Ultimate Guide for Giving Gifts to Your Patients
Do you ever think about giving gifts to your patients? Maybe you do.
Why have you not yet taken action? Maybe you don’t know where to start.
Worries about nothing. This ultimate guide for giving gifts to patients will help you nail your budget and give you plenty of ideas on what gifts you can give.
Let’s get started.
Finding your why
Finding your why is something that gets thrown out a lot these days. Yet, it is really important to anchor your actions.
Here are a few reasons why you should give gifts (maybe just pamphlets) to your patients.
- Build commitment
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, you understand Chinese medicine requires patients’ commitment. No matter if it is acupuncture treatment or herbal medicine, none will be a one-time effort.
Your patients need to commit to a few treatments and maybe lifestyle changes to see changes.
Thus, you need to build your patients’ commitment. A meaningful gift can serve as a reminder of their promise to themselves and the treatment.
- Deepen knowledge
The knowledge system of Oriental medicine is different from Western medicine. When a patient first comes to your clinic, they might not know much about it.
A gift to fight traditional Chinese medicine ignorance will gather your tribe and make it easier for you to communicate changes needed for your patients to take action.
- Strength relationship
Trust and relationships are earned; it does not come naturally. How do you strengthen relationships? By giving meaningful gifts.
What are meaningful gifts? They are gifts that show you care and you want the best for them. They are gifts that help your patients understand your practice. They are gifts that build alliances.
- Be a constant reminder
Do you have a magnet on your refrigerator? If you do, you understand what a constant reminder works in daily life.
I have a magnetic calendar from my accountant on my refrigerator. She has intentionally put important tax deadlines on the calendar. Also, the calendar reminds me to make a reservation with my accountant as early as possible to avoid a last-minute scramble.
You know your patients just need a little nudge. Why not give them a nudge?
They will make the appointment, come for the treatment, and get better.
That’s because you give them a little reminder.
Budgeting for your gifts
Before we get into the fun part of picking gifts, let’s talk about something crucial, budgeting.
Generally speaking client gifts (here are patients' gifts) fall into the marketing budget. The marketing budget could include advertising and promotional products. If you hire a freelancer to generate a blog for you, that’s also part of your marketing budget.
Entrepreneur Magazine suggests 12-20% of annual gross revenue as a marketing budget for companies less than 5 years old. For companies that operate more than 5 years, the suggested budget will be 6-12%.
If the above range is too much, you should adjust to a level you are comfortable with.
My only thought on budgeting is to have one and find products that fit your budget. It is not necessary to stretch yourself thin on marketing.
Also, if anyone knows a suggested marketing budget for an acupuncture clinic, please let me know. I’d love to update my blog with the most relevant data.
When to give gifts
You might wonder when it is the best time to give gifts. One popular choice is right after your patient’s first visit.
Another popular choice is when your patient reaches a milestone, such as finishing 10 treatments or seeing you for a month.
If you focus on fertility, it will be a great time to give a gift when your patients get pregnant.
How to give gifts
After the treatment will be a good time for you to chat with your patients about how they feel and give them a gift or a pamphlet.
If you feel uneasy doing so, your receptionist might be a great candidate as well. It can be when the new patient writes their intake from. Or it can be when the patient is about to book the next appointment.
Find a time that works with your current process. Let giving gifts be a small add-on. For example, new patients need to fill out an intake form. Give them a gift right after they return the intake form to your receptionist.
Incorporating gift-giving into your current practice will ensure you or your assistant remember giving out gifts.
I want to use this section for brainstorming, so I will provide ideas for 5 categories. The categories serve as a prompt in journaling. Hope it can help you find your ideal gifts to your patients.
- Wellness gifts
Since we are in wellness practice, what makes more sense for wellness gifts?
The more common ones are pillboxes, hand sanitizer, and hot/cold packs, to simply name a few.
Although a lot of places are winding down on mask requirements, wearing a mask is a good hygiene practice. Thus, a good design mask can still be a great wellness gift.
- Office gifts
Office supplies might not be the most novel gifts. At the same time, it is very commonly used. Your patients might hold on to it just because it's great quality and easy to use.
Pen, notepad, magnet calendar can be easily printed with your company name, contact, and logo. It can serve well as a reminder for your patients.
If you want to try something different, as journaling is great for mental health and physical health, you can consider printing your journal with traditional Chinese medicine prompts or seasonal health tips.
Your patient might keep the journal and healthy habits for a very long time.
- Best practice gifts
Chinese medicine encourages drinking warm water and keeping warm. How about giving some gifts that make good practice easy?
How about a tumbler? An insulated mug with a lid that helps hot beverages warm.
If you are a fertility clinic, maybe warm socks can help your patients’ feet and womb warm.
If it is in the wintertime, how about a blanket? It says it out loud keeping warm!
- Specialty gifts
Some of the acupuncture clinics have a specialty or focus. If you do, it might make sense to think about gifts that will make your patients smile.
For example, if you focus on children, how about a sheet of stickers? That will keep them entertained at a low cost.
If you are a fertility clinic, how about a baby bib after your patient successfully gets pregnant.
If you run a cosmetic acupuncture clinic, you can consider a gua sha stone or a jade roller.
- It is the thoughts that count gifts
When you plan your gift, maybe you do not feel like allocating any gift budget. That’s ok. We all know it is the thoughts that count.
If you do not want to spend big, how about writing them a thank you note. Thanking them for choosing you and encouraging them to keep going.
Also, you might consider writing down your best tips in staying healthy or your best recipe for a certain illness or symptoms.
Print those tips or recipes out. Give your patients a copy as a gift.
If your patients like to receive emails, send them a digital copy.
Let them know you care and think of their health.
The simple act of kindness build trust and commitment.
Wish you get many happy returning patients and also plenty of great word of mouth from them.