Forget the Word “Customer”
by UniCarriers Americas Corporation, on Jul 5, 2019 12:13:39 PM
Marengo, IL (May 22, 2018) – It’s no surprise that good customer service is key to a successful business. In just about every industry, great service gives customers a sense that you want to develop a long-term relationship, rather than just a sale. So how does a forklift dealership stand out from the competition (and even gain the attention of the President of the United States)?
Enter H&K Equipment, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based UniCarriers Americas dealership and materials handling solutions provider that seeks to set a new bar in customer service and satisfaction. With humble beginnings as a three-person shop working out of a one-car garage near Pittsburgh, H&K Equipment now leads a family of companies that employs over 200 people in eight facilities across two states. At this point, you’re probably wondering, what’s their secret?
“Forget the word ‘customer’,” says Pete Cicero, partner and part owner of H&K Equipment. “It’s about building a relationship with the people you’re doing business with and making friends along the way.”
Pete’s no stranger to the materials handling industry. With 2018 marking his 48th year in the business and 33rd with H&K, he’s learned a lot about what makes a dealer stand out from the crowd.
“Everyone is going to claim they have great customer service,” Pete said. “What makes a company thrive is consistently delivering on that claim and never faltering.”
Pete attributes the success of his business to three core values: honesty, availability, and having the right problem solving skills. He considers a rental or a sale the beginning of a partnership that lasts the entire life of the vehicle and understands the importance of maximizing the uptime of end-users.
“We have a commitment at H&K to 100% uptime, all the time.” Pete said. “Hours are like minutes in this industry and you need to have sharp technicians with the right parts ready to use at any given time.”
“And while it’s obviously important for us to have the techs and parts for the jobs, it’s critical to have a product that minimizes downtime. That’s why we sell and service UniCarriers,” he added.
It’s this attitude that caught the attention of UniCarriers Americas. Since H&K began representing the UniCarriers brand (at the time known as Nissan Forklift) in 2006, the company has gone above and beyond the bar in both sales and customer satisfaction.
In fact, the company just reached Platinum level in UniCarriers AEP Program (having joined just three years prior), has sent sales staff on Pack for the Sun for five consecutive years, and earned the coveted President’s Club Award for 2017..
For Pete, he praises UniCarriers with having a great product and for providing the right support.
“I really want to credit UniCarriers University for giving us the perfect tools to keep our service teams readily trained and help ensure we have the right parts to complete the job,” Pete said.
“It’s refreshing to be able to work with such a dealer-centric company and, having met the management team at UniCarriers, I can see their long-term commitment to really help their dealers grow.”
H&K even earned the attention of President Donald Trump, who visited the dealership in January. His trip included a tour of the facility and a speech to over 700 people, where he praised H&K as “the ideal American business” and remarked on their commitment to the local economy.
When UniCarriers Americas President James J. Radous III visited H&K’s facility to congratulate and celebrate these accomplishments, he couldn’t help but share his enthusiasm.
“We’re really proud of each and every one of our dealers dedication to the industry, but sometimes you need to stand up and applaud one,” said Radous. “H&K has really worked hard over the years to differentiate themselves from the competition and, in my mind, they really are the embodiment of ‘Never Quit’.”