If a clientís expectations are not met, they may
choose to ignore it, complain about it, retaliate by telling
others (or seek legal action!), or more likely to withdraw from
the relationship. Clients often donít complain because they
think it will do no good or they are not sure how to voice the
complaint. The cause of most stressful situations is poor
HOW TO MASTER RECOVERY SKILLS
Dissatisfied clients have several
1. To be listened to and taken seriously
2. To have you understand why they are upset
3. To receive compensation
4. To have the problem handled quickly
5. Future inconvenience avoided
6. To be treated with respect
7. Assurance it will not happen again
A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT COMPLAINTS AND COMPLAINERS
1. Donít take it personally
2. If you have tried your best to satisfy, thatís all you can
3. Donít rehash the experienceÖwhatís done is done
4. Use every client contact as an opportunity to improve your
5. Clients want to remain your client
6. Clients are giving you another opportunity to make it right
7. Most clients want to be fair, if they feel they are being
STRATEGIES FOR CONTROLLING ANGER INCLUDE
1. Choose not to return
aggression for aggression.
2. Acknowledge feelings and emotions.
3. Ignore the excessive, erroneous, sarcasm, and
exaggerations. Choose what you respond to.
4. Donít pass the buck.
PROTOCOL FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS
1. Isolate the client.
2. Give the client your undivided attention. Document.
3. Donít assume anything.
4. Stay calm.
5. Acknowledge the clientís anger.
6. Listen actively.
7. Involve the client in finding a solution. Suggest
8. Never leave the problem unresolved.
9. Thank the client for bringing the problem to your
10. Do something extra.
CLIENT COMPLAINTS: Blame
it on someone/something not associated with your clinic. Some
examples would be:
4. Licensing Board
COMPLAINTS: What not to do
DONíT: Be defensive, take it personally, deny
it, make excuses, judge, blame, bring up the past, blame it on
COMPLAINTS: What to do
DO: Choose your words carefully avoiding
negativism, only say what you can do, acknowledge any truth to
the complaint, avoid actions that worsen the situation, provide
a timeframe for action, offer alternatives, find someone else
to solve the problem if you canít.
ABUSIVE LANGUAGE SHOULD NOT BE
Remind yourself that the anger is directed at
the system, not you personally. Since we cannot control the
other personís thoughts, words, or behavior; we must control
our own. Let the client know you will handle the problem in a
mature manner: ďIt is impossible to continue the conversation
as long as you use abusive language, what would you like for me
There is magic in listening and agreeing.
Clients tend to calm down if they feel you are looking out for
their best interest. They also tend to be less vulgar when
they see you documenting on paper.
This group of people always look for someone
else to blame, never admit fault or take responsibility, have
strong ideas of what others should do, and complain at length.
Some strategies include listening actively, establishing the
facts, resisting the temptation to apologize, force the
complainer to pose solutions, and determine the clientís value
to the practice. Firing undesirable clients can sometimes
result in respectful, good clients. Be firm and set conduct
guidelines of courteous handling of future problems. If the
client threatens legal action, stop trying to resolve the
problem. Implied promises make a reasonable settlement
difficult. Instruct the client to speak with your attorney.
It is important to remember that complaints are
good for the practice in that the client is allowing us the
opportunity to make it right. It also allows us to know
problems that can also affect other clients, even though they
may not totally defect from the practice. It is comforting to
know that most client complaints have positive resolutions that
can result in clients that are more bonded to the practice than
even before the complaint was made known.