Successfully resolving verbal complaints… it’s all about the conversation…
One of the key skill sets for any staff working in complaints handling is managing face-to-face meetings. Local Resolution Meetings. Meeting with complainants is ideally a speedier process than traditional long paper trail of emails or letters and if handled properly can result in a positive outcome that speeds up resolution and closure.
Face to face meetings (LRM’s) are preferable for many reasons including it gives the chance for patients to directly address concerns about communication or the way they perceive they were cared for by your service, with more chance for clarity.
Tips explored in this workshop:
Listening – don’t think about what to say next, being in the moment.
Show you are interested – listen, lean forward and the use eye contact for 60% of the time.
Focusing and be present.
Learning not to share your experiences or advice unless asked for them.
The use of empathy rather than sympathy – there is a difference.
Reflecting back, paraphrasing what has been said to ensure you are accurately understanding the experience.
Asking good questions, ones that move the conversation forward.
Recognise the anxiety felt when holding these meetings, the speed at which we speak when anxious, and that our body language may be defensive when anxious, that we may want to solve issues without fully understanding them.
Understand that complainants are also likely to be feeling emotions such as shame, embarrassment what could happen to them or their relatives because of the complaint that they have made.
Not every complainant will be reasonable in their expectations of what the meeting can resolve or be able to clearly articulate what happened to them, but all will want to have someone understand and hear their story and why they need to tell it.
Demonstrating that you have heard them and understood their experience and will use it in a meaningful way to change or improve services or the communication they received will support resolution of complaints.
Though attending this workshop participants will explore the following about Local resolution meetings :
Successful LRM’s held with complainants require preparation and careful planning.
Setting expectations and following up on agreements is key to building trust in complainants.
Advanced interpersonal skills and an ability to develop rapport is key to reaching a resolution in LRM’s.
If your organisation needs help to manage complaints more effectively, please make contact and let us help.