The GLX mission is to start a movement to inspire the youth to become their own person; to create a distinctive look that is modern, upscale and versatile; as well as doing our best to assure ultimate Customer satisfaction. As a member of the GLX team, you are responsible for creating a friendly work environment by exhibiting the positive traits listed in this manual.
We were very impressed with your experience and/or skill set and we think you will be a perfect addition to our team. If you’re reading this, it probably means you have gone through all the(legal/HR) steps involved in becoming an official employee of GYPSYLOXX™. The next step Is getting you ready to be able to handle any common conflicts that you may encounter so that you are able to improve your problem solving skills as well as be more confident in your answers to ensure personal and customer satisfaction.
We are looking forward to getting you ingrained in the costumer service department. Over the following weeks and several months, we will be working together on your problem solving skills that you will be able to use in many different occasions, and for the rest of your life! We are incredibly grateful to have your great communicational/people skills and great charisma to round out the team and head towards sure success! We very much look forward to working with you and hope you enjoy the learning process!
Table of Contents
I. Emotional Intelligence and Behavior
III. Active Listening/Diagnostic Questions
IV. Reframing Strategies
I. Emotional Intelligence and Behavior
A. Developing Emotional Intelligence
a. Start with self-discovery and self-awareness
i. Learn about yourself and how you see the world
ii. Recognize range of emotions and know your strengths and weaknesses
iii. Self-regulation – responding to strong emotions and staying calm and open-minded
b. Choosing to Listen
i. Remain silent While the other party is speaking
ii. Free your mind of bias/stereotypical thoughts
iii. Put yourself into others’ shoes
iv. To further understand a person, ask diagnostic questions
1. Who, What, where, when, why, and how?
2. “Tell me more about…”, or “How can I understand this better?”
c. Respond rather than react
i. One may not be able to choose emotional reaction, but you are in control of what you do in response.
ii. Make decisions using logic and emotional intelligence
iii. Express your emotions
1. Use I-statements when expressing how you feel
2. Be honest
3. Put messages into context
iv. Look for common Ground
1. Respect differences among people
2. Recognize similarities
d. Be Willing to Accept Feedback
i. Avoid responding with negative comments
ii. Listen without resistance
iii. Be opened to changing a manner that doesn’t serve you or the situation
1. Be willing to admit when you are wrong, take accountability
e. Overcoming differences
i. Agree to disagree
ii. Respect titles and names
iii. Put messages into context
iv. Always remain level-headed, even/calm tone of voice
v. Share what you think openly and try finding a solution when stating it out loud, don’t just make statements to let others know your feeling on the subject.
a. Maintain Eye contact
i. Look at the other person while they speak
ii. Observe body language
iii. Let speaker know you are listening
1. Using gestures or acknowledgment words
b. Display Openness
i. Display openness through your facial expressions and body
1. Uncross arms and legs
ii. This requires self-awareness skills
c. Choose your nonverbal message
i. How you say something can be more important than what you say
1. Depends on your tone, posture, and gestures which will add up into a silent message
ii. By having open body language and listening, people will be more inclined to sharing openly and honestly because they won’t feel judged or have their guard up.
d. Display confidence
i. confidence is knowing what you’re good at, the value you provide, and acting in a way that conveys that to others
ii. By having knowledge of the company and the product, you will be able to speak confidently and Knowledgeably.
II. Identifying the Issue
Conflict resolution is a communication discipline with a set of practical steps. One of the first steps is “identifying the issue.” In order to understand how to effectively identify the root of a conflict, we have to understand why conflicts arise. As humans, we are in constant interaction with one another, and in these interactions, we face several conflicting needs, goals, and values. Since we have different opinions about the rules that should govern our conduct, disputes will arise when three specific circumstances come together. These circumstances are beliefs that you are being deprived of something you want, and that someone else is causing the deprivation, and finally that this deprivation violates a social norm.
We can define these three situations into three words: name, blame, and claim. Once we understand the structure beneath every conflict, we can take the first step into one of the most important phases of the process of conflict resolution which is “identifying the issue.” Keep in mind that avoidance and blame should be the first things out of our roadmap to conflict resolution. When you enter the blaming cycle, it will be way more difficult to uncover the real issue. Instead, you need to identify the nature of the disagreement. The nature of the conflict could be relational, substantive, or perceptual. A relational conflict is about your relationship with the person. A substantive conflict is a disagreement about content or process. Lastly, a perceptual conflict is a disagreement about how you are viewing the situation. You must also investigate your own interest in the issue. It will help you to focus on the root of the disagreement and find reasonable resolution.
Leadership Conflict: If your manager has a tendency to disrespect you in front of other employees, or if your employees have the tendency to disregard your orders and rules.
Work Style Conflict: If your coworker is more productive under pressure, and you like to work in a stress-free environment, or vice-versa.
Cultural conflict: The values and beliefs differences between you and your coworkers are affecting the overall productivity of the company.
Identifying the nature of the conflict. Is it relational, substantive, or perceptual?
Activity 1 – If you answer “YES” to more than 2 questions below, the chances that your conflict is from a relational nature is very likely.
Question #1: Do you feel like you can’t get along with this person even outside the work environment?
Question #2: Do you get irritated with this person in various situations?
Question #3: Is there a tension between you two even if there is no apparent disagreement?
Activity 2 – If you answer “YES” to more than 2 questions below, the chances that your conflict is from a substantive nature is very likely.
Question #1: If this person changed the way he or she executed things would you be satisfied?
Question #2: Do you get along with this person in other subject areas of your work?
Question #3: When you are not discussing work-related topics, do you usually feel at ease with this person?
Activity 3 – If you answer “YES” to more than 2 questions below, the chances that your conflict is from a perceptual nature is very likely.
Question #1: Does the topic of your disagreement seem more important to you than to the other person? Or vice-versa.
Question #2: Does this conflict seem to bother only you and not the other person?
Question #3: Do you feel like you see something about this conflict that the other person doesn’t see it?
After identifying the nature of the issue, your chances to find common ground and reasonable resolution will substantially increase.
III. Active Listening/Diagnostic Questions
A. Active Listening – Active listening is a technique that requires the listener to fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what is being said. This technique will be vital to understanding any customer’s needs and figuring out the best way to assist them. However, active listening can be applied to many other situations also in the workplace. The first step to active listening is giving the speaker your full attention. This requires silencing all distractions (even your cell phone). The next step is letting the speaker know that you’re listening. Do not interrupt the speaker while they’re talking but offer visual clues that you’re listening (such as a nod, a smile, and maintaining eye contact). Otherwise, the speaker can draw the conclusion that you are not listening which can lead to further conflict. Verbal cues can also be used in moderation to let the speaker know that you are engaged in the conversation. A simple “mhmm”, “yes ma’am”, or “yes sir” will suffice to show the speaker that you are listening intently. By simply not seeming distracted, customers will feel as if they had your undivided attention.
B. Diagnostic Questions – Besides active listening, there should be certain questions that we should always be asking customers. Question such as “Is there anything I can help you find today?” or “What brings you in today?” can also be extremely helpful in avoiding conflict with customers. Customers should always feel comfortable in asking you for assistance. This process begins as soon as the customer walks into the door. They should receive a friendly greeting and be informed that you are there for assistance if it is needed. Staying composed and offering help is crucial to avoid conflict. Even if a customer has a complaint and seems to be seeking a confrontation, remaining composed and using active listening to figure out exactly what they are upset about is the remedy to de-escalate those situations. At the end of the day, our goal is to assist customers and provide them with our product. Engaging in arguments and furthering conflict with customers undermines that goal.
(Scenario 1) A customer walks into the store and begins browsing. After browsing for a while, the customer complains to you that all of the merchandise in the store is too expensive and overpriced.
(Solution) In this situation, the conflict stems from the opinion of the customer. Your job is not to change their opinion, but to simply work around that opinion to get them what they want. A simple way to do this is saying, “I understand your frustration ma’am/sir. If you like, I can inform you about some sales that we have in the store right now. Also, I can show you some of our online merchandise that may be a little less expensive than our in-store items.” This not only de-escalates the conflict, but it gives the customer incentive to stay around and still purchase merchandise rather than going to another store.
(Scenario 2) A customer walks into the store and begins browsing. Shortly after, you witness the customer attempting to stuff a pair of shoes into their bag. However, they don’t notice that you see them.
(Solution) In this situation, even though the customer is attempting to steal, there are ways to address it without creating conflict. By simply saying, “Hi, did you want me to go ahead and ring those up for you on my register?” Through this response, you prevent the customer from stealing without causing conflict.
(Activity) Use these scenarios as a basic guideline and play them out with another coworker. While playing out these scenarios, focus on using the active listening principle mentioned earlier and focus on preventing the conflict from escalating further.
IV. Reframing Strategies
Before getting into reframing strategies, one needs to know what a frame is. A frame is how people see the world and how they interpret it. That’s why it’s important to try to reframe different scenarios to ensure the satisfaction of the customer, employees and yourself. When dealing with a problem at the store remember to be soft on the people but hard on the problem. Sometimes people don’t have control of their emotions and don’t have the proper training to deal with conflicts, because of this, one needs to learn how to reframe the situation
A. Moving from fighting to problem-solving
1. When one feels like they are getting into an argument with the other employee, management, or a costumer one needs to take control of their own body. One needs to pause, slow down, breath, and step back from the problem.
B. Go from being right to being happy
1. When someone is stuck on being right, it’s very hard to solve conflicts. Try to find mutual interests and apply them.
C. Shift from uncooperative to cooperate
1. When people aren’t being cooperative it is very hard to solve problems. As an employee you need to pull back from the argument and focus from the bigger problem. Ask diagnostic questions, for example, can you help me understand what happened?
D. Switch from potential gain to loss
1. This is important because when people are in a loose-loose situation the motivation gets stronger. This is because no one wants to lose what they already have.
E. Move from past to future
1. Own up to your faults, apologize when you are wrong. Make amends and agree to become a better communicator next time.
Read each scenario and decide the appropriate answer
A. You are in an argument with the manager
1. Step away from the situation
2. Pause and breath
3. Slow down
4. All of the above
B. You don’t have a great connection with your co-worker and always tend to get annoyed by each other.
1. ignore the problem and don’t let it affect you
2. Try to look at the problem as a loose loose situation, having this bad energy can cause you guys to lose your jobs
3. Tell the manager to never schedule you when the other employee is working
C. You came to work late, because of this your co-workers having to stay later than they were supposed to
1. Apologize for being late and explain why (honestly) agree to have better time management
2. Who cares! They are getting paid overtime anyways
3. You are late, don’t come to work
A. Before jumping into conclusions
When dealing with people and aiming to provide excellent customer service several unexpected scenarios might be presented to you and in this situations creativity and brainstorming are your best friends.
Brainstorming sounds like something easy to do since we have heard it since we were in middle school’s art class; but in order to brainstorm solutions to solve a conflict, we need to have the best understanding that we can about the scenario. In order to do so we have to go back to point number 3 in this guide: Diagnostic Questions/Active Listening. Once questions are asked and we have identified the Issue (point number 2 in the guide) is important that we evaluated what are the needs to be satisfied; from our standpoint: we want a happy customer so, what does the customer want in order to be happy? And, what are our possibilities in order to achieve that? Here is when we are going to use all that creativity and brainstorming into play.
B. Finding solutions
Once we as representative understand that at the time of brainstorming solutions quantity is more important that quality and how to be resourceful, everything else will seem way easier.
For example, the return and exchange policy says that at the time of money having to be given back it has to go to the same card the item was purchased with. A customer comes wanting to return an item and claims that the card he/she used before was lost. There are different ways to approach this situation, asking questions to know the reason of the return might lead us to offer an exchange instead, maybe a different size? Different style? Does anyone at home need a pair of shoes? If this doesn’t work another solution might be offering a store credit for the amount paid originally that he/she can use whenever but only inside of the store.
C. Let’s practice
We will provide you with different scenarios related to customer issues that you may encounter in a regular basis, respond with a minimum of 3 possible solutions to each one. Remember to be resourceful and that quantity matters the most.
1. Customer brings in a t-shirt with a damaged zipper. The item has been worn and is not in resalable conditions. The costumer claims it broke at the first wear and he/she wants their money back because “it is not good quality”. Returns policy specifically says that items which are not in resalable conditions cannot be returned.
2. Customer sees a pair of pants online and calls the store to put them on hold, when the customer arrives, they happen to be the wrong pair and we don’t have her/his size anymore. The customer is upset because they drove all the way from Boca to Miami for them.
3. Customer buys shoes online and comes in the store to exchange the size for a smaller one. The style purchased is an online exclusive.