Aesthetic Practice: Preventing Complaints

We’ve explained how you can best deal with complaints as an injector, but how do you prevent complaints occurring in the first place?

There are a number of ways you can minimise the likelihood of dissatisfaction before ever treating a patient. Here are our top three tips for preventing complaints…

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1. Advertise your ethos and approach to aesthetics correctly

Make sure your advertising accurately reflects the service you offer. For example, if you offer natural looking results, having images of overfilled lips on your social media channels or in your marketing materials can be misleading. This, in turn, can lead to unhappy patients due to their having unrealistic expectations before treatment even starts.

You can find out more about ensuring your branding and imagery accurately reflects your ethos in our series of aesthetics marketing articles: 10 Tips for Marketing Your Aesthetics Practice.

2. Good patient selection is critical

Learn the art of trusting your gut and refusing treatment where necessary. This skill plays a large part in preventing complaints. Commonly seen examples of scenarios where a patient may not be suitable, include:

•  they want a look you do not provide eg. exaggerated, “unnatural” lip or cheek fillers

•  suspected body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or other red flags related to mental health

•  being excessively concerned or anxious about any aspect of treatment including price

•  if the patient makes you feel at all nervous, as you will not be able to perform properly

•  where they change practitioners regularly or have made a number of complaints.

3. Manage patients’ expectations

Always try to be realistic but, as almost every experienced injector will tell you, it’s always beneficial to under-promise and over-deliver! Some practitioners believe we should see meeting patients’ expectations as a challenge. However, especially when you first start out, you need to learn to trust in your abilities and only offer treatments where you know you can deliver excellent outcomes. 

If you do not believe you can provide the outcome the patient is looking for after talking to them about what they should expect, this becomes a patient selection issue. Not treating them should be considered to help prevent complaints.

As you build your confidence and skills over time, then you may find that some patients or treatments you may not have felt comfortable with previously are more easily manageable. It’s simply a question of constantly learning and refining your approach while ensuring your practice is underpinned with a high level of patient care.

Building trust can build your practice

If you put your patient’s best interests first – from before they ever even receive any treatment from you – you won’t go far wrong. 

Combine this approach with a calm, confident manner and skillful injecting that provides beautiful results and you’re on to a winning formula for aesthetic success!

This will help you to establish a trusting relationship on which to build a loyal customer base that grows with you and helps with preventing complaints.

But remember, even the most skilled and experienced aesthetics specialists receive complaints sometimes. Deal with these calmly, openly and methodically and treat your patient with empathy and sometimes you can turn your fiercest critics into your biggest fans!

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