Before Christmas Gael Hannan wrote a blog about her wish list to Santa. One item on the list was to get material from her audiologist that didn’t offer purchase promotions for new products or upgrades around the Holidays. We take a page out of her list and have for years. In October we mail out a four-page newsletter that includes information on what can cause or worsen a hearing loss, but also how to save your hearing. I dig up jokes and we put in a coupon for batteries. We also give a yearly update on the employees in the offices, give Holiday hours and announce our Holiday parties for the end of the year.
The day of our parties, one at each office, we don’t see patients, work on hearing aids, or solve problems. The day is meant for sharing good food, wonderful conversation and great punch (the tame kind). I got the idea from Holly Hosford-Dunn when I worked for her 17 years ago and I have done it ever since. I sometimes think a summer BBQ would be fun, but I haven’t figured out the logistics since temperatures here are around 105 degrees in June and July, then the monsoons come and you never know when it will rain. But I still may do it!
Other ideas for customer or client appreciation can be found on the Internet. One website gives big and small ideas that are sometimes overlooked, such as birthday cards or unexpected half-birthday cards. Another provides an event planning outline for patient “thank you” parties. The outline is spread out over several months, designed to keep busy practitioners out of the looney bin and able to enjoy the celebration day. I have seen pages on Facebook featuring little contests to win a gift card, but treating patients on Social Media deserves its own post.
What are some of the favorite things you’ve put on yourselves or seen in an office? If we are positioning our practices to feature increasing customer service to different ourselves from Internet providers, then we need to find new and human ways to make people feel they are more than the product they wear. It might be the freebies in the lobby–we go through earplugs like they are candy! The candy goes even faster……
Anyone else with ideas?