Hi everyone, in today’s practice management tip is three ways on how to handle complaints. Very simple technique, do this every single time and if you do so, I guarantee you’ll make a lot of friends and it will work every time. I promise.
So when someone has a complaint (i.e. “Mr. Jones comes in”). The first thing you need to do is repeat back what that patient says. For example, Mr. Jones calls and says “You know what? I got this bill and I’m really upset because I didn’t expect a bill. No one told me the cost of the treatment prior to the treatment being rendered. And now I’m upset about this bill. So, what you need to do as a staff member, is repeat back that complaint. “So I can understand Mr. Jones, your problem is that no one told you the cost of the treatment prior to it being rendered. Am I correct on that?” They go “Absolutely!” By doing so, the patient will feel that you are listening to them. Not only listening, but active listening and you’re actually hearing them.
The next thing you need to say is step number two: Step number two is to now say “You understand” to get agreement. “So you know what Mr. Jones, if I were in your shoes, I would feel exactly the same way. Who wants an unexpected bill? You have a budget and now that was not in your budget. I totally understand because I make budgets too.
The third thing you need to do is handle it. “So Mr. Jones what I’m going to do is speak to my financial team and they’ll get right back to you and with a solution to this problem.” Now as a team, as a practice, you need to have a standard in that situation: a policy, a protocol, or whatever you want to call it. And that is, if a patient has an issue, is really really upset and they’re a longstanding patient, and it’s not a big bill … you might just want to write it off.
But communication is the key. People do not like unexpected bills or just anything that’s unexpected. So friends, use this three point technique, the three step technique, and stay focused, have a great day, and make things happen.