Don’t you hate it when you ask someone to do something and they say “No” point blank as the first word out of their mouth? Or they say “I can’t,” or “I won’t,” or “never,” or “impossible”?
Negativity is very off-putting and individuals who get into this way of handling things are often avoided or thought less of. From the front desk to the back, the whole practice needs to ensure that a positive message is communicated to patients and clients, as well as to each other.
For instance, a patient or client calls in to ask if they can change their appointment to a half hour later, but you already know it is impossible. Instead of just saying “no,” you could say, “I’d love to make that happen for you. Let me have a look at the schedule. Hmmm… that spot seems to be taken already. Is there any way you can keep the time we already have you scheduled for? (If no:) What other time would work for you?”
There is an art to telling the patient or client, “I never say ‘no’ until I have to,” instead of, “That’s impossible,” or, “I can’t do that.” It takes some conscious practice to get good at it. If a patient asks you to do something that you just can’t and you tell them so, it makes them feel bad. You have just made the customer wrong. Of course, you don’t want to overpromise or say you can do something you can’t. Instead you could say, “I would love to be able to do that for you, but … (and give reason).” This will be much more acceptable than being abruptly negative.
Using a “Can do” attitude with your staff or them with you is also much more successful than the negative attitude. Making it a practice to always try and see how something CAN be done before reacting with a “no” will make for a much smoother relationship with each other. Everyone should work on eliminating any and all variations of no and can’t and impossible from their vocabulary.
Keep Positivity flowing!
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