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The Three F’s


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To get to the heart of the problem, evaluate the 3 F’s: facts, frequency, and frustrated relationship.

Facts

What are the facts of the issue? Create a list so that you do not get sidetracked while you plan your conversation. Do not drag in other stories or unrelated issues that have happened previously. If you are talking to someone about a shipping problem, stick to that and leave quality or customer service issues out of it.

Frequency

Make sure you have a very clear history of the frequency of the issue and any patterns. For example, if they say they have called the customer service line “tons of times,” get an exact number, with dates and times if possible.

Frustrated Relationship

If your real concern is about the relationship, but you only focus on the pattern, then you are not likely to get the change that you are aiming for. You have to discuss what is important to you in terms of the relationship. Remember: the ability to peel an issue back to its core takes patience and precision.