People are more vocal on social media about customer service than ever before, and not just about bad experiences. A personal, meaningful gesture of patient appreciation will help you create a remarkable experience patients can’t help but share.
Think about the last time a business unexpectedly did something nice for you. Do you remember how you felt about that company afterwards? Chances are it wasn’t anything elaborate — maybe a small gift card or even just a thank-you note. But these experiences have a way of sticking with us because they don’t happen very often, and they make us feel like VIPs.
Practicing customer appreciation is a tried-and-true business strategy. For example, say the manager of a sandwich shop notices the same customer coming in once or twice per week in the last month. The next time he visits, the manager gives him some cookies with his lunch and personally thanks him for coming by. For the cost of a couple of cookies, he’s greatly increased the probability that this customer will continue returning for years. Plus, the goodwill built here will act as a buffer, keeping the customer from immediately going to local competitors if he ever has a bad experience.
In the same way, finding small, creative ways to go the extra mile for your patients will help you build relationships and boost retention. And not only that, it will help new patients find you through word-of-mouth. A study showed that 72 percent of people that had a good customer service experience told friends and family about it — for dentists, those are the people most likely to become new patients themselves.
5 Simple Patient Appreciation Ideas You Can Try This Week
1. Show Your Gratitude for Patients Through Social Media
People find it much easier to connect personally with businesses and brands that show their human side. Customers want to know that there are people that care about them on the other side of the keyboard.
Showing gratitude is one of the quickest paths to creating authentic, personal connections. This is particularly important for dentists because building relationships goes a long way in helping patients and potential patients overcome dental anxiety.
2. Have a Treat Day
Create an opportunity for patients to come say hello by having a treat day! A week or two in advance, announce on social media a day patients can drop by and get a cookie or cupcake (and a reminder to brush after!). Invite them to bring a friend as well! Remember to snap a few photos throughout the day and share them on your pages. Read our post on guidelines for sharing photos that include patients.
3. Ask Patients How You Can Do Better
One of the best ways to show appreciation for your patients is to ask for their feedback. All feedback is valuable, but online reviews are especially important because they can also help build your online presence! You could even scan your upcoming appointments list and select one or two patients per day to ask for a review.
Use social media to occasionally ask fans what one thing they appreciate or would change about your practice, and make sure to always respond promptly to any messages your social media pages receive.
4. Run a Prize Giveaway
Doing frequent, small prize giveaways is an excellent way to show patient appreciation and keep people coming back to your page! Even the chance to win a $10 gift card is enough for fans to Like, comment, and share with friends — which helps new patients find you.
Few things draw everyone’s attention like a chance to win a prize! And when you’re looking to grow your dental practice’s social media presence and increase visibility with potential patients, a giveaway can be a great icebreaker.
5. Wish Patients a Happy Birthday
Whether it’s on social media, in your practice, or even through an automated email, let patients know how much you appreciate them on their birthday. It’s just one more small thing you can do to let them know you’re thinking of them and looking forward to their next visit.