A Simple Way to Acknowledge your Dental Patients

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Dental Staff Success TipsI was saddened by an article in USA Today reporting, “Americans say they love to receive mail, yet send less and less of it.” Even more startling, the Postal Service reported almost two months pass before the average household receives a personal letter AND only 4% of household mail comes from another household!

You may ask why I would discuss this seemingly innocuous topic – personally written letters?

Two reasons:

  1. Sending AND receiving them have all the ingredients to make you feel good.
  2. It will make your business more successful.

When was the last time you received a handwritten acknowledgement, a “just because” or “thank you” note in the mail from a friend, patient or even a family member? For many of us it has been so long we can’t remember.

Of all the mail delivered by the US Postal service only 0.7% are personal letters!

Yea, I know…in our revved-up and increasingly desensitized world of e-mails, blogs, voicemails, smart phones, texts, tweets, mobile GPS, and even instant messages, the path of least resistance is to thank or acknowledge someone electronically, or not at all. I also hear people tell me that writing notes takes too much time, they are too busy or that they are a waste of time.

Tell the truth. How do you feel when you receive a handwritten note of acknowledgement or recognition from someone? Bored or uninterested? Too busy to read it? I doubt it. If you are like most, you are internally excited to know that someone was moved enough to make an effort to express themselves and they had to invest some positive time and effort to do so. Aren’t you feeling the same anticipation for your recipient when you send a note?

My fear is that the effort in sending handwritten notes is a lost art. We’ve forgotten how much a nice note means to someone. I believe a handwritten “thank you” or acknowledgement note is an elegant and inexpensive way to show appreciation to someone.

I don’t know about you yet I smile with anticipation as I approach my mailbox every day looking for a personal communication. When I see an envelope that doesn’t look like a bill, advertisement, periodical, or another dental journal, I excitedly open the envelope and pull out the note card. It feels great. I can’t really explain why, yet it just does.

The mailed personal correspondence is such a sensory experience. When we write or read a letter, it is like visiting with someone.

I believe one of life’s pleasures is to get a handwritten note. I can never get enough of them and I personally love sending them liberally, so much so that I have a goal of sending 2-4 personal notes every day. When was the last time you sent or received a personal note? I would love to hear from you in the comments below, or on my Facebook page.

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