Tag Archives: communication

Employee Spotlight: Rhonda Griffith

Meet Rhonda Griffith!  Rhonda has been with Hugg & Hall for 20 years and works as our Accounts Payable Manager at the company’s corporate location in Little Rock, AR. 

Griffith is originally from Carlisle, AR and currently resides there, but spent most of her life in Hazen, AR.  Griffith is happily married to her high school sweet heart, Marty and they will celebrate 36 years in May. They have two children. Their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Kyler live in Cabot, AR where Ashley is a family nurse practitioner.  Their son, Martin and daughter-in-law Courtney live in Little Rock, AR but travel a lot since Martin is a welder and inspector for 798 pipe liners. In December, Martin and Courtney welcomed Griffith’s first grandchild, Katelynn. Griffith stated “we are so excited to be Gigi and Pop!”.

Griffith enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, and has a “green thumb”. She loves planting and watching her flowers grow. In the summer, you can “find me relaxing by the pool,” said Griffith. Something you might be surprised to learn about Griffith is she was crowned Rodeo Queen and spent most of her childhood on a horse and traveling to horse shows and rodeos.

Griffith says a typical workday is “Crazy – but I love it – lots of invoices, interruptions, and lots of money being spent”. Her daily job duties include managing a “great group of employees, along with vendor invoices and check disbursements, all the while maintaining a strict schedule to keep us on good terms with vendors”. Each month includes 8000+ invoices to process for payment, fuel cards for over 350 company vehicles and corporate credit cards to maintain. All this keeps Griffith and her team very busy. “I love what I do, but it’s not just the job, it’s the people…I love my Hugg & Hall family!” Griffith stated.

We are thankful for Griffith’s years of dedicated and loyal service.

 

 

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A Day in the Life: Product Support Sales Representative

Over the last 60+ years, Hugg & Hall has strived to be superior in the industry to assure businesses always receive the best service. As innovators in the industry, we excel in providing services that our competitors may not even offer. With each purchase, in any department, Hugg & Hall meets exemplary customer service standards.

A key role in providing unmatched service are Hugg & Hall Product Support Sales Representatives (PSSR). The individuals in this position work everyday to provide businesses the customer service that has come to be expected from Hugg & Hall. Knowing your needs and exceeding your expectations are their mission. Here is, “A Day in the Life of a PSSR.”


Your PSSR doesn’t wake up a superhero, that takes a cup of coffee. Once your PSSR has consumed their hero juice, they are set for the busy day ahead. They have a schedule filled with parts & service requests, but the agenda is likely to change with their first phone call. Today that phone call may be a customer with a machine down, but the requests are different each day.

With each request it is important to set daily goals to easily manage all tasks. These goals are to follow-up with customers, visit as many customers in person as time allows and to clearly communicate Hugg & Hall’s business practices. Long term goals are also in place as your PSSR always wants their value to be recognized by you, the client. Building strong relationships with clients and understanding that every business has different needs allows for a PSSR to be truly successful.

Today your PSSR is tasked with ordering a rental to temporarily replace the down machine while ordering and delivering parts to keep other operations moving forward. As the PSSR passes a new warehouse, they make a stop to understand the new business opportunity. The PSSR explains to the potential client that having a PSSR on their side is no additional cost to the consumer and leaves a business card making a note to reach out in a few weeks.

As their day moves forward your PSSR is sure to never over promise, but they try their best to over deliver each time. This honesty differentiates our PSSRs and allows them to truly shine in their role. Being inquisitive, dependable and knowledgeable with all their day’s tasks are also key to their performance.

Through industry knowledge and observations, a Hugg & Hall PSSR assures that every situation is handled differently and appropriately for the application at hand. As the day draws to an end the PSSR has accomplished more than you could imagine all while making each client a number one priority.

 

A PSSR on your side assures the greatest possible service that Hugg & Hall can provide. They work each day to ease the daily stress of operations in many different industries. If you don’t already have a superhero on your side, call today to meet with a Product Support Sales Representative.

 

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Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is a comprehensive equipment provider offering services and expertise in the rental, sales, parts and service markets. The company offers a wide variety of equipment options for rent and purchase, including: material handling equipment (forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.), heavy equipment, mobile elevating work platforms (boom lifts, scissor lifts), air compressors, generators and more. Hugg & Hall Equipment Company offers industry-leading equipment brands for purchase or rental, like: Toyota, Bobcat, Crown, Taylor, Doosan, JLG and others. With value-added services and a focus on their customers, Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is the one-stop shop for every construction and industrial equipment need.

Employee Excellence: Brandon Brantley

“There are employees that work hard daily who may not get an “atta-boy”, “great job” or an “I appreciate you”. I wanted to make sure Brandon Brantley knew we appreciated him and that he did a great job.” – Justin Hines, Nexans AmerCable

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company has a quality standard that is beyond many other companies; Brandon Brantley has gone above the standard of excellence to best serve clients in our El Dorado, AR location.

Brantley works as a delivery driver for Hugg & Hall and started with the company a month ago. He conducts day runs between Hugg & Hall locations, as well as deliveries to customers. In his short time with the company, he has made a significant impact in the delivery division. Brandon said that his favorite thing about being a driver for Hugg & Hall is, “interacting with the customers.”

Brandon’s hometown is Farmerville, Louisiana where he currently resides with his wife Nikki. He has his hands full with a son, Logan, daughters Macayla and Karlee, and a granddaughter Paisley-Brooke. He enjoys spending time with his family and has a passion for horses & equipment. You may also be surprised to know that he is afraid of heights.

In his first few weeks, Brandon has noted that every day is memorable. If he weren’t currently working for Hugg & Hall, Brantley mentioned he would like to operate equipment. He thinks it is important for others in the profession to, “Never take safety for granted.”

Hugg & Hall would like to thank Brandon Brantley for his hard work; welcome to the team Brandon!

 

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Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is a comprehensive equipment provider offering services and expertise in the rental, sales, parts and service markets. The company offers a wide variety of equipment options for rent and purchase, including: material handling equipment (forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.), heavy equipment, mobile elevating work platforms (boom lifts, scissor lifts), air compressors, generators and more. Hugg & Hall Equipment Company offers industry-leading equipment brands for purchase or rental, like: Toyota, Bobcat, Crown, Taylor, Doosan, JLG and others. With value-added services and a focus on their customers, Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is the one-stop shop for every construction and industrial equipment need.

Product Support Team Gathers for Unprecedented Meeting in Little Rock

The Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) Product Support Team gathered for a meeting like no other. For the first time (in anyone’s memory) all parts and service managers, as well as all product support sales representatives (PSSRs), gathered together to build comradery and talk about upcoming changes in the coming year. This unprecedented meeting took place in downtown Little Rock, Ark., from May 14 to May 15 at the DoubleTree Hotel and the Robinson Center.

Vice President of Parts and Service Operations, Chris Shields, set the tone for the next two days by offering definitions of comradery and what it means to be a team player in a company of this magnitude. Shields also spoke on the game plan for the meeting, noting that the first day would be difficult because he was going to be talking about the various struggles the departments face internally. He said that he hoped by the end of it all each department would have a better sense of what it means to be a team.

“One objective, one team,” said Shields. “Relentless passion to be the best provider of services that deliver maximum equipment up time to our customers.”

Before diving into the struggles of the Product Support Team, Shield’s spoke on the team’s achievements from the previous year. The Product Support Team had a record-breaking year, they contributed about 45% of the company’s total gross profit. With technicians bringing in 72% of total revenue deriving from product support operations.

“We are in a great place as a company, not only to provide quality service to our customers but to provide quality service and training to attract and retain skilled technicians,” said Shields on the importance of the role technicians serve. “Saying things like ‘they could’ve done better’ or ‘they should’ve tried harder,’ is unacceptable. The value of our techs can’t be understated.”

Larry Denson, Parts Operations Manager at the Hugg & Hall Oklahoma City branch, was surprised by the impact technicians play in the overall success of the company.

“To see the average number in dollars of their (technicians’) contributions to the company’s gross profit and the bottom line was eye-opening, to say the least,” said Denson. “I think if more of the employees understood this it could and should help to eliminate some of those negative views technicians are saddled with.”

Shields was also proud to announce that the team is currently doing business with 55 Fortune 500 companies and 17 Fortune 1000 companies, a large majority of which are located, or have a substantial presence, in Arkansas.

“You should be very proud to do what you do and you should be very proud to do what you do with this company,” said Shields.

When it came time to address the struggles and hardships that the Product Support Team has been facing internally, Shields addressed it head-on, owning up to his part of the problem.

“I receive that, I own that, I believe in that,” said Shields.

The room grew quiet as everyone seemingly began to realize that the problems and issues they were having with specific departments were universal.

“The great thing about old walls is they can be removed,” said James Burgess, Product Support Sales Representative at the Hugg & Hall Fort Smith branch. “Our culture is changing with the business landscape, we are proving to be progressive and self-reflecting. I’m excited to be a part of the Product Support Team and look forward to the great things ahead.”

After the meeting, everyone gathered at the Flying Saucer, a local restaurant near the River Market, for dinner. This was also a great time for everyone to decompress and enjoy meeting people from other branches.

“It is always a neat experience when you get to put a face with a name,” said Denson “You hear these names of your counterparts that are in the same position as those you work with at your branch and then you finally get to meet them.”

The next morning, everyone gathered for the second half of the meeting. Shield’s kicked off the meeting by introducing structural changes within the Product Support Team’s leadership. After the new introductions were made, Mitch Perry, Regional Vice President of Product Support for the southern region, and Mark McLarty, Regional Vice President of Product Support for the northern region, conducted break off meetings with their respective colleagues to answer any questions and set the tone for future meetings.

“This isn’t going to change today, we aren’t going to be all huggy dovey as soon as we leave here, but you’ve got my trust and I hope I’ve got yours,” said McLarty to his group.

“We have the resources and people to do something incredible,” said Perry.

After a short break, everyone gathered to conclude the meeting. The meeting ended with small presentations from Lucas Hall, Product Support Software/Data Developer/Business Analyst, Tracey Gibbs, Corporate Parts Manager and Tom Mitchell, Product Support Manager at the Hugg & Hall Springdale branch. Each presented on new initiatives to minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Each of these initiatives will be detailed in future blog posts.

“This unprecedented meeting provided a unique opportunity to share real-world experiences that may be brought to bear for the benefit of our customers both external and internal; time well spent,” said Mitchell.


Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is a comprehensive equipment provider offering services and expertise in the rental, sales, parts and service markets. The company offers a wide variety of equipment options for rent and purchase, including: material handling equipment (forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.), heavy equipment, mobile elevating work platforms (boom lifts, scissor lifts), air compressors, generators and more. Hugg & Hall Equipment Company offers industry-leading equipment brands for purchase or rental, like: Toyota, Bobcat, Crown, Volvo, Taylor, Doosan, JLG and others. With value-added services and a focus on their customers, Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is the one-stop shop for every construction and industrial equipment need.

Part 1: VP of Rental Operations On Valuing Customer Service

 

VP OF RENTAL OPERATIONS ON VALUING CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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.

 

In diverse, competitive markets distinguishing one’s business among customers and creating a loyal client-base is an essential aspect of remaining relevant. Rick Vollmer, Vice President of Rental Operations at Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall), recently shared his thoughts on the relevance of customer service and how it can affect business opportunities and brand reputation.

“We are a regional company,” said Vollmer. “Larger companies have greater buying power and resources, so when you take the same products and offer them to the public at comparable prices, even as our buying power increases, it’s important to deliver excellent customer service. We fight for customers everyday so we’re constantly trying to find ways to set ourselves apart. The obvious, and free, way is customer service. When you think of a high-priced product like a stay at a Ritz-Carlton, you expect to receive excellent customer service for the price. I believe that Chick-Fil-A proved that you can take a median-priced product and pair it with excellent customer service. You can marry any-priced product with high-priced customer service.”

Customer service is an intangible concept with no one definition. As such, discussing ideas on how to provide positive experiences for each customer can be wide-reaching. Vollmer shared his thoughts on how companies can create a culture of prioritizing customers.

“The one thing that never seems to get, in my opinion, the kind of attention that it needs is making the customer feel like they’ve made the right decision by calling here or deciding to do business with us,” said Vollmer. “I think that it’s important that the management team and I continue to stress, number one that it’s as important as getting something delivered on time, or washing it or buying new and selling old. Number one, the management team stressing customer service. I think that if people would just think ‘what would I want? What would I expect?’ because the person on the other end of the line or the customer of Hugg & Hall would expect the same thing.”

The implementation of a comprehensive customer service strategy requires the consideration of many factors in sizable organizations; delivering cohesive client service within a company housing many teams and departments can be a challenge with specific obstacles and frustrations.

“The most frustrating thing to me is that it is just not focused on,” said Vollmer. “It’s just not top of mind. I don’t believe that it’s a purposeful thing, it’s because we are all so focused on the task at hand or what’s staring at us in the face, so when it comes time to focus on customer service, we just forget.”

Vollmer stressed that customer service requires fluidity as opposed to a simple, traditional set of rules and processes. He touched on the importance of authenticity and actually valuing customers.

“I believe that customer service needs to be fluid and I think that if somebody just takes a minute and thinks ‘there’s probably a few areas where I can add some increased elements of customer service in what I do’ and comes up with what they think is the correct way to express a strong customer service concept then it does the job and it’s fluid and it’s genuine and someone can own it,” said Vollmer. “If you are going to commit to making customer service top of mind, also, commit to making it genuine. Be genuine about it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Vollmer spoke on the importance of valuing limited facetime with customers and how he’s been influenced by interactions with professionals at Genie Industries.  

“I was always impressed and influenced by Genie Industries and how they operated, as a company in the industrial equipment business,” said Vollmer. “When we would go out there to take a plant tour, they were the best at thanking us for our business. When we’d pass by a cubicle, they’d always turn and acknowledge us and were always really quick to thank us for our business. At the American Rental Association show, they would always have an event planned and they would never have their employees piled up together, they were always dispersed throughout the crowd and they were always meeting and thanking people, even if you had no idea what they did within the Genie organization or if you had no involvement with those particular people. Those opportunities are the best times to execute excellent customer service because it’s so hard to get in front of your customers.”

In order to understand how to deliver great customer service, it’s important to understand how negative customer service is demonstrated, Vollmer delineated.

“Terrible customer service, in my view, is giving the customer the impression that they’ve reached the wrong person and it’s not your job,” said Vollmer. “The biggest obstacle to great customer service is that people are quick to not get in somebody else’s square when it comes to helping a customer. If I don’t know the answer to a customer’s issue, I can find out.”

In order to avoid uniformity with industry competitors, importance is focused on standing out and offering value-added features to clients, this can be achieved through offering technology at the cusp of innovation, simplifying processes or providing excellence in customer service. Vollmer spoke on the importance of how client engagement can impact Hugg & Hall and combat homogeneity.

“I want to wave the flag because at this particular time and place, customer service is the one thing that can put us over the top,” said Vollmer. “If we and our competitors all basically have the same product, we’re all coming to the table with the same opportunity and we have to come to the table with something that’s better and different and can set ourselves apart. We have to have something different to talk about, and customer service is the thing that can set us apart. I’ve heard comments made from our customer base, from time-to-time, express that the customer service aspect and the people, sets us apart. We need to continue that and not take it for granted.”

Vollmer elaborated on the Hugg & Hall customer service mission statement, “make your customers’ needs your own,” and what that means for employees and how they should operate. He expanded on the mentality that just as companies strive to create loyal customers, companies should return loyalty.

“If a customer were to walk through the door with a complaint about something, I don’t have any qualms about making a decision to solve that problem and make them happy without having to ask anybody,” said Vollmer. “Making your customers’ needs your own is exactly what that means.”

“As we want loyalty from customers, customer service reciprocates loyalty on behalf of us back to the customer.”

When asked what advice he would give those striving to improve their customer service skills and to provide genuine, effective service to their customers, Vollmer stressed the importance of not shying away from taking action and making assertive decisions as it relates to customer service.

“Customer service is an easy word to fly around but it just seems so difficult sometimes to perform it,” said Vollmer. “As much time as we spend here, if it wasn’t here it’d be somewhere else. We all have to work. Why not put out that little extra effort and see what kind of return it brings, because it doesn’t cost anything.”

“Commit to making customer service a top of mind concept,” said Vollmer. “Remember you’ve been knighted to make decisions, fix problems and are allowed to outwardly express ideas. You can step out on a limb and not worry about it. You are allowed to make decisions and take action as it relates to customer service. A true, genuine act of customer service has the most value, it stays with people. It makes their decision-making process easier in the future.”

Teams should pivot toward instilling confidence in members, according to Vollmer, so that they will have the self-assurance and ability to make consequential decisions for the sake of excellent customer service.

The notion of a more open managerial style, to promote creativity and success, is a growing concept among entrepreneurs and business leaders. The idea is that using the more stringent, chain-of-command style stifles creativity and ones ability to improvise and solve problems, quickly. The open managerial style is designed to promote open communication among team members, regardless of title or position, in order to create a more effective service style and to eliminate any slow-paced, closed-door environment. In the context of customer service, this style gives employees the ability to be more decisive and to serve clients effectively without the perpetual consent of superiors. 

“In my mind it resonates ultimately the type of thing John and Robert allow in their business,” said Vollmer, referring to John Hugg, President/owner, and Robert Hall, Vice President/owner. “There probably was a time that I thought there were things that I couldn’t do and decisions that I couldn’t make, but a long time ago I shifted to believe that taking action is what was needed in order for things to get done and, it turns out, that is in line with what John and Robert think. I think if people just stop and think about that for a minute, then customer service at this organization would be a whole lot easier.”