The risk of an injury on your property arises from slips and falls, faulty equipment, and even being struck by an object when you own or operate a business that is open to the public.
Customers who have been injured in incidents involving poorly managed injuries often bring about unhappy customers, bad publicity through the media or word-of-mouth, and even insurance claims or lawsuits, all of which potentially affect a business’s reputation and bottom line.
The following are tips on how business owners can handle customer injuries in-store.
Never blame the customer for an incident, even if they appear at fault. Listen carefully to your customers’ concerns, and sympathise. Always treat customers respectfully and kindly, even if the incident seems relatively minor.
Avoid statements that indicate acceptance of responsibility
Even if your business is clearly at fault, incident investigations may uncover factors that may not have been apparent. Therefore, avoid making any statements that admit responsibility or acknowledge fault. If you apologise for anything, you’re admitting fault and blame, which can be used against you in a claim.
Have some form of protection
Anyone who is responsible for the safety of customers, staff or visitors to their business needs to make sure they have public liability insurance. If someone is injured on your premises, whether this is due to an incident with a customer’s shopping, slips on wet floors or even injuries sustained by staff at work, you can be liable for these costs. This type of insurance will help you in the event of a claim against your business.
Be on the lookout for injuries
As soon as you find out the customer is injured, ask whether they need assistance. If they do, provide bandages or any first aid items they may need. If they are seriously ill or injured, call for an ambulance. Call 999 if the customer is unconscious or seriously injured and make sure you clear the area and try to help. If you can, close the store until the ambulance arrives to help.
Handling Incidents With Customers
You can protect your business from loss by preventing a customer injury from escalating into a damaging event by taking these steps.
Take pictures of evidence
Document the evidence. If a slip and fall hazard resulted in the injury or a liquid spill caused it, you should photograph them.
In fact, photograph all and every condition that resulted in the injury. If there were wet floor signs up at the time of the injury, photograph them.
Participate in the investigation of claims
Finally, be ready to support the claims associate throughout the investigation, determining liability and deciding whether or not a settlement is appropriate. When a customer declines medical attention, notify the department as soon as possible.
When a customer is injured in your store, it can be a worrying time. After all, your business could severely suffer from this if not handled properly. So, use the tips in this article to help you handle customer injures properly.