Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why “, tells a story about a lady named Christina Harbridge who was a debt collector. She realized one day that she was behaving like all of the other debt collectors- badgering people to pay their debts.
She did not like the way she was treating people and the way she was feeling so she decided to open her own debt collecting firm- based on treating the debtors with kindness and respect. The firm was named Bridge Point Financial. As you can imagine no one thought she would make any money this way.
She measured the employees success NOT on how much money they collected but on the amount of THANK YOU NOTES that were written. In order for a thank you note to be written the employees had to really build rapport and get to know the debtors in a short amount of time. Bridge Point Financial ended up collecting 300 percent more than the industry standard.
I worked in an office where we were required to write at least one thank you note a day and I will say there was a tangible difference in the atmosphere of the office and patient loyalty to the office.
I've noticed a shift in myself since I've made an effort to write thank you cards. I'm more actively engaged and finding more about the patient. I noticed I intentionally point out more positive things they are doing in the appointment. Some days each patient will get one. Other days I might only have time to write one. But one thing is for sure there is something magical taking place.
Here are some sample letters loosely following the layout picture.
Dear Mrs. Jones,
Thank you for letting me take care of you on Wednesday. I always feel happy when I see your name on the schedule. I am so excited about the progress you have made with your oral health! The dedication you have had coming to your three month appointments and the adjustments you’ve made with your home care have NOT gone unnoticed. Great job!! Smile Works Dental Office is lucky to have you as a patient. Please let me know if you have any further questions about the information that was discussed at your appointment.
Candi Kidd, RDH
P.S. I hope that you have fun on your trip to Disneyland with your grandkids!
Thank you for doing such a GREAT job at the dentist!! You held so still when I took the pictures in your mouth! I couldn’t believe how big you opened your mouth during the cleaning. Your teeth sure looked sparkly! I hope that you have fun at the princess party that you told me about. Don’t forget to keep up the great work!!
Candi Kidd, RDH
TIP 1: In the family chart under the "notes" put the date and that you wrote a card. This will help you remember the next time you see the patient if you need to write a thank you note or not!
TIP 2: For thank you cards for children always make sure the sibling that was a patient the same day (even by another hygienist or the dentist) gets one too! I like to put stickers in each of the child’s thank you cards!!
Tip 3: Buy bulk thank you cards. Even if you have to bring them initially I think eventually the office will jump on board. If they don't, it's okay because investing in your relationships with your patients will only make work that much better to go to!
Always remember that in hygiene it’s all about doing the things that are super easy to do…but also super easy NOT to do that give you the Hygiene Edge.