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In every professional industry, a business owner faces many challenges. One small decision can significantly impact the financial stability of a professional partnership. The overall customer experience is regulated largely on perception, so managing your reputation is a high priority for professional business owners.

When a mistake happens in your dental practice, there are important ways to navigate the situation. You want to take ownership of any areas of responsibility while also maintaining a highly polished professional reputation.

Identify the Challenge

Mistakes happen, especially during complex dental procedures. There could be any number of unknown factors present that could impact a dental treatment plan. When a patient first advises that there is a problem, such as unexpected discomfort or worsening symptoms, it is imperative to pay attention. Take action quickly by assessing the chief complaint and investigating the physical area and the recent history of services provided.

Make it Right

Take ownership of any problems observed during the examination. Be sure that the patient knows what happened and how it will be corrected. If this is a common ailment, let the patient know that this frequently occurs under similar circumstances. While you certainly want to gain partnership with the patient, do not focus on placing blame or excusing the situation. The explanation is less important than the commitment to making it right. During or directly after the corrective procedure, consider discussing a discounted price as a way of making amends.

Follow Up and Follow Through

After taking action to correct the matter, be sure to follow up with the patient. If medication or follow-up treatment is required, they should be promptly scheduled. A personal phone call within a day or two of the visit will go a long way toward earning goodwill with your patient. An email is a secondary way to create an activity log of following up with the patient to ensure all is well. The first preference is to speak with them directly by phone or even in person. This small token provides a personal touch that leaves a lasting impact on the patient. If you offered any compensation or discounted prices, be sure to honor that agreement.