A dispute with a customer or supplier can even jeopardize your business, especially if the conflict drags on and you have to go to court. How about commercial mediation?
Mediation is a conciliation process that you can start spontaneously when facing a conflict. You then call on a third party, the mediator. His role? Facilitate negotiations with your interlocutor, with a view to finding an amicable compromise in good faith, without going to court.
Courts Are Slow
Did you know that the average duration in Belgium to obtain a court decision for a conflict of 200,000 euros is 525 days? And on top of that, the time you took to go to court? Legal action requires patience that your business cannot always afford. And even when you have your judgment in your hands, you will not be at the end of your pain.
In fact, you have a one in three chance of not recovering your due, in particular because the part that has been ordered to pay you has become insolvent in the meantime. Commercial mediation, on the contrary, generally only takes a few meetings. By facilitating dialogue and finding a solution, it makes it possible to quickly bury the hatchet.
A Compromise In Less Than Three Months?
It all starts with an in-depth discussion of the different elements that led you to a deadlock with your customer or your supplier. This inventory allows the mediator to propose a range of solutions in an attempt to reach an agreement. A compromise that will also help you maintain or restore a commercial relationship with your partner. Your benefits are obvious:
- The emotional state of your dispute is neutralized! You focus on the facts;
- You avoid the costs of a procedure;
- Your dispute is resolved within a very short time, since one in four cases is resolved in less than three months;
- The confidentiality of your dispute is guaranteed;
- You stay focused on your business and your profession.
- 70 to 80% chance of success
The success rates of mediation are between 70 and 80%. To resume dialogue and manage the conflict in the most constructive way possible and in a climate of cooperation, the mediator will work in several stages:
- First, he inquires of you about the causes of the dispute
- It then collects the information necessary for the evaluation of the file (contract, invoice, formal notice, etc.).
- He can also invite you to mediation sessions.
- Once in possession of sufficient information, he negotiates a compromise.
- Finally, he offers an agreement.
Once an acceptable agreement has been reached, the mediator will suggest that your contact person validate a mediation protocol. You will both sign it and the agreement then becomes binding on your customer or supplier. Concretely? He must respect it to the letter. If he does not comply, you can always call on a bailiff. And as a last resort, you have the legal action before the courts. But at least you will have tried the gentle method first.