Here Is A Sample From Conflict Resolution!


Choosing Your Words and Approach


            How you present a resolution, or deal with the other party, is more important than the resolution itself. Why? Because if you deal with the other party in a negative or confrontational way, you may never get to the point of offering a resolution!

             The main focus when dealing with a conflict is to stay positive. Make all your statement from the positive point of view. Avoid negative words like can't, won't, not, shouldn't, etc. These words carry a negative meaning and may prevent the other person from hearing what it is that you're saying.

             The human mind of some people tends to "shut down" when it hears something that is contrary to what they want. They hear the word "can't" and immediately they turn off their hearing to whatever else you are saying. They are already formulating their response to your refusal!

             People also do not care about your internal policies or rules. They don't want to hear "I'm sorry but that's against company policy." They want their problem solved. Avoid the company policy statement, it carries little weight, if any, with the customer. The same can be said for any reason you may give for not being able to fulfill a particular request. For this reason, it is best to concentrate on what you can do instead of what you can't do. This all goes back to concentrating on the positive while downplaying the negative.

             Change "That's not my area" to "Let me transfer you to someone that can help you". Instead of "I can't do that" try "here's what I can do for you." Doesn't that sound much better? Don't you think the other party might tend to be more receptive to what it is you have to say? Always keep in mind that there are no winners and losers here. It is in your best interest to keep the other party listening and receptive throughout the process. If either party shuts down, it is impossible to provide a satisfactory resolution to the problem.

             Ask yourself this question: If you had a problem, which would you rather hear, a list of excuses why you couldn't do something or a list of things that could be done to help you? The answer is the list of things that could help you. Let me give you an example:

 A man buys a power tool for $150.00. He uses it for a month and it breaks. He calls you for assistance. Which is the best way to handle the situation:

 1) "Your power drill broke? I'm sorry. Our company policy prohibits me from giving you a refund. Our warranty clearly states that you cannot be given a new one and we don't offer an exchange as an option. Your retail outlet cannot take it back for credit, either. Now, how may I help you?"

 2) "Your power drill is broken? I'm sorry. We can get that fixed for you right away. There are three authorized dealers in your area. I can give you their numbers or you can ship it to us direct for repair. We'll pay the postage costs for you. How would you like to handle this?"

             It's obvious that #2 is the far better approach. You acknowledged the problem, expressed your concern and offered not one but two resolutions. You then let the customer decide which option he felt more comfortable with. You have made the customer part of the decision making process. This increases the likelihood that the resolution will be acceptable.

 In the first scenario, you gave the customer a list of things you couldn't do and offered no real resolution to the problem. This approach would surely add to the frustration level of the other party and make the situation even more difficult to resolve.

             Another pitfall to avoid is the use of extremely technical jargon that might not be understood by the other party. For example, if someone calls you and tells you his product doesn't operate properly, you should not reply, "It sounds like the transmongrification solenoid is not phase-linked with the regurgitation valve causing binary interpolation errors." No one should be expected to understand that unless they were an engineer.

             When talking to anyone in any conflict or complaint, target your words and phrasing so that anyone with a sixth grade education could understand you. When talking to a group, target the person that you feel would have the most trouble understanding what it is you are trying to say. Choose your words so that this person could understand your conversation. If a technical term must be used, stop for a moment and explain it to the parties involved. If you don't take the time to explain yourself, or if you use too much "techspeak" language, one of two things will happen.

             First, the customer will just "shut down" and not hear a word you are saying. Second, and much more serious, the customer may feel that you are talking down to him and get defensive. We want to avoid anything that will make the other party defensive at all.


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