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<xTITLE>How to Better Solve Your Consumer Disputes</xTITLE>

How to Better Solve Your Consumer Disputes

by Michael Toebe
June 2016 Michael Toebe

Consumer disputes are stressful, painful and at times ugly for both the buyer and seller. There is a lot of dissatisfaction, perception, possibly misconception and push and resistance. The sides do battle, damage the relationship, sometimes irreparably and could head to court to do legal battle.

Isn't there a smarter, more effective, less aggressive response?

What if the people involved as to what is the right thing to do - whether that be legally, professionally, ethically or morally - look to hire an experienced helper, maybe someone who can act as a conflict guide? The decision making remains entirely in the hands of the people in the dispute yet they bring into the argument a skilled person who can help them navigate the discussion and emotions.

This guide can help each person feel more understood and encourage empathy. They can help the parties find common ground and discuss why they want what they want and what that outcome means to them.

This dispute guide then can focus the interaction on forward thinking and instead of blame, creative problem solving and negotiating off of emotionally-important interests to create attractive solutions choices (plural).

The mediator directs the process with all the problem solving, brainstorming, proposals, decision making and final agreement being decided on by the people involved in the dispute.

Short-and-long-term needs can be addressed and resolved. No one has to feel exploited or violated. People can feel respected. Solutions can be crafted to protect each person.

Consumer and sellers alike can learn a new, less expensive, more profitable approach to doing business.

When customer service interactions are not working and unhappy emotions are escalating, mediating a consumer dispute can be the road to effective resolution, greater satisfaction and less expense for both buyer and seller.


Michael is a conflict management specialist, serving businesses and individuals in strategically, effectively gaining deeper understanding of conflicts and disputes and working through them more protectively and wisely.

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