Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

The Art of Listening (Or Paying Attention)

One of our senior managers recently told me about walking a project with our civil site superintendent and a customer. As they toured the job site, the customer asked several questions and shared other thoughts while they walked. Without a word, the superintendent pulled out a pad and started a running list of discussion items. That simple act sent the customer a message that was priceless to the relationship by showing:

  • A listening ear that cared about what was being said.
  • Management that was paying attention to details, trying to get it right and head off issues.
  • A concern about quality and respect for the customer’s opinion.
  • That our folks were tuned in and in control of the job. 

While technology plays a big part in the way we do business, at times, the old way of doing things still has its place. Non-verbal actions speak equally well. 

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.