Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice: A Guide for Cosmetic Insure Clients

As medical aesthetic practitioners, your commitment to client satisfaction is paramount, and we are here to support you through every step. Here is our advice on how to manage client complaints.

We recognise that occasional dissatisfaction can arise, and handling complaints effectively is crucial for maintaining trust and professionalism.

As experienced cosmetic practitioners and practice managers know, you will have to deal with your fair share of complaints! This is not necessarily a reflection of your clinical skills, it is simply a fact of life these days. Human nature being what it is, you are unlikely to face the same type and style of complaint twice. Some patients will appear perfectly satisfied until you receive a 20-page letter out of the blue. Others will turn up at your office, determined to make their point as loudly as possible. So we can’t recommend a single method of dealing with complaints that will work for everyone.

The following is therefore just an introduction to dealing with complaints and should be used for guidance only. Each situation should be dealt with on its own facts.

However, there is one golden rule that does apply each time. If at all possible, don’t do anything until you have cleared it with Cosmetic Insure. Even if they simply agree to your preferred course of action you have the comfort of knowing that you have spoken to us.

Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice
Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice
Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice

What if a patient ambushes you on the telephone or in person and demands your response immediately?

 Try not to get drawn into making comments on the complaint. Take as many details of the grievance as you can and simply indicate that you understand their concerns and will investigate and respond urgently. Essentially, it is key to give yourself the breathing space to gather the facts and your thoughts, and to contact Cosmetic Insure.

Don’t mention or offer money, refunds or compensation to the patient unless Cosmetic Insure has authorised you to. However, when agreeing a strategy with Cosmetic Insure, you will need to be open to the possibility of paying a small sum of money or refunding fees to your patient to resolve the dispute at the earliest possible stage. While the thought of paying money to settle a weak claim may irk, settlements before court proceedings commence are now the most common way in which disputes are resolved and don’t necessarily require you to admit you were in the wrong. The Court’s own procedural rules are explicitly geared towards making parties to a dispute resolve it by negotiation. There can be penalties for those who refuse to attempt settlement without a good reason.

1. Acknowledge Receipt Promptly

Responding to patient concerns within 24 hours, though not a legal requirement, demonstrates a commitment to addressing issues promptly. Acknowledging their concerns shows empathy and often prevents escalation.

2. Provide an Estimated Resolution Timescale

While there’s no formal deadline for resolving complaints, offering an estimated timescale sets expectations. Swift resolution reassures patients and avoids lingering dissatisfaction. Communicate any delays promptly, along with a revised resolution date.

3. Thoroughly Investigate the Complaint

Conduct an honest and comprehensive investigation into the treatment and the associated complaint. While full disclosure to the patient is not necessary, use the findings to reflect and learn from the experience, preventing future occurrences.

4. Provide a Professional Summary

Share an objective summary of the patient’s treatment journey, including your findings on the validity of the complaint. Do not admit liability as this could later jeopardise insurer’s position if it does proceed to a formal claim, but express sympathy. At Cosmetic Insure, our goal is to guide you through the claims process, offering assistance until a resolution is reached.

5. Conclude with Next Steps

End the complaint process with a formal response outlining next steps. This could involve explaining that the complaint cannot be upheld, offering additional treatment, or providing a refund. The aim is to achieve a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

6. Formal Claims Process

If a formal notification is received, report it to your insurer promptly – late notification of a claim may lead to it being repudiated by insurers. Provide necessary documentation, including solicitor’s letters, patient consultation records, treatment photos, relevant documents, training certificates, and correspondence with the patient.

Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice
Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice
Managing Complaints in Aesthetic Practice

Top Tips to Manage Complaints:

Cosmetic Insure are here to assist and support you through the process of resolving the complaint or claim. Here are some tips for good complaints-handling practice. Again, these are for guidance only:

Do keep Cosmetic Insure updated on any developments and seek guidance on any proposed responses to the patient, especially written ones.

Do act quickly. A speedy response will rightly give your patient the impression that you are taking the complaint seriously.

Do keep the lines of communication open. Just because a claim is made does not mean you should refuse to speak to the patient. If you can maintain a civil relationship this can help to encourage early amicable resolution.

Do consider if a carefully worded apology is appropriate. If worded appropriately (and authorised by Cosmetic Insure), this could be very helpful in reaching a resolution.

Don’t put the complaint away and ignore it. It will not go away, and will come back bigger and more difficult to resolve.

Don’t get cross! You may want to tell your patient what you think of them, but this may simply provoke them into escalating the complaint towards a formal claim or even court proceedings.

We Value Your Commitment To Excellence

At Cosmetic Insure, we value your commitment to excellence in aesthetic practice. Our dedicated team is here to support you through every step of your journey, ensuring your satisfaction and success. If you have any questions, or concerns, or if you’d like assistance with a complaint or claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team. Your peace of mind is our priority. Contact us today, and let’s continue to deliver exceptional care together.

It is important to notify us as soon as you become aware of any circumstance that could give rise to a claim, so it’s not just when you receive a formal letter of claim, but if you have been aware of a complaint or dissatisfied customer for a while that could have reasonably be seen to lead to a potential claim then you should be notifying us of this also.

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Cosmetic Insure Disclaimer

All the information provided in our Cosmetic Insure Treatment Guides and blog articles serves as a valuable reference and informational resource. Our intention is to offer insights that assist you in making informed choices when exploring the extensive array of non-surgical aesthetic treatments available.

Please note that this information does not constitute medical advice. Any reliance you place on the content found within the Cosmetic Insure Treatment Guides, Cosmetic Insure blog articles, or on any part of is done so entirely at your own discretion.

Prior to considering any non-surgical cosmetic treatment mentioned anywhere on, we strongly recommend that you engage in thorough consultation with a duly qualified and accredited practitioner who possesses the proper training and comprehensive insurance coverage for the specific treatment you are interested in. Neither the author of the guides or blog articles, nor the practitioner who has verified these guides, nor Cosmetic Insure, can be held responsible or liable for any loss or claims resulting from the use or misuse of’s content. Your safety and well-being are our utmost concern.

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