your appreciation and gratitude. Surprise and delight them with an unexpected birthday card in the mail or in-person, or give them a shout out on Facebook to show you’re thinking of them.
4. Send them a Christmas card
Don’t forget Christmas cards. Post them in your practice and make sure you provide a hand-signed Christmas card. Adding staff signatures is a nice touch but it actually can work against you. Oftentimes, your Patient may really like you as their doctor but they had a disagreement with one of your staff and that can come back to haunt you.
4. Send them a Thanksgiving card
Don’t forget Thanksgiving!
5. Write letters of reference for students you may know or who have worked with you in your practice.
Don’t forget this important aspect of life. Maybe a long-time Patient has a daughter or son graduating from college and you’ve known them since birth. Look for any area within their lives that you can upon receiving a request, write up a recommendation or referral letter. If you didn’t realise that, you’re being too humble. Offer to be a reference, or write a recommendation for connections on LinkedIn.
6. Have Great, not just GOOD prizes for kids to grab when they leave the office.
Every parent loves it when a visit to the doctors office does not end in a car ride of tears. That’s not fun. I know from personal experience what I’m talking about here. Oddly enough, as I write this today, my wife called and said “That doctor’s office had GREEEAAAAAAAAT!!!! prizes!” And that is exactly how you want visits to the doctor’s office to end. With smiling, happy faces on the kids and the parents. It doesn’t have to cost a lot but it will take an intentional and thoughtful trip to the Five Below store. Look for pre-packaged items that are one-person grabs from a basked. For example, indivually wrapped and packaged LEGO packs, Beanie Boo’s, Hot Wheels toys. Kids and parents are resilient but they can often have very long-term memories of how awful the last visit to the doctor’s office was or short term memories about how great the last visit was. Which one are you going to be?
7. Be Generous
If you get to know your Patient, you get to know what they are doing. Whatever it is, invest into your Patient’s personal development. It could be as simple as a leadership or business topic you discussed last month and you just happen to be on Amazon and bought a book for them. Be generous in small and large ways and you will reap the rewards for years to come.