It was a tough week at PHS. Business has been a bit slower and we are working hard at trying to figure out why and then on top of this stress, I had a couple of long time patients call me to complain. I consider the complaints a BIG problem as I have always heard that only about 4% of patients who are unhappy will actually take the time to complain. I’ve always prided myself on our exceptional customer service so the complaints really disturbed me and I had to spend some time getting to the core of the problems.
As a result of these issues, I will admit that I was distracted and my focus was not always on my patients. What does all this chaos add up to? Bad Business!! Patients can sense unrest a mile away. Everyone has bad days and no one would expect anything different but patients also want and deserve our full attention.
When I sat back to consider the turmoil and what it cost me emotionally this week, I had to wonder the effect it had on my business. I’m sure there were times I didn’t take the time to demonstrate new technology because I was distracted and I’m sure I wasn’t always “nice”. Certainly employees also suffer when there is chaos and the unrest can’t help but affect our personal lives.
Have you ever thought about what chaos like this or fatigue may be costing your business? I can literally set the tone for the day by just the way I enter the business. If I stomp into my practice and growl “Good Morning” to the staff everyone knows it’s not going to be a Good Day. When I am unhappy, no one is happy. It’s hard for me to actually believe that I have that type of power but I do. And when I am unhappy because of complaints or whatever, I tend to find more mistakes that my staff may be making. Not a good scenario. Yes, we had some complaints but pointing out EVERYTHING the employees did wrong is not the best way to improve the situation.
It’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude when you are trying to run a successful practice and also seeing patients, not to mention the demands of our personal lives. BUT it’s crucial to find a way to keep things in perspective. In my case, I should have spent more time investigating exactly what was involved in the complaints and what may have gone wrong and then I should have taken the time to put a specific plan and training program in place to make sure the mistakes didn’t reoccur.
It’s a BIG and a tough job dealing with patients and running a business. So the next time problems occur, take a big breath, go for a walk, and then spend some time outlining a specific plan on how to fix the issues. You and your business will perform better for it.