Did you know that one of the all-time most popular articles is How to write a Thank You Note? ~Editor
By Michael Tetreault, Editor
Your Patients are the backbone, champions behind your career and the lifeblood of any great medical practice.
Why wouldn’t you take a brief moment of your time to say THANK YOU?
After all, what would you do with out them? A better question, what would they do without you?
Sending a thank-you note after a meaningful conversation with a Patient is one way to set yourself apart as a Concierge Medicine Physician.
Often I pose the question to a Physician … How would your next Patient react or feel if your medical practice closed up and didn’t exist any longer?
Would they miss YOU? Would they notice? Would they even care? Or, would they just shrug their shoulders and move on? What would they say about YOU if your practice closed and there was a For Lease sign in the window?
The two words ‘Thank you’ are two of the English language’s most elegant words to me. They should be the lifeblood of a Concierge Medicine practice. These two words are words that Doctors everywhere don’t say enough. Think about it. When was the last time you received a thank you note (handwritten) from a Doctor? If I was a patient and got one of these … heck, I’d probably frame it! That’s how rare this is today in healthcare.
These two powerful words, THANK YOU, encourage, uplift and create a remarkable impression on your Patients with the added benefit of increased loyalty. Today, I want to share with you 7 great ways you can show your patient appreciation and say Thank you! to Patients in the future.
1. Send a hand-written card, preferably on your own person, embossed note card sized stationary.
Don’t send an email. It is just not personal enough. Despite the digital age, hand-written notes or small cards will always be one of the simplest and best ways to say ‘Thank you’ because it’s personal, meaningful and intentional. Keep it short. Hand-written communication will never be out of date but you don’t need to write a novel. It is usually always a small, low-cost gesture, but it means a lot. Why? Because it was intentional and personal.
2. Make It Personal. Personalize It.
Doctors should think back to the conversation and pinpoint what the patient seemed most excited to talk about. Mentioning specific details discussed during the conversation in your thank-you note. This shows that the you, their Doctor were listening and paying close attention.
Amanda Augustine is a well-recognized expert in career advancement, including offering advice to people on developing one’s professional brand said …
“Thank them for their time and whatever you learned but pay attention to the personal details that came up during the interview,” Augustine said. “If you remember there’s an upcoming vacation or if they’re a huge Yankees fan, don’t be afraid to bring that up. You want them to remember the conversation you had that sets you apart from the others.”
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.
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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 realize 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, individually 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.