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NP Practice Owners

Holiday Greetings (for your patients)

Published December 1, 2008 9:13 AM by Aaron Hartle

Admit it, we all like to receive mail. Being able to open the mailbox and having a letter with our name on it is fun — well, unless it's a bill.

This especially applies to the holiday season. Having a greetings card arrive in the mail, even from a health care provider is nice and helps the person think about that provider, even if for just a minute. These thoughts are associated with the joy of the season so that the person associates the good feelings with the sender of the card.

If used properly, sending holiday cards to our patients is an excellent way to advertise and increase the patient load of a clinic. Large clinics with many patients generally have the time and resources to send a quick generic card to each of its patients. However, if you are the owner of a newly opened NP practice with a small patient base, these cards can be personalized for much greater efficacy.

The more you personalize the card to the patient, the more likely they are to return to your practice and to tell their friends about you. Even feel free in the card to ask for referrals or to tell the patient you would love to help them, their family or friends. Just think of how it would be to get a handwritten card from your provider that asks you how work is going at your new clinic, or at the office, or how your new baby is?

If time or money is tight, just pick a certain group of patients. For example, for the next 3 weeks before Christmas, make it a point to talk a bit more with your patients and find out about them.

Then take that information and quickly include it in a card just after they leave the clinic or at the end of the day. Not only will the patient appreciate the opportunity to talk to you on a more personal basis, but you will then have a personal card you can send them at Christmastime. It will serve as a great reminder of how much they enjoyed their visit.

Finally, if holiday cards are just out of your budget, you'll have to learn to be creative. My dentist collects the cell phone numbers of his patients. On my birthday, I received a text message from him telling me Happy Birthday!!! I thought it was kind of cool and told my friends about it.

Furthermore, if you have the right cell phone plan, it costs nothing extra. E-mails are also free. Collect the e-mail address of your patients, and put them into a database. With the touch of a button you can wish them all a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year, and it didn't cost you a cent.

Remember, take time to do something for your patients this holiday season. They will appreciate the thought, and you will enjoy the business.

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