Ejecting a Patient or Client

Firing the Patient

Have you ever had a patient or client like this:

“Where did you say you got your degree?” “Why can’t you run on time?” “Whose vacation am I paying for anyway?” “You’re hurting me.” “Your staff is rude to me.” “Your lack of parking facilities is a pain in the butt.” “Your fees are too high.” “Have you considered redecorating your office?” “I hate coming here.”

This patient or client is a constant irritant from the moment they walk in the door of your practice until they leave at the end of the appointment (which is never soon enough). They can set you on edge and bring down the emotional tone of the whole office and lower the service level to the rest of your patients that day.

Wow! How do you put up with a patient or client like that? Perhaps the answer is: You don’t have to. You and your staff do not have to be a dumping ground to the world. This is YOUR practice and you get to say who you will treat and who you won’t. It’s YOUR business.

It has even been known to happen that staff don’t show up to work for a day here and there because they know who is coming in that day and don’t want to have to deal with them. (True story.)

The question is: How do you dismiss this patient or client from your practice without being a total jerk? Taking the high road and doing it with thoughtfulness and consideration may seem difficult but it IS the best way with the least amount of repercussion.

Here is an example that has worked for many practitioners:

“Mrs. Jones, we don’t seem to be able to make you happy with our service and this is distressing my staff and me. We would like to recommend that you choose another office to go to where it will perhaps be a more positive experience for you. Just let us know which one and we will forward your chart to them. We just want what’s best for you.”

When that approach is used, it occasionally has a surprising result. In one practice, the patient responded by saying that she was sorry to have made it sound like she was unhappy, and she became a pussycat from there on out. This is a rare response however.

By ejecting the one or ones that bring the general tone of the office down, the rest of your patients or clients will experience a happier place when they come to you for your fabulous care.

And you and your team will look forward to coming to work every day!

For a whole new level of success

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