Maria vs the Crocodile, a lesson learnt in communicating

On a blessed morning, still raining, I arrived at Salt Head Offices, with one of my favorite songs playing on the radio called Jabulani. As usual I greeted my two friends dancing to the song, Maria and Fanuel, who helped me with my wheelchair as usual and unlocked the entrance doors.
Maria went in first to her office, the kitchen, while I took a quick smoke, and all of a sudden I heard screams from the kitchen Maria loudly announced that there is a crocodile in the kitchen. Immediately, my instinct from army days kicked in and I shouted at her to get out immediately and call for help from Fanuel to assist and investigate.

We went into the kitchen with the utmost caution to look for this “crocodile”. After a few minutes we only found a Pieter blink Oog (not PLM), better known as a house gecko. We had a good laugh after that. I advised Maria to get the correct naming for this “Crocodile” from Selma Nangombe, my colleague. I also found a way to communicate with two birds, giving them bread pieces every morning by clicking my tongue in a certain way, and surely they recognize it. Which brings me to the point of communication.

Try your utmost best to understand what the client wants. Calming down the client by not raising your voice, speak to them in a caring tone, forget about any insults and focus on the incident at hand!!! So many times we receive calls from customers but do not always understand what their problems are. Hence, we as the service provider must have that feel of “ons gee om” which would be an add-on to get more information, but also to understand the client’s frustration at that moment and act accordingly.

So my take on it, is how frustrated the client might be, it still remains my job and input to rectify the incident. Never let the client feel that he/she cannot be assisted, n there is always a way to assist, and always keep the client regularly updated on the progress. If we don’t communicate milestones and progress updates as they occur, our clients won’t have us on the top of their minds. Or, they’ll be left wondering, “What am I spending my money on? That is where we need to up the game of engaging with our clients, doesn’t matter if it is small or big, handle it with the utmost care.

All it takes is consistent and proactive communication to keep the faith of the relationship steady and the progress moving, and keeping the customer and ourselves happy.