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For a couple of years I was a Samaritan.  Once a week I spent four hours taking calls and answering emails and texts from people in great emotional pain.  The work was challenging but rewarding.  I could hear and feel tension leave a caller as they took time to unload their troubles onto a stranger.

One day I’ll be a Samaritan again.  But the approach developed by Samaritans – non-judgmental empathy with one’s fellow humans based on active listening– is another of the core values of our AVC Immedia business.

How so?  We listen to our colleagues.  We listen to our customers.  In each case we do our best to respond to their needs – I should say their real needs, not the needs we assume they have. Just like with Samaritans, when we listen to what’s being said we take any potential for tension out of the situation, it’s just a better way to be.

We strive to be an organisation that listens and learns.  The other side of empathetic listening is responsiveness, so we seek to deal with everyone – our colleagues and customers – quickly, sympathetically and with honesty.

When we act in this way, we always give our best.  We overdeliver, and the SLAs that we sign up to giving us 24 or 48 hours to rectify an issue are meaningless as we aim to fix any issues right now. No one has an issue that they’d rather was fixed at some vague point next week!  As soon as it’s raised we own the issue and get it sorted.

Our empathetic approach means that our customers are much more than cells in a spreadsheet.  The personal touch is everything for us, we love to create rewarding relationships. The only way to truly do that is by listening to people’s needs and responding accordingly.

Where is empathy in your company’s value system?  I would love to know!


Written by Ross Penney, Chief Executive Officer at AVC Immedia