LAG: Listen, Apologize, Give
Complaints. They will find you. It’s inevitable that on occasion, schedules will go awry, patients will misinterpret efficiency for insensitivity, or patient expectations will not be met.
It’s not always the disappointing situation, but rather what happens later that determines how public a complaint will become.
When responding to a complaint, acronyms can be helpful in remembering a process. They are especially helpful for someone feeling anxious or uncertain about their ability to resolve the complaint.
I like the acronym LAG, which stands for Listen, Apologize, Give.
The “give” is a quick visible action that is relevant to the seriousness of the complaint. After the apology, examples of “give” could be:
• A business card for follow-up contact if needed.
• Validated parking.
• Assurance that the issue will be addressed.
• Replacement of a damaged item.
• Scheduling the next appointment at whatever time is most convenient for the patient.
• A coupon redeemable at the gift shop.
LAG is easy to remember and gives staff members a plan of action.
CARE, LEARN, LEAD
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