Where is customer service winning you over?

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Where is customer service winning you over?

Arizona Hiking Shack - Phoenix
5
12%
Aspen Sports - Flagstaff
0
No votes
Babbit's Backcountry - Flagstaff
0
No votes
Four Seasons - Flagstaff
2
5%
Green Valley Bike & Hike
0
No votes
Hike, Bike & Run - Payson
0
No votes
Hike Shack - Prescott
1
2%
Mountain Sports Downtown - Flagstaff
0
No votes
Peace Surplus - Flagstaff
1
2%
Summit Hut - Tucson
3
7%
The Hike House - Sedona
0
No votes
Big 5 Sporting Goods
0
No votes
Bass Pro
2
5%
Cabelas
1
2%
Campmor
1
2%
Dicks
0
No votes
Moosejaw
0
No votes
Mountain Gear
1
2%
Patagonia
0
No votes
REI
16
37%
Sierra Trading Post
2
5%
Sportsman Warehouse
3
7%
Undecided
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
Backcountry
5
12%
Canyon Outfitters - Sedona
0
No votes
Sports Chalet
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 43

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azbackpackr
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 30 2011 8:17 am

Outdoor supply stores are in competition for customers. Where is customer service winning you over?

REI, Summit Hut, Campmore, Babbit's, Aspen Sports, Four Seasons, Peace Surplus, etc..

You never lose 1 customer at a time in my book!

Notice from the webmaster Courtesy is one of the few policies on site. In that spirit do not post a negative experience unless you have contacted management in good faith and your issue has not been resolved.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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fotogirl53
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by fotogirl53 » Jan 30 2011 4:44 pm

I had a negative experience at Peace and now refuse to shop there. It was on a Sunday afternoon, and 3 salespeople were on the floor. One was helping another customer. Despite my going up to the counter to get help with new boots, the other 2 were so busy discussing parties and friends that I could not even get their attention. I ended up walking out--there went a $100 sale. Thinking that the owner might want to know how his staff behaves when he isn't around, I called him. He chose to believe his staff over me when he called me back. They told him they all were with customers! He did send me a little gift certificate, but I chose to tear it up and haven't been in the store since. I hate to say in, but I suspect some age discrimination at that store. I save up my shopping list and head to REI!
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Tough_Boots
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by Tough_Boots » Jan 30 2011 5:15 pm

I've ventured into all those outfitter places in downtown Flagstaff and they always seem pretty lame. I always return to REI because they're always really nice and willing to answer my questions. Plus, when they're a little more expensive I remember how much I love my dividend.
azbackpackr wrote:You never, ever lose one customer at a time.
Its true. I've worked retail for a long time. Customers are way more likely to talk about a bad experience than a good one.
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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maxpower
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by maxpower » Jan 30 2011 5:34 pm

I've bought several things at The Hike Shop here in Prescott. They can be a bit pricey on some items, but if possible, I like to keep my money in the community. Plus the shop is run by Dave Ganci, a climbing legend in Grand Canyon....he being the first, along with Rick Tidrick to summit Zoroaster Temple, which BTW just happens to be in my avatar!

:worthy:

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joebartels
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by joebartels » Jan 30 2011 5:38 pm

@Tough_Boots yep, stats figure 20 to 1 then 10 to that 1 that simply just take their business elsewhere

I've had bad experiences at REI, I've had good ones too... generally I'm more influenced by the fact that REI carries what I seek.

@maxpower Jim L went ABOVE and beyond to support that local business. Like a friggen hour later for a twenty dollar purchase I was about ready to slap somebody. I couldn't decide between Dave or Jim :--:
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azbackpackr
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 30 2011 6:03 pm

When people in Flag go on and on about supporting local business, they ought to ask themselves why should we? For example, I have asked at least 20 people here if there is an honest or reasonable auto mechanic shop in town, and have so far been told, "no, not really." That is ok, because I can drive over to Springerville for some of my car's maintenance, and they will appreciate the business, yet not rip me off. Jiffy Lube already tried to rip me off once. Getting my oil refilled they said my radiator fluid was low and wanted 5 bucks to top it off. I told them no. I went home and opened it up and sure enough, it was full all the way to the rim, and the car was barely warm!

My daughter has found this town's mechanics all try to rip her off big time. She finally found a backyard mechanic to work on her VW. Also, she would sometimes bring it to Springerville, where we know several honest mechanics.

I am starting to sound like Jim_H. Jim, where are you? ;)
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Jim_H
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by Jim_H » Jan 30 2011 7:35 pm

To talk about positives with the Flag retailers, I have found that Babitt was very helpful with my pack stove and sent it back to MSR for me, and I found Peace employees to be helpful. I think it is Aspen on Phoenix, they were also friendly and helpful. However, on the negative side, Babitt has small store and a limited backpack selection, and while shopping for one 3 years ago no one came to help me after 20 minutes, so I left. Peace is also small and has a selection of things which seem to cater to tourists looking to buy trendy out door appearing clothes, and Aspen is just way too small to be useful. I shop at REI because I am a member, but buy quick things locally, usually at Peace because of their location.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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JimmyLyding
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 30 2011 7:44 pm

joe bartels wrote:@Tough_Boots yep, stats figure 20 to 1 then 10 to that 1 that simply just take their business elsewhere

I've had bad experiences at REI, I've had good ones too... generally I'm more influenced by the fact that REI carries what I seek.

@maxpower Jim L went ABOVE and beyond to support that local business. Like a friggen hour later for a twenty dollar purchase I was about ready to slap somebody. I couldn't decide between Dave or Jim :--:
That was annoying. However, that insulated water bottle rocks!

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azbackpackr
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Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 30 2011 8:02 pm

I tried on several overnight packs at Aspen a couple years ago, made a big mess all over with stuffing and sand bags. No one waited on me after 30 minutes. I was wearing old hiking clothing, not new trendy duds. I went home and ordered the same pack online, for quite a bit less. Another time went there, had good service to buy Swix for my skis.

Babbitt's could have trained their help more, when I asked for a certain snack bar, the kid at the cash register said, "YUCK! NO! We don't carry those any more!"

Peace's clerk was helpful when I bought Xmas gifts.

You know another thing is weird is that it seems these places are not keeping up with the trends. I think an independently-owned business could have a corner where they sell all the cottage industry super ultralight stuff. Z-packs and ULA's and alcohol stoves and bivies and tarps and hammocks and all that neat clothing that folds up to the size of a hanky. Instead they have all these tanks, these giant heavy Osprey packs that weigh in at 4 or 5 pounds, empty. Maybe a few 3 pound ones, but that is not the direction I want to head as far as updating my gear.
Last edited by azbackpackr on Jan 31 2011 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Jim_H
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by Jim_H » Jan 30 2011 8:38 pm

I think the overhead is high enough that they want to play it safe with stuff that they believe will move fast. It is hard to retail when stuff costs a lot and doesn't move. On line shpping is the best for that.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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joebartels
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by joebartels » Jan 30 2011 8:50 pm

Yep people like cheap junk and I'm sure the margin is more in the stores favor too. Keep in mind that the majority of buyers probably barely use the stuff. It likely suits their needs too since it's a one or two time use item then into the garage... five years later... garage sale
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 30 2011 9:36 pm

Turning over inventory is far more important for a retail store than the margin on an individual item.

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joebartels
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by joebartels » Jan 30 2011 9:40 pm

we do live in a world ruled by quantity
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 30 2011 9:48 pm

Since the Great Recession started I've noticed how many businesses feature not only exemplary customer service, but concerted attempts to up-sell. Even employees at fast food restaurants are likely to be bizarrely helpful even if they're pushing the favored-corporate-item-of-the-day on you. You can build a customer-for-life, but it only takes a second to lose one.

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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jan 30 2011 9:56 pm

A few years ago an older gentleman dressed in a dirty very will used pair of bib overalls parked his beat up old pickup truck in a Portland banks parking garage and after conducting his business at the bank forgot to get his parking ticket validated. When he returned to the bank and asked for his parking ticket to be validated the teller refused. He then asked to talk to the on duty manager who also refused to validate his parking ticket.

The man, a buyer and fixer upper of older low income homes then closed his account of approximately one million dollars and walked across the street to a competing bank and opened up a new account.

True story...
Last edited by SuperstitionGuy on Jan 30 2011 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jim_H
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by Jim_H » Jan 30 2011 9:58 pm

That's only 1 million, not many millions.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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maxpower
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by maxpower » Jan 30 2011 10:08 pm

joe bartels wrote:Jim L went ABOVE and beyond to support that local business. Like a friggen hour later for a twenty dollar purchase I was about ready to slap somebody. I couldn't decide between Dave or Jim :--:
Hah! Next time go next door into Coyote Joe's for a coupla beers and it won't seem like an hour. :sl:

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joebartels
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by joebartels » Jan 30 2011 10:40 pm

Jim Lyding wrote:Turning over inventory is far more important for a retail store than the margin on an individual item.
what are the chances I'm reading about manufacturing an hour later on the AP
AP wrote:The industry's fortunes are brightening enough that U.S. factories are finally adding jobs after years of shrinking their payrolls. Not a lot. But even a slight increase shows manufacturers are growing more confident. They added 136,000 workers last year - the first net increase since 1997.
What's changed is that U.S. manufacturers have abandoned products with thin profit margins, like consumer electronics, toys and shoes. They've ceded that sector to China, Indonesia and other emerging nations with low labor costs.
I know it's not directly related, just thought it was ironic
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azbackpackr
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 31 2011 5:22 am

SuperstitionGuy wrote:A few years ago an older gentleman dressed in a dirty very will used pair of bib overalls parked his beat up old pickup truck in a Portland banks parking garage and after conducting his business at the bank forgot to get his parking ticket validated. When he returned to the bank and asked for his parking ticket to be validated the teller refused. He then asked to talk to the on duty manager who also refused to validate his parking ticket.

The man, a buyer and fixer upper of older low income homes then closed his account of approximately one million dollars and walked across the street to a competing bank and opened up a new account.

True story...
My 88-year-old father-in-law had probably around $100,000 at Wells Fargo, and regular pensions and Social Security. He had all this direct deposit stuff going on, etc. He got an account at Bank of the West in Eagar when we moved there. (It may have had a different name back then.) Wells Fargo closed their branch in Springerville, and he thought he'd get everything into one bank. There was a ton of paperwork which totally confused him (and me). Bank of the West told him they wouldn't help him with the paperwork. I had a friend working at National Bank of Arizona. I asked her about it. She said that other bank was nutty, to tell him to come to her bank, they would fall all over themselves to help him for 100 grand. So, he took his money and went to that bank.

Customer service is important, but they should also keep up with what the regular internet prices are. I was talking to my hiking pal yesterday. She said she WILL support Flag outdoor stores and scuba shops if the price is maybe $10 more than REI. But not if it is $60 more, as she said she would have had to pay for a wetsuit that cost $50 online, and $110 in the local store.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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CannondaleKid
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Re: Where is customer service winning you over?

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 31 2011 9:44 am

I'll willing pay more for better quality and/or service but wherever I buy they must be competitive. That said, my experiences with REI in Tempe have not fit those parameters.

Yes, they may have quality stuff and they may have helpful folks, but when they don't have my size due to a small inventory it just means another wasted trip. That's quite different than the REI stores in Minnesota where they had plenty of inventory. I'll admit part of that may be due to the economy but that doesn't help me any. Sure I can buy online, but I haven't seen the value of it. Whether I buy from REI locally or online the dividend is nowhere near enough to justify the higher prices, and the few times something I could use was on sale the loss of the dividend on them made it a wash.

I've resorted to only two stores locally, Sportsman's Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. Between the two I've found the sizes I needed at reasonable prices. In my experience, at the Sportsman's Warehouse on Greenfield south of the 60 are the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable salespeople I've dealt with in years. Of course it helps to make friends with them by stopping by when in the neighborhood for a quick chat them even when not buying anything. The result of doing so means I've had calls from them when something I might be interested in comes in.

So, while ideally we should receive great service from everyone, I don't hold my breath waiting for it, I cultivate it. But I don't leave it at that, I research thoroughly so in most cases when I walk into a store (whether hiking stuff, groceries or anything else) I know what I want, I get it and get out. No, I am not a customer most places love because I am almost NEVER an impulse buyer.

My latest buying online has been through Backcountry.com and Shoebuy.com where pricing was great for what I needed and the free shipping just made it that much better.
CannondaleKid

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