Conflict Management – staff, customers and suppliers
In every walk of life, conflict is inevitable. But it cannot be sustained without adverse consequences. Internally, it leads to bad feeling, alternative agendas, lack of co-operation, selfishness, and creative work avoidance. It is the key reason why people look for work elsewhere.
Similarly, conflict with customers is never healthy; ambiguous product or service descriptions can irritate and lead to bad feeling. Customers’ expectations are often not met and it’s not healthy for them to have grudges or a feeling of injustice. Unless conflict is managed, you are losing business.
Few people go out of their way to look for an argument, but many may feel cheated or make a stand to defend their view to the bitter end, partly to save face. How your company handles people, whether they are right or misguided, will define you and your reputation.
Conflict with customers badly handled often leads to bad publicity through the media and instantly, perhaps even virally, through social media. Everyone today can have their say. It needs to be managed sensitively and quickly. It is vital to manage customer perception, to regain their confidence and bring the situation back under control.