It only takes one scathing patient review to make a substantial, negative impact on your practice and following. Brands that are quick to recover from such a knock back tend to follow some basic steps to resolve the matter quickly, thus avoiding the dreaded automated ‘apology’ response. Did you know that;

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to rectify for just one negative experience?
  • A disgruntled patient will inform on average another 9-13 people about poor customer service.
  • 80% of your customers revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customer base. 

With these facts in mind, it’s vital we nip any brand resentment in the bud quickly. But how? Let’s take a look at a few steps to ensure damage control when handling complaints in the future.

Respond ASAP

It’s vital you close this complaint down as quickly as possible. A negative review can be seen by all future patients deciding whether to use your medical services or not. A tip is to use as much time and care as you would securing a possible patient as you would handling a disgruntled one. And the chances are the patient will remove the complaint once it is handled in a prompt and genuine manner.

  • Set a guideline for how complaints are to be handled
  • Be honest in your response time – If you only check your Facebook business page every 3 days for example, then a reply within 24 hours is just not realistic.
  • Remember, even on weekends patients will expect the same level of commitment in your response time

Deal With The Complaint Offline

I have seen many examples where one negative experience on a public forum will snowball with others joining in, some that haven’t even used the services before! To prevent the situation from escalating, try using Facebook chat or even make the effort to call them. This shows the customer their query is of the up most importance and you will go out of your way to resolve the situation.

Acknowledge Your Mistakes

Be transparent and OWN your mistakes. Patients will have more respect than if you try to skirt around the issue and make excuses as to what went wrong that day. ‘I’m sorry’ is a very strong statement when it’s genuine.

  • Take ownership
  • Be genuine
  • Show your human side, not just the practices’ complaint procedure

Go That Extra Mile

I recently visited a cafe which belongs to a global super-brand. After ordering a simple salad, they mixed up my order 3 times and forgot I was still there, impatiently waiting 25 minutes later. On a time constricted lunch, I was extremely unhappy and when I finally received my food, I was surprised to be offered a free drink of my choice. Not only that, but on the way out I was given a gift card with another 2 free items for when I return again.

Needless to say, the cafe left a favourable impression and I told my friends and colleagues about the fantastic service I received. All because they went that extra mile.

Remember To Follow Up

So you’ve responded to the patient on social media. You have dealt with their issue in a prompt manner and have apologised. But don’t close this down just yet.

To ensure you have met the patients’ needs, give them a few days cooling off period before you attempt to reconnect. Thank them for their comments and ask if you have answered all their questions and is there anything else that needs your attention before closing this down? Yes, it’s direct, but to the point.

Our team at Designated Medical have an extensive background in customer services and ensuring the patient relationship is built on strong foundations. We are here to support Private Medical Practices in growing their brands and to ensure a ‘complaint handling’ procedure is put in place. We also have prolonged experience using live chat to talk directly with our customers.

  • Do you need someone to cover your live chat a few hours a week?
  • How about regular check ups and engagement on all your social media platforms?
  • An extra team member to assist with all customer engagement, whether it be by phone, live chat or email?

Get in touch today with our specialised team and let us assist you with our bespoke service!

Contact us on  +44 (0)20 7952 1008 or

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