NEW ZEALAND 2021 John Deere Parts Technician of the Year, Cass Brown, credits her success working in the machinery service industry to a genuine interest in agriculture, construction and forestry equipment coupled with a natural knack for customer service.
As a Parts Technician, Ms Brown's role demands a robust knowledge of a range of John Deere machinery, and a thorough understanding of back-up support services so she can preemptively and proactively ensure required parts are in stock and reaching customers as swiftly as possible.
She completed on-the-job training through the John Deere University and was well supported by her colleagues who were more than willing to take her under their wing.
Soon, Ms Brown became fascinated by the technology driving the machines and would spend her spare time researching equipment and watching explanatory YouTube videos. She also made the most of the knowledge of those around her and spoke extensively with technicians in the workshop who could explain each part's function.
"I quickly realised when a customer calls asking for a part, they are expecting me to know exactly what they mean," she said.
"When I first started I spent a lot of time putting the orders away so I learnt what the parts looked like and where they went. I have always had a memory that has made recalling small details quite easy for me, and that has certainly helped in this role."
Another trait that has helped propel Ms Brown's career has been her ability to build a rapport and create easy conversation with customers, a skill she said she honed when working in the butchery industry.
"I am a people person, and a people pleaser and have always loved working in retail for that reason," she said.
"I have built relationships with our customers and make sure they always leave the dealership, or end the phone call, with a smile."