You've heard certain complaints a hundred times before, and you're sure you know what's going to come out of a client's mouth. Why not take the shortcut and address complaints about price and protocols before a client speaks? Because you need to listen and understand the real issue before you fully respond. Try this: “Thank you for sharing your concern. Please explain what happened from your perspective so I’m sure I understand the challenge.” Then listen and stay calm and collected in your response: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If you hadn’t highlighted this for me, we would not have known this was a problem. We will talk about this issue at our next staff meeting, and it will give us the opportunity to improve our services for you and others.”
If you're not sure what to do, don't hesitate to ask for help from your manager. Review your practice's policies on client complaints and authority: For example, are you authorized to give away certain services to appease upset clients? When should you pass complaints to the manager? Know the policies and you’ll know you’re supported to do a good job.
When a number of clients complain about the same problem, become a positive force in customer service by brainstorming solutions and discussing them at a team meeting or taking them to your manager.
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