Monthly Archives: October 2018

Part 4: Fostering Customer Service As An Organizational Priority

Customer Service Series Part 4

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is dedicated to providing excellence in customer service. The company strives to continuously improve and created the “Customer Service Series” as an outlet for sharing customer service ideas and strategies with the purpose to both enhance the experience of the Hugg & Hall customer and to provide a place for collaborative thinking.


Customer service is a concept that elicits various ideas and strategies. Hugg & Hall created the Customer Service Series to provide a place for ideas and collaboration, especially as it relates to how company professionals serve their customers. In part four, Tracey Gibbs, Regional Parts Director at Hugg & Hall, ruminates on how customer service can influence customers and their prevailing impression of the company. Gibbs defines customer service as taking care of customers, 24/7, and taking ownership of their needs.

“Making their needs our own,” said Gibbs, referring to how she describes great customer service. “When we go above and beyond to make sure they are up and running, they are pleased with their experience.”

Customer service can alter the way one perceives a company and a single bad experience may negatively impact the way an entire organization is viewed in perpetuity, despite the good intentions of many. Gibbs views customer service as a conduit to company reputation and, fundamentally, characterizes the concept of customer service as treating others as one would like to be treated.

“Customer service is what builds our reputation,” said Gibbs. “It is what keeps our customers coming back to us without hesitation. I expect good customer service everywhere I go, and our customers should expect it from us.”

When asked if she leads with a mission or vision statement in mind, Gibbs noted that she approaches customer service with the attitude that customers should be treated with the same respect and consideration that she expects when served.

“Treat your customers the way you expect to be treated,” said Gibbs. “Customers are the reason that we exist and without them we fail. We should strive to make every experience a good one and if we fall short, we need to learn from it.”

Hugg & Hall branch locations house several different departments, usually under one roof, which include: parts, service, rental and sales. From her perspective, Gibbs has noticed specific challenges that parts professionals face.

“We have so many different equipment lines that it is hard to be an expert at all of them,” said Gibbs, referring to the many brands that the parts departments keep in their inventory and/or can order for their customers. However, even with these challenges, she is proud of the service that the Hugg & Hall parts team provides.

“We have great parts managers and parts specialists in our branches today who have built many strong relationships with our customers,” said Gibbs. “We have a lot of the same customers today that we had when I started working for Hugg & Hall 26 years ago. To me that says you’ve delivered great customer service.”

A policy and culture of great customer service can transcend departments in an organization, according to Gibbs.

“One of the things that sticks with me is something Robert Hall told us years ago, we need to deliver ‘Outrageous Customer Service,’” said Gibbs. “If everyone in every department practices outrageous customer service, it becomes contagious and second nature.”

Some ways that a culture of valuing customer service can be built and proliferate throughout an organization is by harnessing accountability, training and good management, according to Gibbs.  

“We should hold everyone accountable for delivering a high standard of customer service,” said Gibbs. “For some people it’s natural and for others it takes some coaching.”

A great way for managers to hold their direct reports accountable is to establish standards through leading by example. “By leading and coaching those values every day,” said Gibbs, when asked what managers can do to inspire workers to value customer service.

However, Gibbs noted, there is some personal responsibility in how one serves their customers and workers should not hesitate to adjust their customer service tactics to get the right result.

“I think that certain parts of customer service are trainable,” said Gibbs. “We can teach the basic customer service skills, but it’s how the individual delivers it that determines how it is perceived. If it’s perceived well and the end result is their satisfaction, then the relationship has begun.”

Just as great customer service can affect an organization for the better, poor customer service can affect an organization negatively. One of the ways this can manifest itself is in reputation among customers.

“A lot of our customers are in the same line of business and they communicate,” said Gibbs. “If one of our customers has a bad experience, news travels fast and it’s hard work to overcome that.”

However, just as it is the responsibility of service professionals to provide exceptional customer support, patrons should allocate value to customer service. When asked whether there is anything frustrating about how people generally view customer service, Gibbs noted that the low value some people place on customer service can be frustrating.

“Sometimes people don’t see the value in great customer service,” said Gibbs. “They want the highest level of customer service for the lowest discounted price. Customer service has value.”

Gibbs is proud of the Hugg & Hall team members that exemplify great customer service and views their service as a tremendous asset to the company, especially as it relates to employees that maintain long-term relationships with their customers.

“We have several long-term employees at the branches I work with that are in the product support sales representative position,” said Gibbs. “I think this is a big asset for us as a company, because that means we have a lot of long-term customer relationships.”

For those seeking to better their customer service skills, Gibbs suggests they learn from some of the best.  

“Ride along with some of the good product support sales representatives or salesmen when they are out seeing customers,” said Gibbs. 

Tyler Cummings Promoted to Assistant Delivery Manager

Tyler Cummings Promoted to Assistant Delivery Manager

Tyler Cummings and family

Tyler Cummings, a dedicated Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) professional working out of the Little Rock location, was recently promoted to the new position of Assistant Delivery Manager. In this position, he will assist Claude Martin, Delivery Manager, with transport operations and will oversee delivery activity in the Little Rock, Conway, Jonesboro, El Dorado, Texarkana, Broussard, Houma and Baton Rouge regions. 

Cummings has worked diligently at Hugg & Hall, since 2012, in various roles spanning from rental coordination to load planning. His commitment to his customers and the company gives Hugg & Hall the assurance that he maintains the experience and competence to perform the duties of the position effectively. 

“Tyler has proven to be a leader with his work ethic and his ability to prioritize his employees and customer satisfaction,” said Martin. “Everything he does either adds to customer satisfaction, increases profits for the company or benefits our employees. Great job and congratulations.” 

Hugg & Hall would like to take this time to thank Cummings for all of his hard work throughout the years, congratulate him for the well-earned promotion and encourage him to continue executing his excellent leadership ability. 

Golf Tournament Raises Funds to Benefit HOPE Campus

Hope Campus Donation

(R to L) Jerod Eck, Outside Rental Sales at Hugg & Hall, Stephanie Wormke, Development Director at Hope Campus, Chris Joannides, Executive Director at Hope Campus, Kevin Lea, Outside Rental Sales -Corp Acct Specialist at Hugg & Hall

Hugg and Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) recently hosted a charity golf tournament at Eagle Crest Golf Course to benefit HOPE Campus, a group working with regional partners to provide comprehensive services to impoverished individuals and families in the River Valley. Thanks to the vendors, customers and sponsors who participated, Hugg & Hall was able to raise $9,069.38 which will directly benefit the local community.

The HOPE Campus began as a coordinated effort on behalf of the Homelessness Task Force and the City of Fort Smith to address homelessness in the River Valley, according to their website. Among the top priorities of the Homelessness Task Force and the City of Fort Smith was to assist impoverished community members toward a path to self-sufficiency.

Hugg & Hall was honored to raise funds for an organization which positively impacts so many lives in the local community. Hope Campus addresses acute needs and supports individuals throughout the path to self-sufficiency, according to their website. The group offers medical care, mental health care, temporary housing, workplace readiness skill development and access to a variety of other social services. HOPE Campus has an 80 to 95 percent success rate of helping people out of homelessness. 

Hugg & Hall wants to say a big THANK YOU to the customers, vendors, sponsors and Eagle Crest Golf Course for making it such a great event! A big thanks to: 




























Golf Tournament Benefiting Hope Campus

 Golf Tournament Benefiting Hope Campus

Golf Tournament Benefiting Hope Campus

How Tech is Transforming Parts and Service Operations

How Tech is Transforming Parts and Service Operations

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) has implemented a new software platform into their development strategy.

Geared to bolster the efficiency and timeliness of services across the organization, Xalt, formerly known as Catavolt before integrating with Hexagon’s technology offerings, is a powerful framework for accelerating digital transformation, fast-tracking an organization’s ability to harness data and extracting its full potential and value across businesses and industry, according to their website.

Hugg & Hall is incorporating the framework in an initiative to transition from an all-paper system on the service side of the business to a streamlined, digital system. So, whereas road service technicians working in territory away from their office location may have submitted information/work-orders from jobs once every couple of weeks, they now can submit the data immediately using the digital interface. This new system has reduced the invoicing process from what was up to 15 days to what is now a three day process. 

Xalt uses tools and expertise to provide seamless applications in cloud orchestration, mobile platforms, edge computing, enterprise integration and AI, according to their website. These applications were created to help businesses integrate technology to make their processes and functions more efficient. Xalt ensures integration with existing information and operational technologies to bolster organizational processes. The platform helps organizations leverage existing technologies in use with cutting-edge digital options. This is accomplished by enabling connectivity across all functions with the purpose to improve operations.

Hugg & Hall is mobilizing the platform to assist with the behind-the-scenes structure of applications, which the company can then customize for various initiatives. Where some companies may pay millions to build a system from scratch, Xalt enables the company to avoid the initial design process and use the template structure to then customize for various purposes.

The company used Xalt technology to develop the Mobile Service App which is transforming how the service sector of the company operates.

“The Mobile Service App is and will continue to be one of the most significant productivity enhancements we’ve see at this company,” said Chris Shields, Vice President of Parts and Service at Hugg & Hall. “All the benefits of it have yet to be understood, I can only say they are numerous.”

In congruence with enhancing the efficiency of procedures, the Mobile Service App is also supporting the company’s sustainability efforts.

“We process or invoice approximately 7500 work-orders a month between nine locations,” said Shields. “That’s 90,000 in a year. Before the Mobile Service App, that equaled 7500 pieces of paper a month.”

The streamlined process the Mobile Service App has created breaks down a multi-step, multi-department system into a few, simple steps.

“Those papers got moved around from a technician’s van to a service administrator’s desk to the parts department back to the service administrator’s desk to a product support sales representative to the service manager, etc., before it got invoiced. Approximately 80 percent of our technicians are mobile and work as far away from an office as 2 to 6 hours. Yet, at some point, they had to get a paper work-order from there to here. Imagine the opportunities for errors and delays in providing timely and accurate invoices for our customers.”

Through the Mobile Service App, Hugg & Hall is increasing sustainability practices by reducing paper usage, putting maintenance and machine records at technicians’ fingertips, expediting the work-order approval process and vastly accelerating the current invoicing system.   

“All the inefficiencies associated with what I just described are gone,” said Shields. “Work-orders are opened and assigned almost instantly after a service request is made. All the information and accounting associated with an order is realized in real time. The clock starts in terms of how fast we are at solving the problem (fixing the machine). The movement of that work-order is now fully electronic. Parts used in a repair is posted to the work-order immediately (no parts personnel/interaction needed) and all inventory accounting is executed instantly.”

As well as streamlining processes and creating more efficient procedures to better serve customers, the application also assists technicians with their actual diagnostic capabilities which, in turn, improves the overall service.

“In addition, through this application, we’ve put better information at the fingertips of our technicians. They have the ability to see all repair history associated with a given customer or piece of equipment, in the field. This information provides a significant tool in their diagnostic capabilities.”

The company is also strategically planning to implement Xalt to streamline processes throughout parts operations. Recently, Tom Mitchell, Regional Parts Director at Hugg & Hall, spoke on how Xalt’s digital service is modernizing the company’s parts procedures.

“Xalt accelerated the use of QR codes on company applied part labels,” said Mitchell. “These QR codes will soon be used by field technicians to put parts on work-orders via their iPads. This will eliminate transcription errors on field work-orders when recording and entering part numbers in EBS,” said Mitchell, referring to software used by the company.

QR code, Xalt

Example of Hugg & Hall part label with QR code

The company is vitalized by these new applications which are making day-to-day procedures more efficient. The Hugg & Hall team looks forward to continually seeking ways to streamline operations with the purpose to create excellent experiences for each of their customers.