BBB: A Day in the Life of a Dispute Resolution Counselor

November 16, 2017


BBB does a lot of things on a day-to-day basis. From accreditation services to raising awareness about scams, our office on Beatty Street in Vancouver covers a lot of bases. Our hardest working department would have to be our Consumer Services Team. They are the ones who deal with the complaints and resolutions that both consumers and businesses wish to achieve. It's not an easy job and the emotional aspects involved can get quite high.

We talked to Barb, one of our esteemed BBB Counselors about why she got into this line of work and what it's like being on Team BBB. 

Q1: What were you looking for in a job?

A1: When I started looking for a job out of university, my goal was to work somewhere where I could feel like I was helping other people. In my role at the BBB, I get to help both consumers and businesses through the dispute resolution process and build trust between community members and the businesses they interact with every day.


Q2: What stuck out to you about the company when you found it?

A2: When I first heard about the BBB, I thought that they were a consumer advocacy organization which fought for consumers. Once I learned more about what the BBB actually does, I realized that they are looking to advance transparency and ethics in the marketplace and foster trust between businesses and consumers. In terms of dispute resolution, the BBB does not take sides or find favour with either party. The role of a dispute resolution counselor is to help get a productive conversation going between businesses and consumers with the goal of working towards a resolution. We don't take sides or advocate for one party - we are here to help both.


Q3: What’s something most people would find surprising about working as a Counselor at the BBB?

A3: Dispute resolution is a volatile trade. One thing that surprised me in my role as a dispute resolution counselor was how many emotions are involved. Consumers can be very anxious about filing a complaint and likewise, businesses can be frustrated or upset to receive a complaint. Emotions on both sides can be running high, and it can be challenging to manage these emotions and make sure that both parties feel heard and empowered throughout the dispute resolution process.


Q4: What’s your favorite part so far about working with the BBB?

A4: My favourite part of working with the BBB is working towards a resolution that both sides of a dispute are happy with. Complaint handling can be quite negative, and I find it personally rewarding when we can take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one, where both the business and the consumer feel empowered by the process and satisfied with the results.


Q5: What Advice would you give to a Business and Consumer about Complaint processing?

A5: A piece of advice that I would pass on to a business in a dispute with a consumer is to try to see the dispute from the perspective of the other side. Both parties in a dispute can be very angry or upset, and I think that it is helpful to take a step back and see the other person's perspective, even if you disagree with what they have had to say. In an ideal situation, both parties in dispute are listening to each other and acknowledging that there is frustration on both sides.