Keeping the Peace! How to solve conflicts in business.

Author : teriann

It can start out small. A customer is dissatisfied about some aspect of the service or product that they have received and asks to speak to a manager. The manager outlines the store policy and directs his employee to ensure that the guidelines set are followed by the customer.

So what could go wrong?

Sadly cases like this often escalate and can lead to further complications. Soon one or both parties have raised their voices or become so angry that security have to be involved and the argument has attracted the attention of other customers.

One of the reasons for the issues to be compounded has to do with poor communication skills between customers and employees. So how can store managers and customers keep the peace?

How to solve conflicts peacefully

1. Stay calm during the conversation

This can be challenging, but staying calm as a manager is very important as persons respond positively to someone who is not being aggressive.  Even if there is nothing you can do to help the customer, simply offering an empathetic, listening ear is always appreciated when an upset tenant needs to vent.

As the customer, being calm helps you to be taken seriously as you can state the facts clearly.  It helps your case if you can present yourself as a person who can be reasoned with and that resolve the issue.

2. Ask questions and listen closely

It is especially important  that both parties listen to each other. The manager can ask the customer, “What can we do to remedy this situation?” Calmly asking questions without pointing any blame can help you get to the bottom of the conflict and can start diffusing the situation.

Customers also can ask questions to clarify any aspects of the store’s policy that relates to their situation and also have the courtesy to listen to the manager’s response.

3. Negotiate a resolution

The ultimate aim of the manager is to have a resolution to the issue in a manner that appeases everyone. Sometimes it will be as simple as an apology or a refund. But if the conversation becomes unproductive or verbally abusive, stop it immediately. Use a calm voice to let the customer know you’re going to step away from the situation until everyone cools down.

It is best to give the customer and yourself a couple minutes to get your bearings. Then they can try to tackle the negotiations again at a later time.

Customers who find themselves in a heated discussion also need to remember that some managers are limited in what they can offer in their negotiations. So be fair in what you request and give them a chance to make amends.

After the situation has been resolved, it’s a good idea for the manager to thank the customer for bringing the issue to his attention. This will show that as a manager, you value their opinion and their business. This also ends the confrontation on a good note and leaves the customer feeling appreciated and heard.

How do you keep the peace when you are involved in conflicts in business? Drop me a line below! Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Paisley

Gleaner online writer

Tags: , , , ,

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner.
The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent.
To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.

Leave a Reply