(This post was originally published on December 22, 2016 and has been updated to be even more awesome)
It’s incredible how far a simple “thanks” can go to help strengthen client relationships. As Seth Godin once said, “It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.”
Have you told your clients lately how much you appreciate them? If you haven’t and you’re stuck for ideas, here are five great ways to show your appreciation:
1. Send Holiday Thank You Cards (Actual Ones)
Fewer people today are sending physical holiday cards. Most people, however, still enjoy receiving them. So, sending cards (ideally signed by your veterinary team) engage clients in unique and personal way. Indeed, the evidence that you sat down and took the time to personally write to them shows that you appreciate them.
If time doesn’t permit sending cards yourself, services like Postable can print, address and mail cards for you, and have a wide selection of seasonal card choices. To easily send cards at any time of the year to strengthen client relationships, practices using the ALLYDVM Communication + Retention System can use an optional feature to automatically send timely, practice-branded postcards.
2. Post a Note on Social Media
Though not as personal as a card, a thank-you note and accompanying image posted on social is a quick way to thank all your clients at once. Just make sure it doesn’t sound too generalized. Instead of simply saying “Thank you to all and season’s greetings,” add in a few more specifics that make your message sound more personalized. An example:
In the season of thanks, I’d like to express the most heartfelt thanks from everyone here at XYZ Veterinary Hospital for trusting us with the care and well-being of your furry family members this year. All the very best to you and yours this holiday season and a Happy Mew Year!
3. Offer Presents
Thank-you gifts for clients don’t have to be big or expensive. They simply need to express the right sentiment—that during the season of giving, you appreciate every client for their trust in your practice. So, what kind of presents can convey the message?
One idea is to set up a basket in your reception area, fill it with little bags of pet treats with decorative ribbons, and attach the basket with a note encouraging clients to take one. For added fun, you can attach each bag with a “From Santa Paws” gift tag so clients can take the bag home and slip it under the tree with other presents.
4. Surprise Your Clients With Discounts
Saving money on any purchase always feels a bit like a gift. So, why not give the gift of discounts to clients? And they don’t have to be big discounts. Small gifts of savings for clients can make a big impact on client retention.
The trick is to make sure the discounts come as a surprise (just like discovering surprise gifts on the morning of December 25th). This way, you’ll be helping people who have come to your practice anyway (which incentivizes them to become regulars) and won’t be pulling in one-time customers who are just there for the discount alone.
5. Host an Open House
Who doesn’t love a holiday party? Hosting an open house in the spirit of the season helps foster a sense of community and builds relationships with your clients on a personal level rather than a professional level. Invite your clients in for an afternoon or an evening of fun, complete with treats, pet photos with Santa, and warm beverages. If your clinic is part of a plaza, you could even combine with your neighbors to hold a block party.
These are just a few ways to show your clients how much you appreciate them. A small gesture can work wonders for building relationships and inspiring loyalty.