If you contact Sentry Equipment about a request or an order, you might end up speaking with Madeline Hardin. Madeline is part of our customer service team, and she’s an important point of contact for entering orders, handling shipments and more for our customers.
Madeline Hardin joined Sentry Equipment nearly five years ago, after Business Process Architect, Rebecca Mudler recommended that she apply as a customer service representative. As soon as she started, Madeline knew she’d found the right place to continue her career.
“Sentry employees truly care about customers and the value we can provide in our jobs. We all want to understand customer needs and will go the extra mile to build relationships,” she says.
Building relationships both with customers and internal teams has it's advantages, with one of the big ones being continuous improvement. Madeline's team regularly implements process improvements, “My close relationships with my coworkers make it feel like I get to hang out with friends, while all the process improvements gets me excited for the future of the customer service department,” she says.
For example, her department recently developed new processes to improve internal relationships with sales representatives and internal customer service representative managers, which increased communication and improved satisfaction on both ends.
“I’m excited for all the automation projects our team has worked on. This has really improved our relationships with customers and increased our order entry efficiency,” she says.
Customer Service Representative
Three things she’d take on a deserted island: “My phone for Netflix, my family because they keep me laughing and on my toes, and a kayak so we can float around.”
What does she do when she’s not working? “I enjoy hanging out with my family. From going on vacations to visiting my parents, we’re always on the move and love being outdoors. I also enjoy taking cycling classes at Cyclebar.”
Could she pronounce Oconomowoc before working at Sentry? “I grew up in the town of Wales (about 10 miles south of Oconomowoc), so Oconomowoc was never difficult to pronounce.”
Focusing on customer experience
On any given day, Madeline enters orders, works on special projects and handles shipments. This includes working with internal teams to ensure custom engineered orders are correct, obtaining export licenses and vetting customers and third parties. “From international to domestic shipments, order entry, and special projects, there is never a dull moment,” she says.
The logistics of international orders can be particularly challenging due to ever-changing compliance and regulations, language barriers and the additional documentation required. However, Madeline says these challenges allow her to flex her communication skills, both internally and externally, while stretching her ability to understand customer needs to maintain speed and accuracy.
The key to successfully juggling all these tasks is being flexible. “My ultimate goal is giving the customer the best possible experience, so I try to be as flexible as possible to meet our internal and external stakeholder needs,” she says.
She learned this lesson quickly. With leadership, structure and software changes, there have been many positive advancements at Sentry Equipment that have improved the customer service department since Madeline started in 2015. For her, the biggest improvement was the amount of cross training accomplished with other departments. “It really provides our customers better service while allowing the team to have a work life balance,” she says.
Like many people, Madeline values balancing her career and her busy family life. She says Sentry Equipment provides an outstanding work-life balance, and Madeline credits her manager, Karen Jones, with successfully supporting everyone on the team in doing their jobs well.
“Management understands that individuals have lives and families that are priorities. I’m never made to feel uncomfortable about prioritizing my family. It is trusted that I will get my work done for the day,” she says.
Despite the change over the years, one thing is sure – Madeline is sticking with Sentry. “This position has shown me to be flexible to the future. I like that I have a variety of areas I work with and I am always willing to learn,” she says. “Overall, I don’t have a specific plan in mind. I just know I have no plans to leave Sentry Equipment.”
Employee-Owner Profiles is a regular feature that highlights members of our team. As an employee-owned company, Sentry Equipment believes that employee ownership makes a difference. Our employee-owners are dedicated to hard work, positive results and continual improvement and innovation to provide our customers the highest quality products and services.