Showing Your Patients Appreciation
By: Shana Chapman, Senior Practice Services Specialist, at Phonak
We all have different ways of expressing “thank you” to those who matter the most in our lives. When it comes to your patients, this is no exception. These are the individuals who breathe life into your practice. They are the people you get to know on a professional and personal level each time they visit.
Here are some great ways to express your thanks to these patients and how to show them they truly matter, always:
- Schedule a “Patient Appreciation Day.” Create a theme with giveaways, make it fun! You can do this virtually on your website, in-person at your clinic, or even off-site if you choose to.
- Use social media as the powerful tool that it is. If your practice has a Facebook page, post a patient-focused “what I am most thankful for” video from your staff. An example statement could be, “I am most thankful for all the people we have been able to help hear better.” Each staff member would think of something that has impacted them with patients they are thankful for.
- Create a practice thank you card with a personal handwritten note including each of the staff members’ signatures.
- If applicable, prepare a “Patient of the Week” on your website. If selected, give the chosen patient a small token of appreciation. Ask them to give a testimonial about their positive hearing experience and post it with their photo on your site.
- Mail birthday letters to your patients each month. Offer a free pack of batteries or perhaps a discount on new devices during their birthday month. This a great way to get patients back in the door.
- Have a “Treat Day!” Bring in sweet treats from a local business and display them in your office with a sign that says something like “Thank you for making our days so sweet, help yourself to a tasty treat!”
- Because you will get to know your patients quite well, they most likely will tell you about accomplishments and achievements they have made when they see you for a visit. Take these opportunities to send them a special card highlighting these moments. This will mean more to your patients than you think.
- Design and create a personalized “Welcome to our Practice” folder for your patients. Include a staff bio letter, an FAQ for their new hearing aids, and any other useful and relevant information about the practice. You can also include a “My Hearing Journey” section where patients can jot down sounds they are now hearing and how their experience has been with the new devices. Encourage patients to bring this in to each appointment so they can share their insights and help the provider at the same time.
Now that you have some insightful ways on how to thank your patients, it is best practice to create a more formal customer appreciation strategy.
Get together with your staff and talk through all the ways that you can say thank you on a consistent basis. If gifts are included in your strategy, budget for them. Design a schedule for the timing and personnel to carry out each task.
You will need to make formal guidelines around each of the customer appreciation ideas that you would like to implement. It’s best to start small. As you continue on, you can allocate more time for larger-scale ideas.
Patient appreciation is something that should happen all the time. We should never stop saying “thank you” to the people who helped us get to where we are.
In the words of Maya Angelou,
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Shana Chapman is Senior Practice Services Specialist for the Phonak Inner Circle team. Previously, she was a Patient Care Coordinator/Medical Biller in the hearing industry for 10 years, and attended Northern Illinois University. Her favorite sound is her niece and nephew’s giggles.