Ninja Techniques to Handling Angry Patients in Your Dental Office
Ok, so patients don't always look like Mr. Scrooge, but sometimes they can sure come across that way. I'm going to share with you some ninja techniques for dealing with an angry person in your dental office. I am speaking of those instances where someone comes into your office and starts off with a negative persona. Here are three things that you should have in mind when you approach an angry patient.
#1 Believe, before you approach them, that you will make a significant connection and you will be victorious in befriending them.
#2 Realize that 99 percent of angry people are actually scared and have bad experiences in the past coloring their view of today.
#3 Be open and honest with them about how they appear to you and offer help getting them to a place of happiness.
Example from the dental office: "Mr Groompee, I hope I'm not misinterpreting, but you appear very closed in and angry today. The one thing I don't want is for you to HAVE to be here when maybe a different dental office might be more your style. Is there something that we did wrong, or is there a different style of dental office that might make you more comfortable?"
Do you see what I did there? I showed him that I was in tune with his feelings or at least how he appears to be feeling. I also showed him that he doesn't have to be in my office if he doesn't want to. Oftentimes, people feel like they have no choice or that they will be pressured into a choice. As soon as you show them that you are on their side and that you will even help them find business elsewhere if they would be more comfortable, you will win their trust.
You see, in this world of rules and policies, people are expecting to have to fight. It seems that everywhere you go is a ridgid landscape unwielding to the wishes of people. Its no wonder people come into the dental office arms crossed. They think you are going to perform procedures without asking and without giving them a heads up on the price and then ask for the money on the way out. You have to let them know you are their friend and that you are on their side.
If you become a wall for someone to push against, then push they will, but if you become a guiding doorway then you can lead them to where you want them to go.
I've had cases where the uptight patient would just burst into tears when I tell them I don't want them to have to be here if they are uncomfortable. Usually a patient will explain that they had terrible past dental experience as a kid, or that they have always been paralyzed with fear about the dentist, or afraid of the costs.
There are some people out there that are mean, but most are just scared and protecting themselves. Confront their feelings and offer to help them and you will win over 90 percent of your angry patients.
Hope this helps.