Complaints from patients are never welcome. It is unfortunate that even the most compassionate dentist with an exemplary team who follows procedures meticulously can still receive complaints. Take advantage of them.
Whether the complaint is true or not, the most important thing to remember is to handle it with care. About 94 percent of people use online reviews to choose a business; you do not want a complaint to snowball into a bad review. It can quickly result in a loss of revenue. Therefore, responding to them is crucial.
You and your team may feel frustrated, discouraged, or annoyed when complaints are brought to your attention. It’s normal. You may also feel cavalier about a complaint that you view as minor. There are some complaints that are objective, such as office décor, wait times, or insurance issues.
Complaints should be handled with respect.
It is important to treat even trivial or unfair concerns with respect. It means listening to the patient, taking their complaint seriously, and promising to investigate.
You should follow these steps:
- Thank your patients for bringing their concerns to you without judgment: “I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your experience.”
- Repeat the complaint back to the patient: “So you’re saying that you waited 40 minutes for your appointment and nobody checked on you?” “My sincere apologies.”
- Take action to correct the situation, if necessary. “There are times when things get backed up.” In case of a delay, I’ll make sure the front desk team informs you.”
- Thank them again: “Thank you for letting me know what happened.” Thanks for putting your trust in our practice. “We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure you’re satisfied.” If you follow through on your commitment, you’ll earn loyalty from that patient. Complaints provide you with a chance to cement a patient’s trust.
Maintain patient loyalty
The importance of maintaining patient loyalty cannot be overstated. It can lead to fewer rescheduled or canceled appointments, increased case acceptance, and even referrals to friends, family, and social networks. Taking care of one complaint correctly can result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue over time. Furthermore, it is the right thing to do.
Patients who feel their concerns were not heard will unlikely refer others to you or, more likely, complain online and on social media.