Nobody likes giving refunds.
And in the general population, there’s almost the same number of people who actually like asking for refunds.
Most people don’t.
Don’t like asking.
What people want, on the whole, is for things to be fixed.
If they’re not fixed, then that’s when a refund needs to be forthcoming.
And forthcoming it must be.
Quickly, and easily.
No questions asked.
Each and every time.
When a business gives a refund it must have in place a simple and straightforward procedure and policy for creating and issuing the refund.
A procedure that empowers those who are asked so that they can act, quickly, to offer some satisfaction to the unhappy customer.
But like I said, most unhappy customers just want you to make things right.
Most of the time.
In dentistry, that can be easy.
A new filling breaks?
“Mrs. Smith, I’m so sorry to hear that’s happened. Are you in any pain? How soon can you get over here to us so that we can fix that for you?”
An easy formula:
Check the state of play.
Offer an immediate solution.
And of course, there’ll be no charge.
That’s a given.
I don’t usually state that [about the no charge]. But if we are asked, in the lead up, either on the phone or on the day, it’s a pure policy.
And everybody on the team knows it.
And really, for a new restoration, that’s simple.
It really only gets complicated in dentistry when the question arises, amongst us, as to how long should a new restoration last?
How long should a patient expect a new filling to last for?
How long should a patient expect a new crown to last for?
If a new denture starts to show a crack line, is that acceptable?
Like I said, knowing the Dental practice protocol well in advance for when and if these things happen will go a long way towards “smoothing over” any concerns that the anxious patient may have.
Peace of mind is all they really want.
When it comes to physical dollar refunds in dentistry, there needs to be, again, a well thought out *Policy* that everybody in the Dental practice knows.
And whatever that policy is, and whoever is empowered to give the refund, the process of refunding should appear to be such a pleasant experience for all, that the patient almost feels like “well that was too easy” as opposed to the regular “getting blood out of a stone” routine they would often have to go through somewhere else.
Now nobody likes to ever be giving away money.
The key to giving a customer their money back successfully is to know that the business has sufficient income, or cushion, that allows us to occasionally, when the need arises, to give a full refund unconditionally.
Unconditionally, when the customer feels and SO that the customer feels that this is the best obtainable outcome for them.
I once had a new patient objecting to my fee, out front, after treatment, as he was checking out.
My solution was simple.
I told him that there was no fee, and that all I wanted him to do was to pay what he thought was a fair price in his mind, for what he had done.
And that zero was OK.
If that’s what he felt.
I did not want to get into a tug of war over price and value.
I’d obviously let him down, either in not setting up the appointment correctly in the first place, or in failing to clearly explain to him the fee for what I was going to do to fix the problem that he had come to me with.
But I wasn’t going to haggle over the fee.
I’d rather have one hundred percent of no fee in that situation, than have some percent of some fee and have bought myself an unhappy customer.
Because that just would not be worth it.
It doesn’t matter how good a dentist you are, there will always be times when you’ll need to give a refund.
Make sure you and your team are well prepared in advance.
Because these times will happen.
Being in a position to provide a No Questions Asked refund is a very powerful stance to be able to take.
Knowing *what* to do, at the time, is even more powerful.
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at email@example.com
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