Resolving Workplace Problems
Hopefully workplace conflicts will never arise, but if they do, it's important to remember two things: workplace conflicts come in all sizes -- and one-size (in this case, the approach) doesn't necessary fit all.
To tackle and effectively resolve a workplace problem, consider the following guidelines.
___ 1. Identify the problem.
___ 2. Determine the size and scope of the problem.
___ 3. Determine the severity of the problem.
___ 4. Identify the easiest way to resolve the problem.
___ 5. Arrange to meet with your employer.
Schedule an appointment to meet with your supervisor. In most
___ 6. Prepare for the meeting with your employer.
1. State the concern or problem.
___ 7. Meet with your employer.
The following tips are suggested:
At this point,
hopefully the problem will be resolved. However, if the
___ 8. Document the problem.
If you make a mistake of a more serious nature, consider these suggested steps:
___ 1. Admit responsibility.
___ 2. Determine who needs to know.
___ 3. Communicate the error to the appropriate person(s).
___ 4. Give only the facts.
___ 5. Don't make excuses. Only offer the person an explanation.
___ 6. State how you fixed the problem -- or how you plan to fix the problem.
___ 7. Plan and communicate to the
employer how you will prevent the mistake
The following web site offers further help and advice!
Hopefully you won't encounter any difficult customers, but if you do, the following guidelines are suggested.
What to Do When Encountering Difficult Customers:
___ 1. Stay calm and courteous at all times.
___ 2. Listen with understanding.
___ 3. Focus on the problem, not the person.
___ 4. Identify and target the problem.
___ 5. Agree on the problem -- make sure
the customer and you agree on what
___ 6. Determine actions necessary to resolve the problem.
___ 7. Determine if you are the person to resolve the problem.
If you're not the right person, assist connecting the customer to the
___ 8. Take necessary action.
___ 9. Kindly apologize for the inconvenience,
error, mistake, delay, defect,
Let's look at a few sample scenarios to see how a difficult customer might be effectively handled!
Example Scenario #1: Employee is able to resolve the problem.
Customer: Waiter! This isn't
what I ordered! I ordered a pastrami on rye!
Yes, I see, sir. You ordered a pastrami, not a roast beef sandwich.
Customer: I'm in a hurry! Speed it up!
I'll be right back with your pastrami sandwich. (Waiter hurries off
I apologize for the error and inconvenience. Is this sandwich okay?
Customer: Yeah. (grumbles)
Waiter: Can I get you anything else?
Customer: Yeah - more coffee.
Waiter: Right away, sir.
In this scenario, notice how the waiter: 1) remains
calm and courteous at all times, 2) identifies and verifies the
problem, 3) takes quick and immediate action, and
Example Scenario #2: Employee is unable to resolve the problem.
Customer: I need to return this blouse.
Clerk: Do you have the receipt?
Customer: No, my dog chewed it up.
Clerk: I'm sorry, but I need the receipt to give a refund.
Customer: I just bought it
here last week! What kind of operation is this,
I can understand your frustration, but the company doesn't allow
(Interpretation: It's the company's decision, not mine).
Customer: I DEMAND A
REFUND!!! I'M NOT LEAVING UNTIL I GET MY
I'm unable to help you, but let me have you speak with the assistant
I'm sorry, the assistant manager is out momentarily. I'll contact the
In this scenario, notice how the clerk: 1) remains calm and courteous, 2) identifies the problem, 3) emphasizes it's the company's policy (not the clerk's), 4) seeks assistance, and 5) connects the customer to the appropriate person.
Just remember... stay calm and courteous!