Communication is the key – Shelly Ramsammy!

I have been thinking about what I want to write as my Communication Is Key piece since the beginning of the year…a whole year to think about it.  All of the “CIK’s” I’ve seen have been very inspiring and focused on particular instances.  Being in sales as someone’s assistant, doing sales and as a reporting person in capturing information, I see how “Communication Is Key” on so many levels that it’s hard to pinpoint just one moment.

In my role here, almost everything I do comes back to Goldmine, our CRM.  I’m very well versed in what the capabilities are and the value of what’s in it.  When I assign commissions, I look through history records and read through activity of our salespeople building relationships and connections, issues people have and problems we’ve committed to resolving. All of the communication that goes in and out of there is key and essential to make this machine work.  It’s more than just completing notes and having numbers on some paper or on a spreadsheet…it’s getting reliable information in so that we can output trustworthy information to our clients and customers.

Not only do we rely on this information for our clients and customers, we rely on GoldMine for information for ourselves to set our goals, implement training, track our progress or lack thereof so we can achieve the success we strive for individually and as a team and company.  We’ve come up with a slew of reports designed to help us achieve our goals.  Over the years, I’ve contributed to modifying these reports so be specifically tailored to reflect exactly what we need.

My job is to make sure that everything you get is as accurate as possible and that means a lot of follow up from time to time to make sure the right people get credited for what’s deserved.

Overall, all of these tools have brought us much success and progress in creating a better communication flow to our clients and ourselves.

~Shelly Ramsammy, Director of Sales Administration

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Communicaion is the Key from Sofia Pahidis!

Communication is a vital piece in what we do here at Maxons.  One particular way that communication is an important part of our everyday lives is the communication between us and one of our top insurance carriers, USAA. 

I am the liaison between our Project Management team, a third party administrator called Crawford Contractor Connection and USAA.  One of my key duties is to help keep the communication flowing back and forth between the 3 groups.  On a normal day, I along with others, receive emails throughout the day regarding assignments that we have certain time restraints that need to be followed.  I am the person that communicates this to my coworkers to make sure that this is completed. 

I have been doing this for 4 years now and noticed a HUGE change! 

When I started this position, I had no idea what I was getting into, in doing so, through all the communication that has been transpired between myself and the team, we have managed to hit their Top 5 performers list, which I thought was an impossible endeavor!  It just goes to show you that with GREAT team work and communication skills we can overcome any obstacle!  

~Sofia Pahidis, Project/Sales Coordinator

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Communication is the Key from Shana Norberg!

While communication between people is paramount,  I’d like to bring up how good communication between our systems is also a major foundation of the way we work here at  Maxons.  As the resident Data Analyst,  my ears perk up at opportunities to make our work flow more smoothly and efficiently by making sure different parts of the company communicate with each other in a systematic way, in person or in the cloud.

Some of you know that when I first came to Maxons, sales commissions were calculated quarterly, by hand,  on infamous pads of yellow lined paper. It was a painstaking, time consuming, and error prone process that took at least a week every time.  Why?  It was the way we’d always done it.  But also because the two kinds of information we needed to calculate commissions-  job profitability  and sales by account manager  – literally can’t communicate with each other in our accounting software.  The software just isn’t set up that way.  It’s impossible to merge the two inside of the software, so pen and paper it had to be. 

Well,  I always knew there was a better way.  Although our contact management system is the backbone of our IT system, it doesn’t begin cover all of our needs.  Thanks to many hours logged in over the years on the part of our intrepid programmer Mark Iocolano, our CMS “talks” to Eye of the Storm, the finance software, and our equipment tracking software on a regular basis. 

So I admit that it came out of my own frustration that I buckled down one day and mapped out how the data from four different spreadsheets that previously could not communicate with each other needed to come together to become something useful to us in figuring sales commissions.  Mark Iocolano did the programming and gave us a way to merge the four reports into one (this is what Cindy, our AR Manager, calls “the martini shaker”).  I set up Excel templates with formulas and conditional formatting to plop my newly merged data into, and semi-automate the arithmetic involved. 

The end result: figuring monthly commissions still takes some time and effort. But now it takes just a few hours each month instead a week to put together the initial commission reports.  And I’m proud of the fact that my re-vamping of the commission process saves us all time, errors, and most of all frustration. 

Communication is key – even when it’s behind the scenes!

~Shana Norberg, Data Analyst

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Communication is the Key – Sarah Bolles!

Even though I have only been at Maxons for less than two years, I have already learned more about communication here than I have learned from any other avenue of my life.  There are two main components of communication: speaking and listening.  In my opinion, it is the listening aspect that is often forgotten about.

As a Project Coordinator, I am often a customer’s first point of contact when calling Maxons.  I have learned that at this stage, it is the listening component of communication that is usually most crucial.  Many of the initial calls that come in are from scared, frustrated, worried, upset and stressed customers.  They are usually overwhelmed and are not in a state of mind to listen to the technical procedures we may try to communicate to them.   At this point, the callers just want to talk and they want to know that someone is listening.  Even though I am not communicating with the customer in person, I have found that by showing understanding, patience and empathy, it is possible to show the customer the hope and communication they are looking for when making their initial call.  By setting this tone from the very start, it sets their expectations for the rest of the project. 

We talk a lot about communication in terms of the words we say, the updates we send out and the customer service calls we make, but it is important to remember to take the time to listen to a customer and truly hear the concerns and worries they are expressing; it is just as important. 

“You never get people’s fuller attention than when you’re listening to them” (Robert Braul).

~Sarah Bolles, Project Coordinator

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Communication is Key – Ruta Sinusas!

Our theme for the year is “Communication Is Key”, but for me sometimes it is what we do and not what we say that has the greatest impact.

I had been at Maxons for three days when was I sent to a social media training seminar.   The last exercise of the class was an experiment to show how far social media could reach and how connections could help one another out.    The rules were simple –state your name and explain what your company does.  Someone in the room could offer to connect and explain how that connection would be a benefit for both of you.

As my turn came and I stood up to explain who I was and what my company did.  Before I could even sit down a man from the other side of the room raised his hand to connect.  His response was “I know Maxons, your company fixed my apartment last year after I had a fire.”  His connection statement was “I would recommend you to everyone I know.”

You would think it was a setup or Candid Camera (either way it was a Marketing Managers dream come true).  What were the odds of meeting someone three days into my job that knew what my company did and loved us?  After the class the guy stayed behind and spoke with me about how happy he was with the work we had done for him and promised to connect.  I thought he was just being nice, but I was surprised when two days later I got our weekly Facebook update and sure enough he had connected and shared our company with people in his profile.   To this day he passes on our tips and weather updates to his Facebook friends when we post them.

In his job history there were notes about email updates from his Project Manager and a call logged by his Project Coordinator to discuss the work schedule.  Final notes were about the job being closed and a Certificate of Satisfaction being signed.   Simply put we had let him know what needed to be done, when we would be doing the work and when he would be able to get back to his normal life. We did all of this before he needed to ask.

For over 60 years our clients and customers have been telling their friends, family, coworkers and strangers in a social media seminar about the amazing work Maxons does every day.   For me there is no greater proof of our outstanding work and communication skills than to hear about it from satisfied customers.

One of the “Golden Rules of Business” is one unhappy customer will tell an average of 10 people about their bad experience.  A happy customer will only tell about 1 or 2.   It gives me a special thrill to know that three years later he is still proving that the “good experience” rule is wrong over and over again.

~Ruta Sinusas, Marketing Manager