case studies

An ombudsman who contributes to reducing cost

After examining his client complaint management process, Michel—who is responsible for legal and public affairs for a large corporation in the food industry—notes that after trying to have their complaint settled directly with large supermarkets, clients too often turn to attorneys or issue negative comments on social networks. In both cases, Michel’s department has to compose with threats of legal action or negative publicity.

After consultation, he realizes that his company would benefit from offering its clients a new internal recourse process. He therefore opts for an extensive review of the complaint management process and implements an ombudsman service. After only six months in operation, the ombudsman’s office successfully reduced clients’ external recourses by 30% and case management costs by 15%. In turn, this has allowed the company to reassign a full-time employee from the legal department to other business projects that are more lucrative for the organization.

Benefits: cost reduction, more efficient allocation of resources, reputation risk mitigation.

Mediation as leverage to retain skilled personnel

Lise manages a group of 15 professionals within a large corporation. Since several months, she has been trying to settle a dispute between Justine and Eric, two members of her team. The tension between the two affects the entire team, which has started to divide itself into clans. Justine is the member of the group with the most seniority and she is the one who designed all of the working procedures in place since she joined the team 5 years ago. Eric was recruited a year ago because of his vast experience and the process improvements that he had successfully implemented in his previous positions.

Lise does not want to have to impose a settlement and hopes that her two senior employees will work together at finding solutions. She starts to detect signs indicating that Eric is getting discouraged and seems impatient to make changes. For her part, Justine is starting to wonder if the time has not come to begin exploring new career opportunities…

Lise therefore decides to suggest that they try out mediation. After having validated that both Justine and Eric are willing to participate in the process, the mediator meets with them and allows them to explain their respective points of view and identify the issues and possible solutions. After three meetings, Eric and Justine agree on a continuous improvement plan for the group’s working procedures as well as on a timeline. Further to Lise’s suggestion, they present their plan to the entire group.

Benefits: Economical, quick and confidential conflict settlement, retention of senior talent, team motivation, detailed continuous improvement plan.