Let’s face it — traveling is stressful. There’s long flights, cancelled flights, lost reservations, difficult travelers, excursions that don’t pan out and conditions conducive to hitting your boiling point much faster than under normal circumstances.
Unfortunately, being out of your element puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to resolving conflict. When it comes to travel frustrations, getting results means keeping your cool.
Here are 3 surefire ways to resolve conflict while traveling:
1. Don’t yell
Before you let it rip remember this: the person you’re getting ready to yell at holds your fate in their hands. I get it. I really do. The airline attendant telling you there’s no flight available after yours was cancelled or the hotel clerk telling you that there’s no rooms available despite your confirmation number is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Anger will do nothing but ensure that you do NOT get on a flight and do NOT get a room. These front line workers get yelled at all the time so to get results — be nice. They expect anger — so 9 times out of 10 being nice will drum up a “suddenly available” seat or room. Conversely, if you are nasty, they can, and often will, go out of their way to inflict even more pain. Trust me on this one–I’ve made this work for me many times.
2. Focus on results–not emotion
If you’re dissatisfied with a service or excursion — again–bottle your anger. If you focus on results and not emotion you are likely to achieve some level of satisfaction. Ask for a specific resolution: do you want your money back? Do you want an extra night? Do you want an alternate excursion? What will satisfy your disappointment? While scolding the tour operator will temporarily make you feel better, it does nothing for you long-term.
3. Follow-up on your own turf
If you’re still angry when you get home–follow-up. Once you are safely back on your own turf, feel free to write that scathing letter, make that phone call or vent on social media if you are still dissatisfied with a service. Be sure you have a legitimate complaint and have tried other measures to resolve the issue first. Never do it when you are at someone else’s mercy,especially in another country or while you’re stranded.
The bottom line: NICE = RESULTS