A referral is one of the highest compliments an organization can receive and, as such, deserves recognition. A card or letter
to the referring client thanking them says that you recognize the referral as a compliment.
Clients who refer like to know their recommendations are followed through and that their efforts are appreciated. Not acknowledging
referrals is a good way to stop getting referrals and that is not a desired effect.
You want to make the referring client feel like they've done something really great. Sign the thank you card as being from
the entire staff (e.g., "Dr. Clippity Clop and Staff") After all, the referral is a compliment to the entire organization. You want the referring
client to know that you understand the referral is due to the total effort of the entire staff.
Adding a $10 gift certificate for designer coffee, donuts, movie tickets, or something similar adds a tangible touch to the
thank you. This also reminds the referring client of you when they use the gift. A larger gift certificate to a restaurant
may be appropriate to larger case referrals or a client who refers frequently. However, all gifts run the risk of being something
the person won't use; hence, proceed with caution on the tangible gifts.
Regardless if you give the referring client a gift, nothing trumps the written thank you, which should be part of your corporate
culture. A gift is a supplementary gesture to the source as a reminder of your gratitude.
Carl J. Lacher, CPA
President, Lacher, McDonald & Co.