Unhappy patients can be quite a challenge for front office staff. Either way and whatever the cause, your office staff should be trained and prepared to manage unhappy patients. Here are four simple yet effective steps to managing unhappy patients.
Use appointment reminders to help with communication
Appointment reminders are an excellent platform for easy and efficient communication. This is a great tool for patients that don’t care for constant communication, or any communication at all. An automated appointment reminder will give your patient all the information they need without requiring them to interact with your staff.
Create a “compassion strategy”
This tactic might sound a little strange but it has the potential to work wonders for your practice. Sometimes you see patients at their worst like when they are sick, exhausted, and vulnerable. No one is acting their best in that state. Your staff can create a compassion strategy to help ease their discomfort from the moment they walk through your door. Small acts of kindness, such as offering hot tea or water while they wait, can make a huge difference in their interaction. Create a simple strategy that your entire staff can implement immediately.
Use your manners
When the office is really busy manners are put on the back burner in many situations, but in those cases, manners can be the most helpful. Something as simply as smiling and being courteous can go a long way with a patient who is frustrated. Be sure to be professional and courteous no matter how difficult the situation may appear. You shouldn’t give an unhappy patient reason to be unhappy.
Find out what is wrong
Many make the mistake assuming what is wrong with the patient. That can be one of the easiest yet worse mistakes you can make. If you assume you know what is wrong then you might work to fix a problem that doesn’t exist and that won’t improve the situation. Asking a patient why they are frustrated gives them the opportunity to be heard and could also relieve some of the frustration.
Automated appointment reminders are an excellent tool to manage communication with patients, as well as get feedback that could help improve your office. However, your patients should always come first and if you have an unhappy patient you should first try to resolve them.