No one likes to hear complaints. In a Practice, when patients are unhappy, it just injects additional stress into an already stressful system. Who wants to see a volcano they live near erupt?
And yet, if you don’t know that a patient is upset, how can it be dealt with? And, how will the patient deal with it?
Most likely, if the patient’s complaint or concerns are not dealt with, bad things will happen. They might leave the practice. They will probably stop referring others. More disconcerting, they will leave the dreaded 1-star review, dragging down the coveted 5-star rating. Neither scenario does anyone any good. The patient looses a good Doctor and the Practice loses a patient and other potential ones who might use reviews as a benchmark with which to judge a Doctor’s competence.
Having an open system of communications can offer patients an Avenue by which they can express their concerns and voice their complaints.
Encouragement vs. Discouragement.
Most people hate hearing complaints. I didn’t like them either but I appreciated the opportunity they presented. Hearing a complaint brings with it the hope for improving our patient care and service. I chose encouragement.
I always asked new patients why they left their previous dentist (you should consider doing this too; it’s educational). Other than moving, the most common complaints were actually NOT about the dental care itself but rather the “customer service”, or lack thereof, that they experienced by someone on the staff other than the Doctor.
That’s why a direct line to the Doctor is so important if one is to get honest feedback.
How can such lines of communication be established?
Here are a few ways that I’ve used and found helpful.
Customer service creates an environment that produces stronger, longer lasting and more resilient relationships. While the Doctor-Patient relationship is important, the relationship of the patient to the entire dental practice team should not be underestimated.
Communications with your patients is the oil that lubricates the relationship. Keeping the tank full, the oil flowing and clear, will result in a less stressful, happier and more profitable practice. It will also encourage better patient outcomes from therapies.
So communicate away!
To your excellent clarity, communications and success,
P.S. Want to know more about the “3-Card Technique” or the “6-Agreements”? It’s a freebie worth THOUSANDS, and yours when you schedule your COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION.