May 21st 2020

How to ease practice stress and worry regarding complaints

On top of the daily stresses of working at a veterinary practice, a client complaint can cause additional worry, especially if it is drawn out with no satisfactory resolution in sight. Complaints are a natural product of running a business, and in most situations the complaint can be resolved and learnt from if the dialogue remains constructive rather than emotive. However, there are times when complaints can escalate, or undergo delayed resolve. If this sounds familiar, there is a solution.

Perhaps you have already undergone lengthy correspondence with your client, but cannot seem to move forward. This can cause stress for the team members involved. This stress can very easily affect general well-being and homelife the longer the complaint continues. These negative byproducts can also occur if a complaint becomes more emotive; for example, if a client becomes visibly or audibly upset during communication.

If your client has contacted the Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS) to seek advice and possibly mediation for their complaint, you can reassure yourself, and your practice, that the complaint will be handled in an impartial and non-judgmental manner. The VCMS allows complaints to be resolved without the need for direct contact between veterinary practice and client, significantly decreasing the possibility of the complaint becoming emotive, while allowing each party to express their concerns and receive advice pertaining to their current situation.

If the staff members involved in the complaint feel as if they have already taken on too much stress from the situation, a representative of the practice may take their place to work with the VCMS to reach a resolution. Furthermore, any member of the team can contact the VCMS Resolution Manager assigned to mediate the complaint, or the Mediation Co-Ordinator who progresses the complaint through the mediation process. Either of these VCMS team members can answer questions and provide reassurance, further easing the stress and worry from your staff.

In addition to the VCMS’ direct help, the mediation process allows veterinary practices to learn and evolve ways of working, whether that’s in the future handling of complaints, the standard of care provided to other clients, or improving clarity regarding service fees. This helps to protect the well-being of practice staff moving forward, and eases stress if a similar situation arises.

To find out more about complaints submitted to the VCMS, visit our FAQs page here.

If you would like further guidance, please contact Veterinary Client Mediation Service at:
Phone: 0345 040 5834

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