Zap It: Making a Simple Experience, Memorable

by LeeAnn Peniche


Forrest, our UPS carrier, will tell you I am a serious online shopper. Of course, with online purchases there are inevitable misses, and the misses require returns. The experience of returning an item is disappointing, and personally, I feel a little stress until I know the item has made it back safely. Have they received it yet? Did they see my name, frown, and say, “It's Peniche again!” Have I hit my allowable return limit? Gasp! Is there a limit?!

After a recent return to Zappos, I received this message:

Greetings LeeAnn,

Thank you for shopping with! We wanted to let you know that your return is back safe and sound in our warehouse. That trip over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house went smoothly.

Just a heads-up, multiple-item returns can be credited separately. You might even receive a separate email for each item!

Zappos took a relatively mundane experience and made me smile. Guilt free! I felt as if I had received a note from a friend.

Since such a large portion of what our patients experience is written communication, how can we make these simple experiences, memorable? Whether we are sending welcome letters, appointment reminders, follow-up communications, collection letters, email blasts, or text announcements, how can we ensure that our written communication is a playful, sincere, helpful, and guilt-free experience? In other words, do our patients feel as if they’ve received a note from a friend?

Here’s a thought: What if our confirmation texts or emails were rotated through a series of scripts? What if we thoughtfully planned in advance what we were going to say, so that when the time comes, we are prepared?

A few ideas…

Summer Appointment Reminders:

  • It's time to come inside and take a break from the summer heat! We look forward to seeing you on…
  • You have a hot, hot, hot, appointment with Dr. Grin on…
  • Ready for some fun out of the sun?! Dr. Grin will see you on… for your next appointment.
  • Ice cold lemonade! That’s what we’ll have waiting when we see you on…
  • What did one ocean say to the other? Nothing. They just waved! We’ll tell you more great jokes when we see you on… for your next appointment.
 Fall Appointment Reminders:       
  • Back to school is cool. Back to Dr. Grin’s is the coolest! See you on… for your next appointment.
  • What do skeletons say before eating dinner? Bone appetite! We’ll have more great jokes waiting when we see you on… for your next appointment.    
 Welcome Letter Openings:   
  •          We have waited a lifetime to meet you…

These are just a few examples of how positive and personality-filled communication can change a mundane experience into something memorable. And let’s face it, we all want to be memorable! So I encourage you to start brainstorming. Come up with intros, texts, emails, and letters that speak to who you are and communicate your message in a positive and engaging way. Zap the boring stuff and strive to craft thoughtful and effective communications that are an extension of the amazing you!

LeeAnn Peniche – President, Peniche & Associates

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