Now that December is upon us the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing. Stores are clogged with holiday shoppers, houses are lit up with festive lights, and holiday gatherings pop up every weekend.
To say it feels a little chaotic can be an understatement. And dental practices are no exception with patients trying to get in for last minute appointments before their holiday parties or sneak their children onto your schedule during their winter break. You’re most likely just trying to keep up with it all.
But there really isn’t a better time of year to let patients know how much you appreciate and care about them than during the holiday season. That’s where these simple ideas for showing gratitude and spreading holiday cheer come in! They’re perfect for adding some extra fun into a patient’s visit and showing them that they’re genuinely a part of your practice family.
And the best part? They’re so easy! So little effort, in fact, that you’ll want to do them year after year.
Pick one or two of these five ways to make patients feel special during the holidays and make your relationship with them even stronger.
- Charity donation cards
List a few local and national charities that you think will resonate with your patients on a simple holiday card with a message indicating they should select one to receive a small donation in their name (we recommend $5 to $10 depending on the number of patients you expect this month). Have patients fill one out after their appointment is complete—they’ll appreciate the holiday greeting and that you’re helping out a good cause.
- Holiday children’s crafts
Send pediatric patients or any young-at-heart patients home with a simple holiday craft (we’ve found this great site with printable crafts). It’s a fun and easy way to spread holiday cheer and an inexpensive gift that will keep your practice in patients’ minds even after they’ve left your practice. You could also have a craft station set up in your reception area for families with multiple children in for appointments—they can craft while they wait!
- Dental Novelty Gifts
Take advantage of the fun—and sometimes downright strange—dental items that pop up this time of year and gift them to the patients you know have a good sense of humor. We bet there’s more than one person who would get a kick out of trying bacon flavored floss. Or how about a keychain that’s both adorable and a practical reminder of the importance of flossing? Snag a few different ones and hand them out before patients leave the office.
- Treats from local bakeries
Team up with a local bakery or restaurant and hand out treats to patients. Yes, you’re a dental office and want to impart the wisdom of maintaining healthy teeth to your patients—but that doesn’t mean avoiding all treats. A thoughtful gift like a small cookie from a local bakery will be much appreciated and show that you understand moderation and good oral home care are key to a healthy smile. Now’s not the time to be a sugar scrooge. Plus, it’s always helpful to have positive ties with local businesses.
- Holiday cards with heart
Everyone enjoys getting holiday cards throughout the season, but don’t rely on just any old card to send to your patients. With so many websites today dedicated to designing custom cards the sky is the limit with your design. Be sure to include a photo of your team on the card itself. And if you have the time and resources personalize them with a short handwritten message. Make it a group effort one afternoon and you’ll have them done in no time!
We know the holidays are busy for everyone no matter how organized we are or how much we plan ahead. But it’s a special time for so many people and a little extra care and attention goes a long way. That’s why it’s great to a have a few easy yet thoughtful gifts for patients to spread the holiday cheer—and with these five ideas we’ve got you covered.