How to Turn an Angry Dental Patient into a Raving FanAug 30, 2023
In the bustling heart of Silicon Valley, there's a saying that every failure is a stepping stone to success.
This tech hub, known for its groundbreaking innovations, also holds a record for the highest number of entrepreneurial failures. Yet, it is these very failures that have paved the way for some of the most revolutionary successes. Why? Because in Silicon Valley, mistakes are seen not as setbacks, but as invaluable opportunities for growth and learning.
Drawing a parallel to the medical practice, just as entrepreneurs view failures as lessons, healthcare providers can view patient grievances as golden opportunities. Mistakes, misunderstandings, or miscommunications are not just problems to be fixed; they are chances to strengthen bonds, enhance trust, and build a practice that truly resonates with its patients.
Every medical practice aims for perfection. Yet, with the sheer volume of interactions, from emails to appointments, there's always a potential for errors. But what if we told you that mistakes, when managed correctly, could be the foundation of your practice's success?
It's a bold statement, but it's rooted in a profound truth: It's not about how many things go right, but how you handle the things that go wrong.
When a patient is upset, it's easy to view it as a negative mark against your practice. However, it's essential to shift this perspective and see it as an opportunity—an opportunity to make amends, to show your commitment, and to write a positive ending to an otherwise unfavorable story.
Remember the old adage, "You can either be happy or be right, but you can't be both"? In the realm of patient care, being "right" is secondary to ensuring the patient's happiness and satisfaction. When a patient voices their dissatisfaction, they are not seeking to prove you wrong; they are seeking resolution.
This is where the importance of "writing the end to your own story" comes into play. Danny Meyer says, “The worst mistake is not to figure out some way to end up in a better place after having made a mistake.”
If a patient leaves disgruntled, they carry with them a narrative of dissatisfaction. However, if you step in, address their concerns, and provide a positive solution, you are effectively rewriting the ending. You are turning a potential negative review into a testimonial of your practice's commitment to patient care.
While no practice aims for mistakes, they are inevitable. What sets successful practices apart is not the absence of errors but the ability to turn them into opportunities for growth and relationship-building. Embrace the challenges, rewrite the narratives, and watch your practice, and your relationships with everyone, thrive.