5 Ways to Show Gratitude to Our Clients

The past year and a half has been challenging for everyone. For me personally, I've found it's important to focus on the positive rather than the struggles we've had—especially the struggles seen in our profession with overtaxed teams and demanding clients. Amid all this chaos, there is one thing I am extremely grateful for, and that's the clients who have shown my team kindness. We have asked a lot of them, and most have blown me away with their patience and consideration during these crazy times.

How can we possibly show gratitude for all they have endured? They have shown up at our practices and waited in their cars in the heat of summer and the cold of winter; they have demonstrated immense trust as we have provided all their pets' care behind closed doors. These clients deserve to hear how grateful we are that they continued to choose us.

1. Say It

We often get so busy that we forget to express true gratitude to the people in our lives—and that includes our clients. As we open up our practices to in-person appointments again, take a few minutes to say how sincerely grateful you are for their business, patience, and support during this difficult time. Don't stop there: You can express your gratitude on phone calls or in emails, as well.

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From my own experience, I've made an effort to thank each client as they come back into the building for the first time, and they love hearing how much we appreciate them.

2. Thank You Cards from Your Team

Give each team member a stack of thank you cards to send to clients who stood out for their kindness during the COVID-19 crisis. Consider giving them a credit on their account, a free nail trim, or whatever you feel would be appropriate along with the card. In our office, we choose five clients per team member and gift $20 credit to each client's account.

Not only does your client get a surprise in the mail, but your employees focus more on the good that has happened this past year and a half. They are reminded of the clients they've had positive interactions with rather than negative. From the clients who have been dropping off treats to the ones who have sent in surprise pizzas, they all deserve recognition. Most of all, we want to express our gratitude to the ones who are just kind, decent humans each and every time they come in, no matter how crazy the practice—and life lately—has been.

3. Treats for Humans

As curbside pick-ups for prescriptions and surgery appointments continue, consider giving clients candy or other sweets with a short note of thanks attached. A sweet-treat pun like this is perfect: "Thanks for making a tough year a little sweeter with your kindness!"

We often focus on making sure our patients have yummy treats, but nothing says thank you for sticking with us during the craziness of the past year like chocolate or another tasty bite.

4. Brag About Your Clients on Social Media

Humans love to be acknowledged and what better way than to put their adorable pet's photo on your Facebook and Instagram page, thanking them for taking such good care of their pets this past year. Even something as simple as thanking them for getting their pets vaccinated against Lyme disease or a dental cleaning can make a client's day.

Clients love to hear that they are taking great care of their pets and by rewarding them publicly for what we want them to do, it can motivate others to do the same.

5. Throw an Appreciation Event

As more of us get vaccinated and feel comfortable with outdoor gatherings, consider having a client appreciation day in your parking lot. Hire a food truck for a few hours, or grill some hot dogs and have ice cream available for clients to come and enjoy. Promote the event through your social media channels and communicate your goal of showing appreciation.

As we continue our post-COVID efforts, consider these five ways to show gratitude for clients sticking with their practices, adjusting to new processes, and showing patience through it all.

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Julie Miles

Julie Miles graduated from Ohio State in 2006. Dr. Miles spent two and a half years working in private practice. She then joined Lighthouse Veterinary Personnel Services in 2009, where she worked as a relief veterinarian and manager for five years. In 2014, she opened Compassionate Care Animal Hospital, which has grown into a two doctor practice. Her professional interests include client communications, preventative care, dentistry, and feline medicine. She and her husband, Dale, have two boys, Henry and Evan. In a previous life, she earned her Master's of Social Work and worked in crisis intervention and discharge planning. Some days that degree is more helpful than her DVM.

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