8 steps for defusing angry clients


To calm heated client situations, follow these steps from Paul Camilo, CVPM, practice manager at All Pets Dental in Weston, Fla.

1. Start with an apology

Your veterinary clients are always right, even when they're wrong. So always start by saying that you're sorry for the mistake or the situation that went awry.

2. Don't take it personally

Sometimes clients may be having a bad day when they visit your practice. They may take their negative feelings out on you even when you and your team members have done nothing wrong.

3. Don't argue with clients

Besides the fact that clients are always right, arguing with them only escalates the situation.

4. Be willing to help

By showing that you're interested in solving the problem, many clients will immediately calm down.

5. Find facts and listen

Never assume you know the problem. Ask questions to figure out what's truly bothering clients so you can solve the real issue.

6. Resolve problems quickly

Don't procrastinate, especially when there's bad news to relay. Waiting only allows time for the problem to snowball.

7. Thank clients

Consider complaints as a favor and let clients know you appreciate them pointing out an issue you can now fix.

8. Follow up and follow through

Call clients who expressed concern about a month later. Let them know what changes you've made to ensure the problem doesn't happen again.

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