One of the more common phone calls we receive are the ones where the person on the other end of the phone is in complete fear. Either something has crawled into their living space or the mystery thing has invaded the wall system and is making themselves at home in their home. These unwanted guests range from the 8-legged and 4-legged to the vertebrates of 4 legs.
"I am going to move out of my house if I ever see a rat or mouse." I can't tell you how many time I have been told this by both men and women. When there is a very healthy fear of something not only am I listening to what they are saying and why they are saying what they need to say but I'm also listening to how they are sharing their information.
One of the most scared customers that we have helped was a lady raised in the Bay Area and had recently relocated to Stockton, CA. The main reason she was calling was just to have someone listen to her and validate what she was feeling. So many times, we are in a rush and don't slow down to really listen to what another person is trying to tell us. I didn't talk for the first half of the conversation because she was so upset and wasn't sure if we could help her. Eventually, she felt comfortable with me after I spent the time listening to her and then shared certain facts about her pest problem. She finally felt a great level of relief and was also sounding more relaxed and comfortable talking about her problem.
99% of working with people over the phone is listening and being patient. Everyone has a different way of viewing their current reality. To this woman, her world was upside down and she was paralyzed with fear. She wanted relief and an understanding person to help her through her fear along with helping to remedy the problem.
Working in pest control, we deal with people's fears and our goal is to not only solve their pest problem but also to work on a level of trust and friendship with them. Everyday, we make the acquaintance of many people over the phone and in person. By using a learned ability of listening and providing an open ear, we develop long relationships with our customers, our friends and all the special people in our lives.
Listening is an art form. We all have the power to be better listeners and to learn how to listen to each person we encounter. It is something that is being read like a good story; reading the nuances of the voice, feeling what they are saying, pausing at the right moment and knowing when not to speak. By working on our skills of not only listening to what another person is saying but also listening to what they are feeling, we will better our relationships not only with others but ourselves.