I have been a study of the industry for 3+ years...as far as shops are concerned....they all seem to have much work to do.
No matter what industry your in....its all about service or lack of.
I have 3 shops very close to me. One, a large retail operation of a major manufacturer.
Sooo, i go into the large operation...like a kid on Christmas morning. Wanting a new rod/reel/line and some goodies. The place is EMPTY...Manager walks by 2x dosent say a word...even though i have a $700+ rod in my hand...15 MORE minutes go by....i finally find an older lady folding womens clothes...i ask her if anyone is there to help...she looks at me with a disgusted look and says "I DONT KNOW". I leave with the well over one grand i was going to spend...take out my pocket knife...and remove there sticker from the back window of my truck.
Shop #2....Great folks. They have been around forever. They are about a 45 minute drive away. I was needing new line for a small 1wt i built. I called to place the order and to make sure i would have the line before i left for my trip..Or i would drive over...Noooo problem....2 days later...i get an email...says they are out of stock....WTH.
Shop #3 Also very nice folks...order a small packable rod/back-up and reel for my overnight trips. They said no problem, you will have it in a week.....cool....A week and a half goes by, so i stop by the shop. The gentlemen i talked to had no idea about the order...and the dude i ordered the rod was was guiding. I leave him a message to call me. No calls. Another week goes by...i stop back in on the way to work.....THEY LOST MY # TWICE....REALLY!!!! Ohhhhh but they have the rod but not the reel.....took 35 days.
The industry has a long way to go as far as service. In my 12+ years of fly fishing i have NEVER been WOWED by service. My bank has done it, car dealership and even my insurance company.
Keep in mind, service isnt about inventory...helping with fly selection....etc...etc...That should be a constant. Its about going above and beyond!!
Although i was happy with my selections....I have never felt appreciated for my business.......
Keep in mind....I am low maintenance...i have even helped them with fly selection....etc. Model customer as i am told.....ya right!!!!!
I have always gone out of my way to support my local shops...i admit...i am a gear junkie...I now do my shopping on the internet!!
Wheeeew....sorry bout the rant guys/gals....I will start a happy thread!!