I’ve touched on a couple internal marketing strategies in the past, including articles about direct mail marketing for doctors, automating your patient follow up, email marketing for doctors, and marketing within you practice. For this blog I’d like to touch on the importance of thank you cards.
Let me start by pointing out that very few doctors, dentists, surgeons or physicians use thank you cards. It’s time consuming and many just don’t see the value in them. However, if you take the time to write thank you cards to your patients they will see that you’re a caring and professional doctor. At the very least they’ll remember the fact that you sent the card, and you’ll be on their mind if there’s ever a referral opportunity or a chance that they need your services again.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist performing a routine cleaning for a first time patient or a plastic surgeon performing a face lift, thank you cards are important. They are important because they show appreciation for your patients and they help to build a relationship.
Here are some instances where it would ideal to send a thank you card:
- When a new patient comes in for a consultation or procedure
- When a patient refers another patient to you
- When a patient joins your VIP club or spends a certain dollar amount with you
Remember that although writing thank you cards takes time, this is something that you can outsource to your staff. Keep in mind that the doctor should definitely be the one signing the card, if not writing it as well. Programs such as Send Out Cards allow you to send physical cards in the mail through their online service. You can even have your handwriting copied so that the card looks like you wrote it yourself. I like Send Out Cards, but I don’t think it could possibly take the place of a handwritten card though.
Also, in addition to thank you cards, remember that birthday cards are also a good idea.
You need to educate your staff on the importance of thank you cards and what they mean for patient satisfaction and patient referrals. Patient loyalty is huge in the medical field, and writing thank you cards go a long way to build that loyalty.