Have you ever received a “Patient Complaint Call”?
When someone complains about something it is an opportunity for them to vent their feelings about a situation or maybe even about a person. They are usually annoyed, angry and definitely frustrated by the situation they have found themselves in.
So when it does happen, what do your patients complain about?
Here are a few different patient complaints:
“No one told me how much it was going to cost?”
” didn’t know I needed a crown after the root canal!”
“The girl on the phone was so rude.”
“The Dentist kept me waiting for so long.”
“I need to change my appointment and you have nothing available for 2 weeks!!!!!”
“Stop calling me to keep changing my appointment.”
“Your fees are just so high.”
“I don’t want to see the Hygienist, I want to see the Dentist.”
“My tooth still hurts after he did that filling.”
And the list does go on!
Now, what I want you to do is to take a new spin on the “Patient Complaint Call” and start thinking differently.
Instead of answering the call and hearing your patient annoyed and angry, I want you to hear that your patient is confused and overwhelmed.
It is very easy to get caught up in a patient being annoyed and start responding in a way that creates more annoyance.
Once you change your perspective changes, you will start looking for solutions to help your patients rather than rolling your eyes at them, which we have all done!
You will now have more empathy for the patient, because you know they are not angry and annoyed with you, but are confused and overwhelmed.
Your response will be one of empathy and understanding and you will be more likely to immediately find a solution for the patient.
Listening to a patient on the phone who is angry can be difficult and there are those times when you too start to get angry. I know this from first hand experience.
When you change how you think about your patient on this type of call, you start listening to a confused patient who needs your help.
Just changing how you think about this call can make such a big difference to the outcome of the complaint call.
Stay focused on what you want the outcome to be.
You are more likely to stay calm, in control and look for a solution for your patient and the patient is more likely to accept the solution and stay being your patient.
The loss of a patient on a “Patient Complaint Call” can be very high.
Many times your patient has already decided they will not be returning to your practice before they call you.
You know have an opportunity to make good and change this.
How you handle this type of call can be the difference between keeping a patient, or losing a patient.
You want to get this call right and of course solve the issue that your patient is confused about in the first place!