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“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”(Bryant H. McGill) The quote resonates at Clearfield, because the first of our core values is “Listen.”

Two people that embody this value are our National Accounts Manager Jon and our Business Development Manager Kala. Jon has been with us for 21 years. Kala joined us four years ago. There may be a few years (of service) difference, but they are on the same page when it comes to listening to customers with an attention to detail.

“Listening to customers is a major part of what we do,” says Jon, who works with some of Clearfield’s biggest customers. “For example, when we’re manufacturing a product for a customer, we listen carefully to what they need. We’re open to them providing as much technical feedback as they like – through the prototype stages and beyond. Clearfield has the technological expertise, of course, but we take the time to listen to ensure that we’re creating a product that meets our customer’s specific needs.”

Kala agrees, “I pride myself in being able to help our customers and get them what they need in a timely fashion while still having an enjoyable experience on the phone or in person. ”When you start the process by truly listening to what is being asked, the ultimate delivery is going to be more successful. “Clearfield strives for the best, and being able to deliver is huge. Our lead times, response times, problem solving times are quick and sharp,” she said. “It’s great to be able see customers recognizing that. It also provides a sense of fulfillment when they thank you for all your hard work in order to ensure their jobs get turned up in a timely manner and all needs are met.”

A well-trained ear

Jon spends a fair amount of time crunching numbers. He regularly develops estimates for clients to help them budget for their technology expenditures. It takes a well-trained ear to understand the nuances of a client’s needs. “It’s a matter of figuring out what product will work best, while balancing pricing pressures, timing issues, etc.,” he explained. This sounds fairly intense, but, in fact, Jon finds the time he spends with customers the most enjoyable aspect of his day. “The best part of this job is the people. I find that broadband people are among the friendliest, and I typically find myself in a better mood after talking to a lot of them.”

If you listen, you just might hear something (and help someone).   

Recently, a Clearfield customer from Texas was dealing with some major flooding and devastation that was also affecting their customers. They were desperately in need of product immediately. Kala understood the severity of the situation and rallied the team. “Because every department of Clearfield collaborates in a team environment, we were able to accept and process their order, get it sent out to production, packaged and shipped within hours of receiving the purchase order.” The product was delivered the next day, and the client showered Kala and the Clearfield team with thank you emails — noting how thankful and grateful the customers were for Clearfield’s sense of urgency and being able to help out in an emergency situation.

Like we always say, it all starts with listening (followed closely by Clearfield’s other values:  “Recognize, Understand, Collaborate, Deliver and Celebrate.”)

A couple of other quotes about listening that seem appropriate here:

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”
(Doug Larson)

“The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.”
(Fran Lebowitz)

We’re not waiting. But we are listening.