If there’s one thing almost everyone can agree on, it’s that there are so many options whenever you’re shopping for something new. While it’s wonderful to have such a selection, it can be daunting and confusing to make the final decision. Technology is one area filled with competition, each promising the best of the best. When it comes to technology solutions, you want to make the choice that is right for you, but it can be a real struggle to determine which one will actually meet your needs.

Welcome back to the “3 Things to Look For” series! We’ve previously discussed three major green flags to look for in eFiling systems, eSignature platforms, and Digital Evidence Management systems. This week, we want to highlight a solution that continues to grow in popularity; Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR is a digital mediation option that can help solve disputes without ever stepping foot in a courtroom. Here are three green flags to look for when choosing your Online Dispute Resolution platform. 

Online Dispute Resolution platforms should be secure.

When it comes to any court-centric solution, security should be a top priority. The public puts a lot of trust in the system, and any kind of data breach can seriously undermine that. As it is, people tend to be a bit hesitant about trusting digital processes, so Online Dispute Resolution platforms must guarantee that all information will stay secure. Things like evidence, settlement values, personal information, and forms of payment need to be protected throughout the entire process.

Online Dispute Resolution typically relies on encryption and additional safety measures to allow information to be shared with all relevant parties without risk of it ending up in the wrong hands. Resolve Disputes Online, ImageSoft’s partner in ODR, is committed to providing a completely secure experience to all users. Case information and evidence are safeguarded with encryption so that they can be safely shared with those involved in a dispute. However, Resolve Disputes Online goes one step further and also protects all communication that occurs within the platform. Messages, audio recordings, and videos are all protected so that the entire settlement can be conducted in-platform without fear of leaking sensitive information. For one last layer of security, you have the option to run the digital mediation on blockchain. Resolve Disputes Online utilizes patent-pending smart contract technology to create and maintain immutable records. There’s no room for tampering with files, and all interactions are carefully monitored for reference at a later point.  

Digital Mediation should be accessible to all.

Settling disputes the traditional way can be a very mentally draining undertaking. There are many steps to go through, and the process can take weeks or even months. When you consider the mounting fees associated with the process, it’s easy to understand that not everyone can afford it. Online Dispute Resolution was developed as a method to make settlements not only more convenient but also more accessible to everyone. When you opt for digital mediation, you can expect your fees to be a fraction of what you’d pay using the traditional method. ODR makes justice accessible to those with lower disposable incomes who might not otherwise afford the process. Did you know that ODR improves accessibility in more ways as well?

  • No travel needed: There is a large percentage of the population without reliable means of transportation. That number is growing as gas prices continue to skyrocket. Owning a vehicle is very expensive, and even public transportation can add up with frequent trips to and from a courthouse. Not to mention the lost wages someone may suffer from having to call out of work to attend a court hearing. Online Dispute Resolution does not involve any kind of travel, meaning it’s far more readily accessible than traditional settlements. Parties can settle disputes from the comfort of home and are not held back by unreliable transportation. So long as they can access a computer or other device, they have the power to attend all meetings on time without spending a dime.
  • Less emotional distress: Digital mediation is popular because it inherently avoids distress for the parties. Many settlement cases center around some kind of emotionally-charged topic such as child support, custody, divorce, insurance claims, landlord/tenant disagreements, etc. In cases such as these, there can be serious reservations about seeing the opposing party in person. We all know that it’s nearly impossible to have a calm and productive discussion when emotions are high, so it’s clear that meeting face-to-face can result in a messy and volatile settlement discussion. By sticking to the online platform, there is a separation between parties that can help encourage productivity and reduce stress.
  • Everyone is on an even playing field: One of the greatest things about ODR is that it places everyone on an even playing field. Settlements in general help to bridge the gap between the upper and lower classes by eliminating the need for pricey lawyers. Digital mediation takes it a step further and keeps all things equal by removing any potential power imbalance that might exist between parties. For example, if a couple is filing for divorce and seeking a settlement for financial reasons, remaining behind the safety of the screen can encourage both parties to speak their minds without fear of repercussion. Likewise, an employee can settle a dispute against an employer without being intimidated by being in the room with their superiors.

Resolve Disputes Online is a platform designed with the specific goal of increasing access to justice. By developing a platform that is entirely digital, Resolve Disputes Online has given people the chance to a fair “trial” regardless of their social status or position. With drastically reduced turnaround times, lower fees, and more productive meetings, digital mediation can solve disputes that otherwise would have been unsolved.

Online Dispute Resolution should offer comprehensive services.

Lastly, Online Dispute Resolution platforms should be complete and comprehensive. You want to look for a solution that works end-to-end so that there are fewer middlemen and less hassle. A comprehensive solution has multiple capabilities that make it possible to travel through the process funnel without calling on third-party apps or software. Convenience is the ultimate goal, so it’s key to find a digital mediation platform that truly does it all.

Resolve Disputes Online is a top-performing ODR service that takes care of everything from start to finish. You can submit evidence to the platform, send messages, meet via video conference, negotiate settlements, and pay the final balance without ever logging out. There are even AI mediation capabilities that can automatically conduct the process without a third-party mediator present. Resolve Disputes Online offers tools to successfully resolve nearly any type of case that are user-friendly, highly secure, and proven to be effective. When everything is housed under one roof, proceedings occur faster, and parties have less to worry about. After all, why shop at multiple stores when one has everything you need for a fraction of the price?

So, do the Online Dispute Resolution platforms you’re looking into have these three green flags? While they are not the only things to look for, they are three of the most important if you want a chance at success with your new digital mediation. Other features to watch for include integration capabilities, mobile access, case types covered, and in-platform reporting. As always, you know what’s best for your organization. If you still find the hunt daunting, we suggest creating two prioritized lists; one for Needs, and one for Wants. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to sacrifice any of the Needs, but you might have to part with some of the Wants.

Resolve Disputes Online is proud to check all three of the mentioned boxes and then some, to provide the best solution possible. We have met hundreds of customers’ expectations in the past, both from the Needs and Wants lists. If you’re interested in learning more about Resolve Disputes Online or ODR, visit https://resolvedisputes.com/features/. To request a free custom demo, or for advice with the daunting hunt, please reach out to our team.

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