Do you send a “New Patient” letter to your new patients?
Most people will tell you that it’s a terrific way to outline your practice policies (payment, cancellation, etc.) and to extend some warm words of welcome.
Yeah, that’s true, but I think most of them are boring and generic. Let’s face it… you don’t sit down at your computer and write poetry for each patient. Your office manager prints up a bunch of letters from a template, you sign them, and they get mailed.
I’m willing to bet that most patients quickly read it to make sure it’s not a bill, then throw it out and forget your gesture. I don’t blame them; your gesture wasn’t that memorable. All you did was sign a piece of paper.
Here’s what I do:
I still have my office manager print a bunch of letters from a template, but I take the time to write a personalized message at the bottom.
What do I write? Usually one of the following:
(1) Mention someone we know in common, such as the person who referred them to the practice
(2) Reference a conversation we had during their first visit
(3) Note that I would like to have some of their business cards so that I may refer a client to them when the opportunity arises (more on that topic in this post)
(4) Inquire about a treatment plan we discussed
(5) Express gratitude
Don’t just write the same comment for everyone. It takes me about three minutes per letter to think of a personalized message; well worth it!
I’ve had several patients tell me they appreciated the note. It’s a wonderful second impression and makes you stand out from the crowd.