It’s often said that the best teacher is your last mistake. So true...those lessons we’ve learned the hard way and the problems we’ve faced because of them.
We don’t ever forget those, do we?!
In the body contouring world, one of our biggest problems can be dissatisfied patients. We’ve probably learned from some of those mistakes.
Whether you’ve dealt with this before or not, every one of us will have an unhappy, complaining patient from time to time in the future.
These patients may be dissatisfied with something you did or didn’t do. In other words, it could be something you need to correct in your practice. While other times your only mistake was missing out on detecting the potential problem from the outset...and preventing it by not treating the patient. Either way, when you have an unhappy patient with complaints, you must diffuse the situation and resolve her complaints.
How do you do that? What is the best way to manage an unhappy patient? How do we best resolve complaints?
We’re taking on this topic in the episode. We’ll share our blueprint for complaint resolution. And we’ll share a couple of key offerings we use to pacify unhappy patients.
Let’s get started with our Complaint Resolution Blueprint.
We use the BLAST Technique of complaint resolution.
This technique was developed by Albert Barneto originally for the restaurant industry. Since then, it has been utilized by all types of service industries - banking, hospitals, cpa firms, digital firms...the list goes on.
We like this technique because it provides simple steps that are easy to remember. The name itself, BLAST, is an acronym. And we like this technique because it includes all the crucial steps needed to successfully resolve any type of conflict.
So what is BLAST?
B is for Believe
L is for Listen
A is for Apologize
S is for Satisfy
T is for Thank
Let’s break this down and show you how you use it in your body contouring practice.
Start with Believing the patient.
Even if you don’t think the patient’s concerns are legitimate, convey to the patient that you do believe her
Even if you don’t think the patient’s feelings are valid, convey to the patient that you do believe so
When your patient perceives you believe her, she believes you are working in her best interest
LIsten to the patient
Use your active listening skills
Use good eye contact
Restate the patient’s concerns: “What I hear you saying is you thought you’d see more reduction?”
Allow the patient to speak until she stops
This should move her to a state of cooperation
Apologize for what she is feeling
You’re not admitting guilt
Say something like, “I am so sorry you feel disappointed because you thought you’d see a bigger difference.”
Then suggest 2 choices of resolution. This makes the patient feel like she has some control
You might offer these two options
“We could offer you another treatment for half price. How does
“You could return in 4 weeks for another follow up visit at no
charge. It can take many patients a little longer to see change.
We can give you these supplements to help your body detox.
Which alternative solution seems better for you?”
The patient may ask for more. She may ask for a refund or another treatment at no charge. You need to know your limits going in. Know what you’re not willing to offer.
At some point, Thank the patient
You can do this anytime - at the beginning, middle or end of your meeting with the patient
Thank the patient for bringing her concerns to your attention and for giving you a chance to make her happy
This makes her feel like she is doing you a favor and that you appreciate her
One final, but extremely important, note. Be prepared to manage your own emotions throughout this process. Most likely you’ll be feeling disgusted, angry, frustrated and/or uncomfortable.
That brings us to Action Step time. Here’s your action step for this episode.
Action Step: Will you adopt the BLAST method of resolving patient complaints? Or will you create your own process? Either way, write it down. Make sure your entire team knows the process before you have the need to put it into action.
Stay tuned. Even better, subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
Bye for now from Shannon and Kay at the Body Contouring Academy’s Proven Profits Podcast.