When it comes to groups of hard-working people, contractors often appear toward the top of the list. Spending their days juggling job site operations and business management at the same time, these busy men and women pack task after task into every minute of their day. Consequently, it becomes a challenge to get everything done in what are considered normal business hours, and it’s not unusual for a contractor to work 50 hours a week in the shop and then a few hours each day at home staying on top of paperwork.
To address the intensity of contractors’ schedules, more and more distributors offer after hours or emergency numbers. Unfortunately, many of them are simply call centers that merely act as an answering service, with orders put off until the next day. When DSG launched its After Hours Experts in late November 2016, it took a different approach.
Instead of being your typical answering service, DSG’s After Hours Experts service acts like an extension of a customer’s local branch and its inside sales team. Customers can call 844-DSG-NITE between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak with an experienced customer support specialist. These After Hours Experts can help customers not only place an order or schedule a delivery, they can also help callers choose the right product for the job at hand. In some cases, they can even help to troubleshoot an actual job.
So, who are these experts, you ask? Read on to learn more about the DSG employee owners on the other end of your after hours phone calls.
Interests: Baseball, movies and old cars
Steve Rudell was born and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and he has spent much of his adult life in the world of HVAC/R, particularly refrigeration. In the ‘90s, he spent several years “on the road” for a contractor performing service work on coolers, freezers and other refrigeration systems. For the last 15 to 20 years, he has worked for HVAC/R distributors, including DSG (starting in 2016).
A self-described “fix-it guy,” Rudell loves solving problems. In fact, he has helped numerous customers troubleshoot issues since the After Hours Experts service kicked off. “Lucky for me, HVAC/R related issues don’t always happen during normal business hours,” Rudell jokes, “but when they do happen, they’re often critical issues like a furnace not working during the dead of winter or a cooler full of food going out. The tech can’t wait until the next day to talk to someone, and I’m happy to help.”
Rudell is also an avid learner, with degrees in both residential and commercial heating and air conditioning from Hennepin Technical College in the Twin Cities. It might not come as a surprise, then, that he’s a bit of a trivia buff. “I know a lot of random facts,” he says. “If I read something, it sticks with me.” Thankfully for DSG HVAC/R customers, he knows a lot of facts about HVAC/R too.
The combination of Steve’s experience and personality makes him a great asset to DSG customers. He understands the challenges they face on a daily basis – and knows firsthand that one of those challenges is finding the right products for the job. “A lot of customers know what type of product they need, but are unsure of the specifics,” Rudell says. “For instance, part numbers in HVAC/R can get a little complicated. We have a part number, the manufacturer has a part number, and so on. I can help clear all of that up for the customer.”
To get ahold of Steve Rudell at DSG’s After Hours Experts, call 844-374-6483 Ext. 2.
Interests: Ceramics, cycling and the Green Bay Packers
Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Mark Hustedde has worked for DSG since 2015. Starting off in the warehouse, Hustedde transitioned to become part of the team at DSG’s city desk in Plymouth, MN.
Before joining DSG, Hustedde worked for an engineering firm in Hopkins performing utility billing analysis for manufacturers across the country. He also served as an inspector for the Marquette Interchange Project, a major freeway construction project in downtown Milwaukee completed in 2008, which at the time was considered the largest construction project in state history and was noted for coming in several months ahead of schedule and significantly under budget. It was there that he fine tuned his skills in collaboration, time management and attention to detail – three things that make him a great fit as one of the DSG After Hours Experts.
“I know how challenging it can be to multitask on a job site,” says Hustedde. “Sometimes it’s easier to call in your order later when there’s not so much happening, and that’s what we’re here for – to make things easier for our customers.”
Hustedde has got a high-energy personality with a work ethic to match. Evidence of that is the fact that he has two degrees; a communications degree from the University of Minnesota and an engineering technology degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College. When you call Mark, you’ll find that he channels his energy into putting others at ease. “I want our customers to know that I’m here to do what I can to help,” he says. “If they feel confident when they hang up the phone, then I’ve done my job.”
To get ahold of Mark Hustedde at DSG’s After Hours Experts, call 844-374-6483 Ext. 1.
Interests: University of Tennessee football, Harleys and fishing
Chris Schwan is a native of Aberdeen, SD, but one moment with him on the phone, and you’ll be able to tell that he lived in Tennessee for several years. During his time in the Volunteer State, Schwan gained an abundance of what he calls “experience in people,” serving in customer service-related positions for a wide variety of industries, including computer technical support and biomedical repair. He also served in the National Guard.
Through his experience, Schwan discovered that he had an aptitude for learning on the go, which serves him well as an After Hours Expert. “Even if I don’t know an answer right away, my proficiency with computers allows me to find answers quickly,” he says. “And if I need more time, I don’t make customers wait on the phone. Instead, I’ll call them back when I’ve got what they need.”
As someone who spends nearly 40 hours a week on the phone, Schwan genuinely enjoys talking with people. “I love it when the phone rings,” he says. “I want customers to know that we’re here for them after hours and that we can do almost anything that DSG normally does before 5 p.m. I encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it.”
According to Schwan, a simple approach to customer service is oftentimes the best approach. “At DSG, I specialize in plumbing,” he says. “I also have a real knack for knowing how people want to be treated. That’s why I have a simple goal: every time a customer calls me, I want them to be glad they did.”
To get ahold of Chris Schwan at DSG’s After Hours Experts, call 844-374-6483 Ext. 3.