What Should You Do When a Patient Complains?

stormsIf you’ve been in practice for any length of time you’ve probably had patients complain. Sometimes they’re minor complaints, but other times you’ll have a patient calling up your office to yell and cuss at anyone on the other line. I’ve been cussed at at least a couple times as Office Manager.

While the severity of a complaint will vary and most will be relatively minor, it’s important to establish your practice as a place that cares about its patients. How you handle complaints sets a tone for your office and you should have as a goal being able to resolve most patients’ complaints.

Tiffany Monhollon from Reach Local has a great blog post addressing this issue. Here’s a snippet of her article:

Is every customer complaint your fault? Probably not, but it’s important to take responsibility for whatever contribution you have had in the issue. Don’t blame the customer, because that is likely only going to make them more upset. Instead, identify the parts of the issue that your business played a part in, and let the customer know you are aware of your responsibility in the matter.

You’re not going to be able to make everyone happy. Sometimes you’re going to have an irrational person on the other line and you can’t deal rationally with an irrational person. But most of the time people will have minor issues they are complaining about that can easily be handled when you operate from a position of empathy and understanding.

And when you’ve resolved a person’s complaint you’ve likely won them over for life.

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