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