There are a variety of tools that can be used together in harmony for optimal end-to-end online dispute resolution.
There are many different issues that can affect participants in your cases. Disputes can be mentally, emotionally and financially draining and distressing. Providing the most efficient, effective, convenient and fair process for resolving a dispute can take different forms and approaches.
With thousands of cases successfully resolved online through our platform we have the advantage of being able to analyse the data and feedback from practitioners and participants. This valuable information allows us to gain powerful insights into what works, what doesn't and what can be improved on.
One of the key learnings from our analysis has been that facilitating the right combination of synchronous and asynchronous communications during a dispute resolution process is by far the most effective approach overall.
The main reason for this is the flexibility the combination provides, with all participants being able to engage and interact at any time that works for their circumstances. This supports more thoughtful and considered communications and drives more efficient outcomes through optimised use of every participant's time and resource.
Whether the interactions take the form of text messages, recorded video and/or audio messages, sharing of files, video calls or other methods, the key factor is that all communications take place centrally and in a cohesive integrated manner.
Benefits of synchronous communications
Synchronous (existing or occurring at the same time) communications allow free flowing conversations to take place in real-time. If you are able to get the required participants together at the same time, these forms of communication are highly efficient. In the modern world synchronous communications are typically facilitated through video calls with alternatives including face-to-face and phone conversations. The major advantages and disadvantages of synchronous communications are:
- Real-time collaboration;
- Immediate response and feedback;
- Video calls allow for body language and tone of voice.
- Lack of reflection between collaborators;
- Large time commitment for collaborators.
Benefits of asynchronous communications
Asynchronous (not existing or occurring at the same time) communications allow groups of people to work collaboratively with no time or place barriers. The major advantages and disadvantages of synchronous communications are:
- Available anytime;
- Available anyplace;
- More time for reflection;
- Contribution to discussion can be more evenly distributed;
- More opportunity for participants to share multiple perspectives;
- Avoidance of undesirable behaviour.
- No immediate feedback;
- Information must be organized and searchable or it is lost;
- Written comments may be misinterpreted;
Benefits of blended Synchronous-Asynchronous communications
Our insights and analysis clearly shows the benefits of combining synchronous and asynchronous communication tools into the design of online dispute resolution environments and processes. Synchronous and asynchronous communication tools should not be evaluated in isolation, but rather how they can supplement one another. There is a real opportunity to leverage the "best of both worlds" and in combination achieve results greater than any one method can provide. The challenge and key to achieving this successfully is in the seamless integration of the different mediums into the one platform.
“Have a think about the potential use cases in optimising your own dispute resolution processes.”
Exploring this concept further
We definitely recommend experimenting with Synchronous and Asynchronous communications in your dispute resolution processes. The following guides should offer a great starting point:
We would love to hear of your own use cases, applications, thoughts and ideas please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you!