Impatiently Handling Conflict with Threats is a “No-No”

1. The Tough Crowd. If you’ve owned a business, at some point you’ve likely gotten it. The explosive customer, whose first attempt at resolving an issue starts with, “I will sue you” or “I will reverse the charge on my credit card”. Unfortunately it’s all too common, for individuals to deal with conflict or a miscommunication, by making threats. We’ve created this post to help guide any business owner, that may be thinking of crossing this “professional courtesy boundary”. For any business owner who has been on the receiving end of this, then perhaps this can be considered therapeutic… yes, we feel your pain.

2. Support and Service. We feel we have the best support and service, of any lead generation firm in the business. We want our clients to be able to say the same, about the service they provide to their accounts. We are “Real people”, we are flexible with our clients, and always reasonable / professional. If there is “karma” in the business world, we want to earn the good kind! If you strive to provide the best service possible to your customers, you will provide the least amount of room for complaints.

3. Mistakes Happen. That being said, sometimes people make mistakes, us included. Yes, we said it, we aren’t ALWAYS perfect. And sometimes there are just miscommunications. If you’re perfect and have never done anything wrong, this might come as a shock. If you’re remotely similar to rest of the entire world’s population, you get where we’re coming from. 🙂

4. NOW NOW NOW. These “perfect” individuals rarely provide time for a response or rebuttal, before making illogical or unreasonable threats. The assumption is, “b/c I’m upset, everyone in the entire company better drop what they’re doing and respond to me now”. This is most common with inexperienced, emotional, and reactive business owners or managers, who respond to conflict by quickly becoming heated. The truth is, it takes time for your complaint to make it to the individuals that have the authority or responsibility to respond.

Let’s face it. It’s frustrating, when dealing with any product or service, if there is a problem or question with which you need assistance. We all deal with issues like this in life, in a variety of settings. In the end we always realize that it’s best to be PATIENT, wait your turn (where possible), and give your fellow human beings the benefit of the doubt.

5. Awards and Nomination. We have immense respect for business-people who display professional courtesy, patience, and respect, in their communications. As the saying goes, a true business-person is measured “by how you respond when the going gets tough”, in the ability to maintain a reasonable outlook and to assess the facts. After all, it’s easy to be happy dory when things are going exactly according to plan.

6. Big Trouble in Little Business. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and you know what they say about most stuff being small stuff). However, in certain situations an intense reaction is understandable, it usually does not justify any threats, foul language or unprofessional communication. Is the conflict going to put you out of business? If not, then it’s best to remain calm and deal with the issue step-by-step.

Small business owners, who do not have employees, are the ones spending their own dollars and their own time. Anything that’s not absolutely perfect about a product or service, may be amplified because of this. Professional courtesy and patience need to be given, so that any question or issue can be resolved. Even though we consider ourselves “some of the best”, sometimes it takes the Web Leads team up to 48 hours to respond to an issue or question. We always try to make it faster though.

7. Regarding legal action. We strongly recommend against pursuing legal action, unless you feel that your business cannot continue operating in the current state. No one should sue a business or person, until every possible effort in resolving the conflict personally, has been exhausted.

Additionally, no one should ever threaten to file a lawsuit, unless you are fully prepared to follow through with your mention of a law suit. What most people don’t realize, is that often times, by making the threat of “I’ll sue you”, they often reveal their own lack of business expertise. Think about two different CEOs.

CEO #1 runs a very large company, has had to work his way up to this position, is potentially voted in by a board of other experienced professionals, and must constantly project a professional and profit-minded attitude, to mirror the image that the business would like to portray. When he encounters a conflict, he knows that very few situations are effectively won through legal proceedings, and that the easiest way is to remain emotionless, inquisitive, and diligent, in amicably diffusing any situation (regardless of who has “initiated” the conflict).

CEO #2 owns a small company that he or she started, perhaps a sole proprietorship or maybe with a few employees. There is very little separate between the business and the CEO, when looking at the image being portrayed, financial responsibilities, and the standards by which the business operates. The CEO knows that even if mistakes are made, there is zero chance of any board voting in another CEO. There is also little chance of shareholders losing faith, due to the emotional and illogical outburst of the owner. Lastly, this CEO has put his own money into the business. If the business takes a hit, the CEO will mostly suffer financially. This again, amplifies any form of dispute that involves finances, b/c it’s no longer a group of professionals governing the way the business will officially respond. It’s now one individual, biased by their emotional and inability to be removed from the situation in any way.

Can you see why these 2 very different types of CEOs, may have polar opposite responses, when faced with the same conflict?

8. Cost of legal action. Legal action is often more expensive (if not more), than the total cost of the original disputed amount, even if you “win”! If you are not the victor in the dispute, it could potentially be even more expensive. We have created a contract with terms and conditions, to reduce our liability, as well as to remain transparent and informative to our clients. The contract states that any legal disputes, are to be handled with Arbitration, in Los Angeles county, under the laws governed by the state of California. We recommend setting up similar contracts, for you to use with your own clients, to keep both parties informed and protected. This means that if the person filing the motion is not local, he or she would need to obtain legal counsel in our jurisdiction, to handle the arbitration hearing on his or her behalf. This can be costly, complicated, and a “battle” with little resolve for either side, other than wasted time and legal fees.

9. Attempt to reverse credit card charges. Any business should have a contract with terms and conditions, for customers that purchase or use the product or service. Clients that read our terms and conditions understand all aspects of the account, which are clearly defined. This enables us to present our contract terms to a credit card company, to ensure an approval to our appeal to the chargeback claim, which leaves the original transaction valid. In addition, the credit card company normally penalizes whoever is filing the chargeback, with additional fees, if the ruling is not in their favor. It’s always better to work any issue out directly with the company providing you service, amicably, to resolve any possible complaint, dispute, or concern, that you may have. Web Leads is quick to respond, very communicative and ready to resolve any miscommunication, and we encourage this behavior in our clients as well.