Monday, May 9, 2016

Do You Say Thank You – For Supporting Our Mission?

A bit dull sounding, don’t you think?

There is a deeper meaningful marketing and engagement activity for healthcare vendors and providers than meets the eye in the headline.

When was the last time one said thank you for supporting the mission of the organization?
I know we have our doctor’s day and run advertisements with an accompanying appreciation event.  Hospitals hold events for volunteers. Companies celebrate employees once at year. Healthcare vendors have regional user group meetings, customer appreciation events, conferences and such.  But those, for the most part, are annual activities.

And that is the difference.

We all read, hear and talk about the mission of the organization and it is important. That is what drives the business. It’s the focal point of interactions, in employment, or purchase of a product in healthcare. Seemingly, scant attention is paid to those in their way by taking action, meaning the healthcare consumer, patients and customers how their actions in choice support the business mission as well.

A moment of truth.

What prompted this was something so simple as to leave a lasting impression. The other day I needed to donate some articles. I could have chosen any number of charities but decided to go to Goodwill. After being handed a receipt for the items, the individual looked at me and said, “Thank you for supporting the mission of Goodwill.” It wasn’t trite. It wasn’t practiced. It was genuine, and he looked me in the eye when he said it.

It was powerful.

That simple act of thank you tied to the mission left an indelible impression. And it occurred to me, that in all of my experience in hospitals and vendors, I never remember a time when a thank you was tied to the mission of the organization in what could be considered a minor interaction.  Oh, we mention mission at the annual and quarterly events but not at all interactions.

Think about that for a moment.

Every interaction, every touch-point, every vendor product purchase and its use or an individual’s use of a hospital is an opportunity to express gratitude and reinforce the mission of what the provider or vendor is all about.

It’s a moment of truth carried out one person at a time.

So the next time you think about saying thank you because the calendar says it’s a special recognition month, or an organizational habit of annually doing something in a particular period,  think about the mission and moments of truth that happen each and every day.

It may be simple, but it’s an excellent way to build engagement with your customers and employees, as well as build the brand and brand evangelists.

So, when was the last time you said thanks to your stakeholders for supporting the organizational mission without a lot of hooplas?

Michael is an internationally followed healthcare blogger, business, marketing, and communications strategy thought leader. 

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