Problem Solving Reflection Form
Volunteer: _____________________Ha Nguyen________________________________
Professionals recognize that problem solving is integral to being human. The work environment is a center for problem-solving activities. The IDEAL problem-solving process developed by Bradford and Stein (1993) is implemented by: (I) Identifying the problem, (D) Defining the problem, (E) Exploring strategies, (A) Acting on ideas, and (L) Looking for effects.
Instructions: Describe how you used problem-solving skills to resolve a problem you encountered during your volunteer experience.
Nails salon is one business that has gained popularity with the increased demand for the services they offer. It is, therefore, essential for such service providers to render quality services to increase customer loyalty due to the competitive nature of the business. As a volunteer assistant manager, I had to familiarize with the environment to create a rapport with the customers and the employees. I am positioned at the business’s front office desk, and this implies I have the responsibility of ensuring that the nail specialist at the salon meets each client’s needs. One of the most important responsibilities of manager assistant is to field complaints from unhappy customers. The tricky job is to handle an unsatisfied customer and the technician who provided the service without losing either. If you handle the situation carefully, you can actually create deeper loyalty by solving a problem well than if you had never had a problem at all. On the day I volunteered, there was a customer who after receiving our services complained that they did not match her expectations. She claimed that she would not pay for the services. But the customer who gives you an opportunity to fix a problem is one to be valued. So many clients will simply just leave and never tell you the reason why. We were thankful for the complaining customer because she is giving us the opportunity to keep her business.
Activities or actions taken to solve the problem:
During the week, I undertook different tasks involving planning, controlling, coordinating, and reporting to the manager. In one instance, there was a customer who after receiving our services complained that they did not match her expectations. She claimed that she would not pay for the services. It was a difficult and challenging situation for me based on the fact that the employees were paid depending on the number of customers they served. I was, therefore, torn between agreeing with either the employee or the customer. A commotion arose when the employee insisted on being paid. This instance drew attention to the public; I realized that if the situation were not dealt with wisely, our salon would lose its reputation; a crucial aspect of this competitive market. I enquired from another staff member on whether such a situation had ever occurred and what actions ensued. The worker told me that the best solution was to let the customer leave the premise without paying. However, I requested the customer to cool down and asked for her nails to be redone at a free cost to secure the salon’s reputation. The customer was enlightened; she apologized for the misconduct and even went ahead to give a tip. In conclusion, this move not only helped retain the customer but also attracted other potential clients from the crowd.
Who did this process affect?
I did and reported to my manager about what happened. As a volunteer assistant manager, I had to familiarize with the environment to create a rapport with the customers and the employees. One of my obligations was to oversee the employees. I was also required to engage the customers in determining the level of satisfaction they acquired from the services we offered. I involved all employees in the salon to work as a team. Customer follow-up is critical. Solving the client’s problem is step one. Finding new customers is a lot more costly for owners than simply maintaining their current ones. The key is to get the customer back in the salon and to show her we can continue to service her well. I think it is quite rare that we ever have all the information we need when we have to make a decision. We often work with limited information when deciding what to do next.
How were they affected?
They were very affected after I explained to the client and requested the customer to cool down and asked for her nails to be redone at a free cost to secure the salon’s reputation. Having a clear policy for handling complaints ensures that complaints are handled uniformly and that problems can be resolved quickly. I have learned that the customer is always right. The customer is always right because as a business you want your customers to return as well as feel welcomed and appreciated. Most of us realize that to have a prosperous and growing service business, we must guarantee our services unconditionally. Of course, there is that occasional time when nothing you can do will satisfy an unhappy client. If you have exhausted all your options in attempting to resolve the issue and the client is still dissatisfied, just give her a refund and suggest she may be happier at another salon. I was given a short matter of time to identify, analyze and solve the situation. Although this was my first time encountering a problem without the help of the manager or boss to assist me, I believe that my decision-making process was efficient and effective.
Evaluate the effectiveness of this problem-solving activity:
When there is a problem at work I usually ask both sides about what happened to make sure I have the right judgment and find a way to resolve it and try my best to make both sides happy. I have learned when you are faced with an unhappy client, essentially you don’t do anything. You listen to the client and let her know you understand her concern. Because an unhappy customer just wants to be heard and to know that someone is taking her concerns seriously. In conclusion, this move not only helped retain the customer but also attracted other potential clients from the crowd. And my manager was very happy with the result. One of the things I have learned while volunteering here is effective workplace communication is important in companies with workplace diversity. Good communication skills help to reduce the barriers erected because of language and cultural differences. Effective communication also causes productivity to increase, errors to decrease and operations to run smoother. And I also think being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all life skills.