The Benefits of Patient Complaints

All organizations experience service problems and have areas in which they can improve. Successful service organizations:

  • Understand where they experience problems in their service delivery.
  • Consistently look to improve the service provided to their customers.
  • Pro-actively seek complaints and feedback from customers.
  • Train staff to effectively deal with service problems.

In order to encourage feedback from your patients, staff must be prepared to confidentiality deal with day to day service problems.  Most service staff are concerned about not being able to deal with particular types of service problems  or the possibility of a situation with a patient getting out of control (see my Complaint Handling Blog for tips). 

Complaints represent opportunities and signals from your patients that they are not happy and at the same time woo-able.  Only 4% of unhappy customers complain which means for every complaint you receive, 26 other patients experienced a similar problem without saying a thing.  Complaining patients give your practice an opportunity to put in a correction and keep their business.  95% of customers whose service complaints are dealt with quickly will purchase again.  Patients that do not complain typically vote with their feet.

Encourage complaining from your patients and support staff to actively seek out complaints without having to be concerned about being the bearers of bad news.