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Meet Darren Ondik
"Our customers work with us because they know we look after them. It's not just about a product, it's also about the service they get long after the fact."
One Big Reason
For Darren and his customers, it's all about mutual understanding.
After being with SMS Equipment for 23 years — the last five in his current role as a Product Support Representative — Darren Ondik pushes to do better for one vital reason.
"I enjoy interacting with them, working alongside them, and building that rapport," he says. His track record backs that up — a recent letter from a pleased customer mentions how Darren and his parts team give them the confidence to keep their fleet working when they need it.
Up the Uptime
"I like to call that uptime," says Darren. "Downtime sounds negative — for us, it's always uptime. When the machine is up and running, our customer makes money."
Darren's focus is making the customer more successful. "We tailor our solutions for our customers' goals and service their machines efficiently, so they're not down as long. That's uptime!"
Build on a Strong Base
To Darren, the best customer relationship is built on trust and communication.
"Trust is super important because our customers depend on our equipment and services," he says. "When they trust our sales and service team, they feel confident making informed decisions and investing in top-notch equipment."
In fact, Darren believes his unique strength is gaining customer trust.
"I've gone out to customers who haven't dealt with SMS Equipment before, and I engage them to purchase other products from us," he says. "Things they need to grow their business — which grows ours too."
Communication is also crucial to understanding what customers need and expect. Darren works to actively listen, sort out any worries they might have, and update them on their equipment's maintenance and repairs as soon as possible.
Internally, open communication is just as important.
"I try to learn from my peers who have been doing it longer than I have," says Darren. "I ask them questions, because one person can't know everything. We lean on each other."
Teach for the Future
Darren also considers himself an educator for customers: "We're more than Komatsu! Sometimes, our customers don't realize that. We let them know we can get them after-market undercarriage. We can look after their filter business, tooth systems... there's so much we can do for them."
One major standout is SMS Equipment's self-warranties. "We can provide specialized warranty options," says Darren. "We can go to them and say, 'What warranty works best for you?'"
For his next chapter at SMS Equipment, Darren is excited to take on a new responsibility —handling strategic accounts. It's another way to focus more on the customer, because as Darren says, "If we don't have customers, the world doesn't need people like us!"