Get to know Joe Hagee, Parts Department Customer Service Supervisor

Service after the sale is vital to our customers. The world is not perfect, accidents happen, things break, preventative maintenance is needed. At Mazak, our customer service mission is to maximize the performance of our customers' laser-cutting machines and help to make them successful lifelong Mazak partners. With 3,562 different part numbers and over $6 million in inventory at our Elgin facility, our parts department is vital to Mazak's and our customers success. Joe Hagee has become an irreplaceable component to Mazak's parts department. He currently is the Parts Department Customer Service Supervisor at Mazak Optonics. Get to know Joe and hear more about his career at Mazak. 

Quick Q&A with Joe Hagee

What is your background involving Customer Service and Laser Technology ?

For most of my career, all my jobs have been customer service based. I have had a wide variety of experiences which have all been based around offering my skills and abilities to help the environment or people. Mazak was the first and only laser company I have worked for. I was a blank canvas and have learned so much about this industry in my time here. 

What has your career at Mazak been like?

This coming June will be 14 year here at Mazak. My opportunities here have been very enjoyable experiences. I started out working in the back of the house, in the Parts Department involving warehouse shipping and receiving. From there, I was promoted to the Warehouse Group Leader where I handled all warehouse operations including shipping and receiving and some inventory control. From there I went to the front of the house as a Customer Service Rep, team of just me. With the success and extensive growth Mazak has had, the department grew and I was moved to be the Customer Service Group Leader. This role handled all inbound parts requests. I was then shifted into the Procurement Group Leader working hand in hand with other managers regarding purchases and warranty claims.

The parts department went through some reorganization, so now I am currently the Customer Service Supervisor for the Parts Department. It has been a truly amazing experience to work with such a great group of employees that are dedicated to doing the best job possible and are always supportive. This has been a highly motivating factor for me. I look forward to the future of Mazak Optonics.

What does the Customer Service Supervisor for the Parts Department do for Mazak Customers?

Basically, we merged the Customer Service Group Leader role and the Procurement Group Leader role into the Customer Service Supervisor. Everything regarding customer parts requests goes through my department. My role is specific to urgent customer situations. I work closely with vendors on expediting and rushing not stocked items to make sure our customers get up and running as soon as possible. Communication is the most important part of my role in terms of understanding customer needs and ensuring that our vendors understand as well. 

What is your definition of great customer service?

First thing is to listen. Every customer has their own unique situation going on. It is key to understand what that situation is in order to know how you can provide them the help they require.

Next would be communication. After listening, an explanation of how you will be able to assist a customer's needs is to be provided. I feel it is important to let the customer know all the details in order to keep both parties on the same page. Having this transparent and honest communication flow makes this situation less stressful for both people involved. 

Finally is follow up. Keeping our customers informed with their particular situation is a key component. As soon as we know something, we wan them to know. We won't leave our customers in the dark. We strive to always provide this type of service to our customers and over time I believe it builds trust. Having our customers trust us is something I take very seriously.

What are you hobbies and interests? 

I love to travel. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen nearly as much as I would like it to. My wife was a real motivation for my love of travel. When we started seeing each other, she had been to more countries than I had been

 to states. But what is most important, is no matter where we go, we enjoy these new experiences. My favorite region is the Northeast, the rocky coastlines and heavy waves, you can't beat that landscape. The fact that lobster is a dime a dozen out there doesn't hurt either. It is almost like a completely different oxygen out there. 

I also love the outdoors and camping. We are old school tent campers and wouldn't change that for the world. Hiking, swimming, and sitting around the campfire at night is our ideal of a perfect life! I also love outdoor cooking so we eat pretty well on those camping trips. 

What are three things on your bucket list? 

Sky diving is first. I am a thrill seeker but it is also about making the decision to do and actually doing it. Getting over that fear factor!

In mid-May this year, I am going to be meeting with my mom and aunt out in Spain to trek part of the Camino de Santiago. This has been something my mom has always wanted to do and I am really excited to be able to experience this with her. Eventually, probably when I retire, I plan to trek all 500 miles of it.  

Last but not least, I want to travel to all 50 states. Right now I have accomplished about a quarter of the states. I love extreme terrain from beaches to mountains.