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Kevin McKay

customer service?

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I have ben really struggling with companies the last few months.I take great pride in customer service and getting rich back to people when inquiring about guided trips even if I can't do it, I make sure they have a guide. 

Even outside the fishing world, I am finding customer service is sucking. I feel that companies feel that they don't need my business because things are good right now.

anyone else seeing this?

 

 

 

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Some suck, some are good, some are awesome. A couple in the awesome category- Charlie’s Nissan service department, and any Men’s Wearhouse store. Fly fishing shops anywhere seem to be on both ends of the spectrum.

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I deal with a variety of suppliers and most are very customer oriented. One even went so far as to include a hand written note with my initial order with them. Those that are slow and impersonal only get my business as a last resort. Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself. 

Ron

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LL Bean changing their open-ended return policy. What did they expect would result from their "anything goes"policy? They have always been aware of the policy's abuse- but apparently now it is seriously hurting their profits. There was an attempt to change that policy years ago. It was so vague that the CEO ordered the policy to revert to the open ended version, which now has seen its end also.

It will be interesting if it hurt future sales.

 

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I believe many companies are trying to do more with less, and attempting to balance definitive increased payroll/benefits expense against potential loss of business.  The problem with that equation is there is only one known - the expense.  As such, some make cuts which are too deep, some of those cuts are out of necessity depending upon the industry, but others just an effort to gain as much short term profit at the risk of long term viability. 

Interesting times.

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I wouldn’t assume there is only one “known”. There is likely only one know to this group, but I woukd suspect that they did a reasonable amount of data driven analysis on what many consider their #1 competitive differentiator before they did away with it. 

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customer service is very big for our store, word of mouth goes right with it. some of what we do is very expensive, buuutttt, some of what we do is a pain to do, piddly stuff, gram's left overs, not much money there but service.

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I treat every customer with courtesy and respect. Thats how I wish to be treated.

Of course there are dickheads out there , but I try to treat them the same. Occasionally one will really piss me off and I can't help but acknowledge their short comings. Usually with intimidating vigor. :)

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The best thing about going into PFFlyer store is to talk fly fishing. I do not think I ever bought anything from him. Now that’s what I call service. Free fishing advice!

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Big box does seem to be suffering with customer service. However some companies take great strides toward being there for the customer especially if things aren't right. 

I returned a knife to Buck. They fixed it quickly and returned it quickly was thrilled. Three years later the spring assist wasn't working well so I not wanting to return it again took it apart to "fix" it myself. Nope it was broke broke.. I sent it in and the fixed it good as new even though me taking it apart voided all warranties. Got it back it's great and they gave me a 25% off voucher. First class and if you read their mission statement you'll know why. 

I think many of the companies are fine and trying but there seems to be a lack of knowledgeable help and a few employees going through the motions as good help or any help is hard to find these days

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I will say, I have a bad taste in my mouth with the boating industry and hope not to have to buy a boat anytime soon

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 It's not just your big box stores that are lacking in the customer service department. We have had too many bad experiences lately with the small shops to not share.

We recently purchased a new boat and prior to this purchase spent months and months waiting for responses, photos, quotes from a particular boat manufacturer. We were preapproved with the bank for the loan and knew exactly what we wanted in a boat and were patiently waiting for photos to be sure our vision was accurately translated. And that's where we were continually disappointed. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Each time we checked in with them to see if they had photos we got the standard "we're working in it"  spiel. We we were begging them to take our money, we just wanted photos, that's It! We finally got tired of getting blown off and figured they didn't want our money and went elsewhere. 

Thankfully we found a boat, made the deal and signed on the dotted line.  The next task at hand was driving to pick it up. It was in Pennsylvania.  Thankfully we were headed to NJ for the show and it was only 2  1/2 hrs west of the show. Off we went...10 hrs later we were at the boat dealer ready to bring the boat home. But wait, of course it couldn't be that easy...No spare tire for the trailer! With a 10plus hour drive home we needed a spare. We asked if they could throw one on and their answer shocked us! They couldn't throw one on but we could purchase one! We just drive 10 hours down and will drive 10 hours home and they could throw a $90 spare on? Are you kidding me?! Then they tell us we need to get our own trailer plates, they didn't provide them. And proceeded to give us direction to a place we can go and get plates for another $85! 

Was it the $90 for the tire or $85 for the plates that irritated us, NO! It was the idea that we drove all this way and they didn't care if we had a spare or plates. They knew we were coming all the way from Maine and made zero effort to make sure we were completely covered and prepared to grab and go.  We're used to leaving the dealership with plates here in Maine so this all was a surprise....

Bottom line, they didn't care! They had our money and didn't care if we made it home safely!

Customer service is one of the most vital aspects to any business, big or small. It doesn't matter how good your product is , if you can't take care of your customers you can't assume or hope they will come back. They will eventually find someone else to give their money to!

 

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I must be lucky. Either that or I’ve learned something about dealing with Customer Service departments over the years.

I can’t remember the last bad experience I’ve had with Customer Service.

All it takes is being firm but not nasty with the people whose help you’re trying to get. That approach has worked well for me.

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Same thing goes for the travel trailer industry. More than ten years ago my friend bought a new 30 footer to tow! During the first year he had some small problems which the dealer took care of and these problems were due to shoddy workmanship. With less than 1000 miles of towing mostly highway roof leaks developed and repairs were made.The second year water heater and appliance problems and more roof leaks. Trailer was taken back and forth to the dealer over the next two years. The dealer in most cases had to get Ok from the manfacterer to fix the issues but the manufacturer did not want to make good on labor /repairs.   By year 3 my friend traded for another brand.

 

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I blame most of the issue on consumers, not the retailer. First off, most would rather save $5 on a $100 item by purchasing elsewhere or online, the value of good customer service is not appreciated and therefore not sustainable. We the consumers devalued excellent customer service by doing that, and now complain that it is going away. The focus shift to lowest initial price has also degraded both customer service and quality.

The other issue is the continued degradation of ethical and moral standards. This is one of many issues related to that. A company that provides great customer service is penalized by a lack of values in this society, IMHO. Used to be that it was embarrassing to have to return an item unless you had a very good reason to do so. In recent years the returns line is longer than the checkout line at the registers at Beans. I knew that change was coming.

  • Thanks 2

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11 hours ago, Kevin McKay said:

I will say, I have a bad taste in my mouth with the boating industry and hope not to have to buy a boat anytime soon

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:blink:

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You can call this bad customer service, but I'd call it bad salesmanship.  One thing I have learned in 30 years of being in sales is that if you want things to go smoothly, you must set expectations.  That means explaining the whole process.  I would say that you folk ran into a bad or inexperienced sales person.  $90 for a spare and another $50 to mount it was a missed opportunity.  

Now that you have the boat home I hope you enjoy the heck out of it.  

 

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Fwiw I've had rather good experiences, although mine have involved mostly seeking detailed info...so in time I was connected to the people I wanted.

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LL Bean may have changed their policy, but it wasn't them who really did the changing. I remember my uncle throwing out worn out clothing, boots and equipment, and he went through a lot of it. Saying worn out isn't a defect, but pop a stitch on a pair of boots and he was headed out the door fuming all the way to Freeport.  Think, what was wrong with the last pair of anything, you returned to LL Bean.  No doubt a big part of the problem with a lot of these other people is the same. People.

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