Monthly Archives: August 2019

Customer Service Series, Part 5: The Importance of Listening

Customer Service Series, Part 5

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. Brian Robinson, Regional Rental Sales Manager at Hugg & Hall, recently spoke on the make-or-break importance of customer service in the equipment rental industry.  

“Exceeding the customers’ needs first and foremost,” said Robinson, when asked to define great customer service. “Blow their mind. My customer service mission is: ‘Listening, Acting, Following-up, Thanking, Repeat!’”

When asked to describe why customer service is so important to an organization, Robinson stressed that Hugg & Hall is a service company so valuing the customer relationship is intrinsic. 

“We are a service company and we must all carry that mindset, said Robinson. “They are the boss. It can be the success or death of a company in today’s business world.”

When thinking about customer service as a whole, it’s important to not think too broadly or to eliminate the significance of day-to-day interactions with customers, according to Robinson. 

“We’re getting there,” said Robinson. “It’s hard work and it never stops. We keep digging in and improving one deal at a time. One mishap, ball-drop, sleeping at the wheel and our customer can be gone.” 

Robinson said that members of his team can improve by honing their listening skills and learning how to identify solutions to customers’ needs. 

“Listening,” said Robinson, when asked how his team could improve. “Really, really listening to what our customers’ needs are and following through on meeting and exceeding their needs.” 

The biggest obstacles to great customer service are not paying attention and not following through, according to Robinson. Not understanding their client’s needs and not following through on obligations can be detrimental to the trust necessary for a good customer relationship. 

“Not paying attention to the details, not truly listening to the customers needs,” said Robinson on the topic of bad customer service. “Most importantly not executing on their needs. I guess what frustrates me is when people take the lackadaisical approach on customer service. They just go through the motions with no excitement, no extra.” 

Robinson views client service as trainable and fluid and understands it as a method of differentiating one’s business from that of a competitor’s. 

“It’s definitely trainable,” said Robinson of client service. “It’s just important that they keep an open mind and listen to what works and duplicate that over and over again. As our business gets more and more competitive, we have to separate ourselves at being the best at customer service. This is key.” 

Managers can motivate their teams to better their customer service skills by framing it as a mutually beneficial concept. 

“It puts more dollars in their pockets,” said Robinson. “A great customer service experience resonates with people and it’s contagious. This equates to repeat business and new business thus more money to the old checking account. It’s that simple. 

Robinson also noted that coworkers should hold each other accountable in relation to customer service because they are representing the entire organization and it can affect more than their personal reputation. 

“They represent Hugg & Hall and we strive to always be the best,” said Robinson. 

When asked what his advice would be to those seeking to improve their customer service skills and what one thing he’d like each Hugg & Hall employee to remember about customer service, Robinson again emphasized the importance of listening in order to implement effective customer service. 

“Listen, listen, listen to the customer,” said Robinson. “Let them talk. Listen to the customers’ needs closely, walk the customer through what works best for them, exceed what they were after in the first place (give them the cake, the icing and plate of brownies). Blow their minds, build their confidence in you and your company. Duplicate this over and over and you become a customer service wizard.” 

Employee Spotlight: Melinda Speer

Employee Spotlight: Melinda Speer

Melinda Speer

Meet Melinda Speer! Speer has been with Hugg & Hall for more than 23 years and works as a Fleet Maintenance Coordinator at the company’s Little Rock, Ark., location. She is absolutely essential to the process of ensuring that rental equipment is maintained and ready-for-operation before machines are delivered to job sites. 

“Demanding and challenging,” said Speer, when asked to describe her job at Hugg & Hall. “My main job duty is to keep the rental equipment ready to rent by working with the service department to ensure a quick and cost-effective repair.”

Speer said that the things that have motivated her to stay at the company for so long are the relationships she’s made throughout her time, an allegiance to the organization and an affection for what she does. 

“Over the past 23 years I have built a lot of good relationships and made some really good friends,” said Speer. “There are two things that have kept me at Hugg & Hall: loyalty and I love what I do.” 

Speer is a native of Paragould, Ark., but has lived in Little Rock for more than 30 years. She is married to her husband of 25 years, Doug, and has one daughter and two granddaughters. Outside of work, she enjoys going to the gym and spending time at the lake. 

When asked, Speer said that her coworkers might be surprised to know that she can barefoot waterski and was a competitive bodybuilder for five years.

The company would like to send out a huge thank you to Speer for all of her hard work and dedication throughout the years!

Material Handling Attachments

Material Handling Attachments

Push Pulls 

Push pull attachments offer shippers/warehouses an alternative to pallets. Push pulls are able to slip under and hold loads on slip sheets (cheaper than pallets). These attachments are ideal for specific loading operations that don’t require pallets yet still have significant loading needs. If you have sufficient loading demands but are searching for a way to ax pallets from operations, you might want to consider whether a push pallet attachment could be right for your work site. 


Another material handling attachment that can greatly affect productivity is the rotator attachment. Rotators are attachments that can be added to uprights which enable your machine to invert or dump materials. Rotators are often used on job sites to dump scrap, waste, liquids, minerals, boxes with loads like fruit/grains/vegetables and other materials. There are both mechanical and hydraulic options available. 


The sideshifter attachment allows machines to move their carriages in a side-to-side motion. The expanded ability to move is ideal for many functionalities. It’s particularly suitable for stacking and job site functions that require precise carriage positioning. Sideshifter attachments are typically available in models that fit most forklift carriages. 


One material handling attachment that can be used for a variety of purposes are clamps. Clamps are durable, user-friendly, multi-faceted and effective attachments that are frequently used to pick up and move products. Clamps have the potential to help companies decrease unsafe work environments, increase efficiency and decrease damages to products, while eliminating the need for multiple workers to accomplish the handling task.

Fork Positioners

Another attachment that is frequently chosen for material handling functionalities are fork positioners. Fork positioners improve the accuracy of forklift operations, reduce damage to pallets/products and improves overall safety. Fork positioners are a hydraulic alternative to repositioning forklift forks, allowing equipment operators to adjust positioning from where they sit. This is especially ideal for those moving a variety of types/shapes of pallets. 

Load Handlers

A useful material handling attachment are multiple load handlers. Multiple load handlers enable users to lift multiple pallets at once. Perfect for warehousing and plant operations requiring a lot of load handling involving pallets, multiple load handlers can create a more productive and effective operation. Multiple load handlers feature double sideshifters, single-double pallet handlers and are capable of loading and unloading up to six loads. 

Why You Should Buy Parts Made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer

Why You Should Buy Parts Made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer

Buying Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts is one of the best ways to keep your equipment running properly. While the price might be higher, there’s a reason for it. Here are a few things you should always consider when buying parts. 

Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts are tested and certified

OEM parts are authenticated and dependable. Using cheaper, off-brand alternatives is always a gamble: they’re not tested, re-tested, and certified like OEM parts. They can’t provide the same reliability. 

When you’re in a pinch and don’t have time or capital to roll the dice on an off-brand part, OEM parts can give you the assurance you need. It’s hard to put a price tag on stability, especially when you’re juggling other decisions and don’t have time for surprises. 

It’s financially responsible

OEM parts usually cost more, but they provide more value because they usually last longer and function more efficiently. Most OEM parts are guaranteed by the manufacturer and created for a specific machine. You’ll never have to buy two parts because the first doesn’t fit or doesn’t function properly. 

OEM parts give you peace of mind

OEM parts protect your machine’s resell value and safeguard most warranties. Using non-OEMs is a quick way to void your warranty. Purchasing OEMs also gives you access to manufacturer support, advice, and troubleshooting. 

Simply put, OEM parts will provide you the peace of mind and reliability that non-OEM cannot. 

Contact our parts department for more information! 

This post was originally published in August 2019. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in April 2023.