You focus a large part of your day on making sure that your patients are able to hear. What they choose to listen to is at their discretion. And just like your patients what your choose to listen to or to ignore is entirely up to you. But too often what we hear and how we respond are wrong.
Consider These 3 Statements
- “Dr. Jones, I send everyone I know to you, I think you’re the best.”
- “Dr. Jones, I had to wait a long time to see you today.”
- “Dr. Jones, this is the third time I’ve been here for the same problem.”
These are 3 statements made by 3 separate individuals. How would you respond to each? If you’re responses look something like these,
- “Thank you”
- “I’m so sorry.”
- “I’m so sorry.”
then you aren’t really listening to what your patient is saying or at the very least you are failing to dig little deeper to try to figure out what they’re thinking. You’re also not using the information they’re providing to your advantage.
This is a patient who is clearly happy with you and your services and is willing to tell the world about you. Are you helping him with this endeavor? Are you asking him to review you online? By sharing information about you online he can extend his reach dramatically. People are using reviews more and more every day. Not just when they’re hungry and looking for a new restaurant, but by patients looking for a new doctor.
There is a problem and he’s telling you exactly what it is. An apology is in order, but you should also (at the conclusion of the visit) find out why he waited so long. Is this an aberration? Is it a problem that can be quickly resolved? Does the staff even know he waited and that he was unhappy that he had to wait? The Internet allows an unhappy patient to not only spread your praise to hundreds of potential patients, but they’re also more than willing to complain about you to anyone who will listen.
Yes, I’m sorry is also in line, but this patient’s resentment is building. I’m sorry is only going to go so far with him. He has probably heard “I’m sorry” twice already and he’s not impressed. He wants the problem solved and if it isn’t he wants to know what you plan to do to compensate him for his pain and suffering. If it is truly the 3rd time he’s been in with the same problem perhaps you need to consider extending his warranty or make other amends to, well…make him happy.
In this day and age news travels at the speed of light and it travels far and wide. Do what you can to ensure that good news is traveling more often than bad news.