Top Mark for Two-time Tech Award Winner
Communication is key for Mark Haughton, who was named the 2023 John Deere New Zealand Construction and Forestry Technician of the Year — backing up his win from the inaugural Awards held in 2021.
The Service Technician, who is based Drummond & Etheridge's Rolleston John Deere dealership, south of Christchurch, said supporting his customers, particularly through difficult situations, is the most critical part of his job.
"It's important I make them feel like they are part of our team, and we are part of their team," Mark said.
"Involving the customer at all stages of the repair process develops trust and shows we always have their best interests in mind.
"It's important to always manage customer expectations through open and honest communication, supporting them with quality service to ensure they're back up and running in minimal time.
"That daily interaction and positive feedback from customers is the most rewarding part of the job, especially when they openly say they choose John Deere machines over the competition because of the service we provide."
A fascination with machines from a young age led Mark into an automotive apprenticeship, and eventually to a job as a Heavy Diesel Technician with John Deere.
He has worked on John Deere equipment for 12 years, with a focus on construction and forestry over the past three.
"As a kid I used to pull apart lawn mowers to see how they worked, and now I get to work on much more complex equipment," he said.
"However, while I still have the same sense of wanting to really understand how they work, I'm now focused on working through issues and achieving results for customers," he said.
"I've gained a broad range of technical and diagnostic skills from working on different equipment each day, and have benefitted from the range of tools John Deere provides to support us to do our job effectively.
"While I work remotely most of the time, I do enjoy being part of a great service team at Drummond & Etheridge. It's a nice feeling to have the Deere logo on my truck and to support quality, high-end equipment for our customers."
Mark encouraged anyone interested in a similar role to work hard and take every opportunity presented.
"Working in this role can be challenging but you are well supported and it's very rewarding," he said.
"If you're prepared to work for it, there are opportunities to progress from being an apprentice in the workshop to becoming a product specialist visiting customers out in the field.
"If you enjoy being challenged each day, learning about new technology, meeting new people, working in the great outdoors and seeing unique parts of the country, then a career as a John Deere technician is definitely for you."