Pushing things forward behind the scenes
Like most young men growing up in Alabama, I always had a fascination with fast cars and the mechanics behind them. Naturally, I grew up wrenching on cars, and that parlayed into my career at Springer Equipment Company (Birmingham, AL). I started out at the bottom rung of the ladder, apprenticing in the service department while I learned the basics of working on material handling equipment. Eventually, I worked my way out of the service department and into a product support position.
A Little Bit of Sales, A Little Bit of Service
For the last five years, I’ve been Springer’s product support coordinator. That means I support our service department and sales staff with whatever needs to be done. For instance, if a customer needs help with a product application, I’ll accompany the salesperson to the location and provide technical support. Oftentimes service technicians are better at fixing than they are at talking, so I’ll help them out with the customer service end of repairs. If a technician quotes a repair, I may be the one following up with the customer and closing the deal. It all comes down to teamwork; I’m not the main contact with customers, but I’m there behind the scenes pushing things forward. I’ll even do some basic customer service, like tracking down parts or whatever else it takes to get the job done.
Breaking from the Norm
As a younger person in this industry, I feel it’s my responsibility to break preconceived notions about my generation. Some of the older folks in the industry seem to think our generation lacks the character and the integrity of their’s, so I make it a point to always be a straight shooter. I don’t tell customers what they want to hear, I tell them facts. I find that by being honest, they appreciate me much more—even if what I’m telling them isn’t what they want to hear. I just try to be fair and do my job to the best of my ability. I feel this has been one of the biggest keys to my success.
However, I would be remiss to only credit myself for my success. Springer Equipment is a family-owned company, and that’s reflected in its culture. I know it’s a cliché, but our company really is one big family. Any success I have can be attributed to the strength of our company. There’s no way I could do any of this without the support of the folks here at Springer. It’s this kind of support that is going to make the company a leader not only in Alabama, but throughout the Southeast.
|Meet the Author
Brent Watkins is the product support coordinator at Springer Equipment Company, located in Birmingham, AL, and on the Web at www.springerequip.com.