Complaints happen frequently in the healthcare industry and often the way these are dealt with affects a company’s reputation more than the initial complaint does. Effective handling of complaints is therefore essential if you want your business to succeed. Here is a guide on how to deal with complaints in the healthcare industry.
When someone makes a complaint, it is easy to go into self-preservation mode, especially if it is your company. However, before you start defending yourself you need to listen to what the complaint is about. Make sure you get a full understanding of what the problem is before you say anything. That way your customer won’t have to repeat themselves unnecessarily and they may even talk themselves out and calm down while you are listening.
Once your customer has said all they need to say, check your understanding of the complaint by paraphrasing to make sure you understand what the issue is. Ask questions about anything you are unsure of and take notes if you need to.
Once you know fully understand the complaint you can start to deal with it. Let the customer know what you are going to do to resolve the matter and take control of the situation. Taking ownership of the problem lets them know that you are taking them seriously and that you want to help them.
Hopefully, your customer will agree with the methods you want to use to resolve their issue, however, this isn’t always the case. Ask the customer how they would like the matter resolved and try to work with them to achieve a solution you can provide that they will be happy with. This may take some negotiating on your part, but don’t be afraid to tell them why their solution isn’t going to work, otherwise, they will feel that you are dismissing them out of hand.
To regain their trust, it is important that you do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it and then feed this information back to your customer. If you have promised them an update but you are waiting on information from a third party, let the customer know that rather than not getting back to them at all before you have had a response yourself. That way the customer will know that the delay isn’t your fault, and you are doing all you can to help.
Hopefully, your complaints can be resolved quickly and easily but this isn’t always the case. A customer has the right to escalate a complaint and go to court. They could cause you to receive a fine, a warning, or even receive a compulsory strike off if the complaint is serious enough. If you are unable to resolve a complaint quickly, it might be wise to seek the advice of a lawyer.
Follow these steps to resolve customer complaints and hopefully you will be able to turn complainants into happy customers.
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