During the holiday season, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done that we need to do. With so much to accomplish, many patients will push off their appointments until the new year, or if they do have an appointment, they will seem distracted or stressed. Here are our top tips to keep your waiting room full during this down season and to help keep the atmosphere festive.
Because it is so busy, some patients may need a gentle reminder that it is time for an appointment. Send an email or give them a call. Don’t forget to also remind them to use their flexible spending balance before the end of the year. A little push may be all some patients need to get them in the door.
Don’t Forget to Use Email
Email is a powerful tool. You can use it to keep patients in the loop about holiday hours and closures in advance so they can easily fit appointments into their schedule. Offer your patients other useful information by doing a “12 Days” series of emails on a topic related to your practice, such as “12 Days of Holiday Health” or “12 Days of Patient Appreciation.”
Besides offering information your patients will find useful during this time, you can also use email to market during the holiday season. Send out emails about holiday promotions or let patients know about gift cards and other special holiday events you may be holding.
Utilize Social Media
Engage with your patients where they already are! Be active on social media and make posts that are eye catching like a staff holiday greeting video that will get patients feeling festive. Studies have shown that videos on social media platforms get more engagement than any other type of post! You could also use social media to challenge your patients to a holiday photo contest. Perhaps the challenge is a photo of their smile or an ugly holiday sweater competition.
Besides fun posts, be sure to also provide useful information and content for your patients. Share holiday hours updates here as well, advertise your holiday promotions and you could even hold an online Q&A session or chat to address seasonal issues related to your field.
Hold a Holiday Giving Campaign
Get staff and patients in the holiday spirit by helping a local charity. Whether it is sponsoring a family in need or donating to an animal shelter or food bank, promote your good cause on your website, blog, email and social media accounts. Let your patients know ahead of their appointment that you are hosting a giving campaign so they can contribute if they wish. Consider displaying donor names (with permission, of course) in the waiting room. A holiday giving campaign is a great way to give back to the community while also connecting with your patients.