Practitioners' First Choice
Practitioners' First Choice

First Complaint – How Hard Did It Hit?

Insta @larossaesthetics

In one word.. HARD.. like a train as a matter of fact.. you approach each patient with majorrrrrr responsibility and at the beginning you also carry a level of imposter syndrome and anxiety.. every bruise keeps you awake for weeks.. Every toxin client you double check, and triple check the units prior to administration but then spend the evening anxious whether you miscounted.. and don’t get me started when you see a message appear from your client a matter of hours/ days post appointment-  wow, that moment there has real life changing capacity!! Ha ha! 

The point is this.. every complaint, in my opinion can almost always come down to a poor consultation…whether that is, you didn’t assess them deeply, you didn’t manage their expectations, you didn’t ask the right questions, you didn’t listen to the information you received, or for that matter- you could have ignored the voice in your own head screaming, ‘don’t do it’’ you didn’t know why, but you knew something wasn’t adding up… and with that revelation comes another- we can control this! We can reflect and come back stronger! 

I think knowing where I had ‘gone wrong’ allowed me to empathise with my patients, and to reflect on the practitioner I was so I could come back stronger.. switch up the perspective.. Within every complaint comes a golden step to the path of being a better practitioner… do not see it as a reason to run, hide and disappear.. 

I don’t really remember my first complaint.. I just know I had a lot of opportunities to learn, and that has made me the professional I am today x #resilience #comebackbetter

Insta @gracecobner

If I am totally honest, I don’t remember my first complaint. What I do remember, is the feeling of receiving a complaint; that familiar heart racing anxiety that takes over! My heart still drops at the thought of a patient leaving unhappy or returning with a complaint. It’s inevitable really, we will all receive a complaint at some point during our aesthetics journey. A complaint can often lead to people playing ‘the blame game’. You see practitioners writing on forums ‘they didn’t follow the aftercare’ or ‘I think they have been to someone else, it’s not my work’. So I think the question is.. not how hard the first complaint hit, but how hard it hits when you realise it could be a fault of your own. We are human, we aren’t perfect and yes we will make mistakes. Of course experience helps to reduce the incidence of this, but sometimes it will still catch you when you’re not looking! Now ouch.. that hurts! I can say though, that reflecting on my mistakes has provided a great source of learning! I leave each one with more insight into my patients and my practice, taking notes on how I could avoid a repeat of this in the future! I think when dealing with complaints one of our biggest fears is to log on to social media and witness the public slandering of your business. We are in a culture where we often turn to social media to fire a review, Facebook status or tweet- potentially due to its ease? Rather than contact the practitioner directly with our concerns and give them the chance to rectify. I often wonder if this is because of social media’s readiness to accept these complaints? As a society we thrive off of drama, we love to read the downfall of others and it soon becomes tomorrow’s workplace gossip! Maybe as a society we have become so used to communicating through our devices we know longer know how to express our dissatisfaction in person? Maybe the uncomfortable feeling of making a complaint is easier to deal with behind a keyboard? Anyway it’s all food for thought and I am drifting off topic! So let’s finish with; Every practitioner in this industry would have received a complaint at some point in their career, nobody is alone on that, it’s how we learn from those complaints that set us apart.

Picture of Megan

Insta @the.aestheticsnurse

For me it isn’t so much as the complaint that  hits you hard as the feeling of failure that really gets you. As a lone worker in my clinic I don’t have anyone to bounce back ideas of what maybe went wrong or what I could’ve changed to prevent the client feeling unhappy with their outcome. I find my family, although medical, don’t do aesthetics and so struggle to understand how they can help the situation. I find research is a great help in these situations, reading and learning around experiences that others in my industry have already had. This also helps you to not feel like a lone fish drowning in your pond. You aren’t alone in anything you do in aesthetics. Believe me. Most practitioners have been there and got the t-shirt of complaints, it’s just not something they wear as a badge of honour but you know what? I think it’s a great skill we develop as practitioners, it’s far harder to manage a complaint and retain a client than it is to have consistently happy clients. Complaints lead to growth, not only for the client but for the practitioner too. The feeling of clients being unhappy with your service although awful is inevitable, it doesn’t mean you aren’t trained enough or aren’t nice enough. Throwing money at training won’t mean you don’t ever get a complaint again, learn from your practice, learn from your client, reflect on their complaint and grow from it. You are earning your aesthetic injector stripes.


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