Apr 4, 2012

GFS - Specialty Customer Service at Every Level

The guy I work for, Travis Duddles, owner of The Gorge Fly Shop, has had a pretty solid recipe over the years:

In a large sauce pan you mix:

- Passion
- Knowledge
- Fly Gear
- Desire to place the needs of the customer first

Place in oven. Bake on low heat for 20 years.

Back row from left: Dan Gordon, John Garrett, Greg Darling
Front row from left: Steve Johnson, Travis & Lyndsey Duddles

There’s nothing really novel about this approach. This isn’t some breaking NASA-inspired concept. Nevertheless, it should be hardly surprising that what is cooking here actually works for both the shop and each, individual customer. It works.

Out of all the ingredients, the one that seemingly needs the closest attention is the fourth one. Yup, we all know it as Customer Service. It takes a certain flavor, a good attitude if you will – a desire to help the customer to achieve their goals or even to help them realize what they actually are. This can be a tricky one and success here teeters on the ability to listen carefully and emphatically. The listener must fight the urge to stray from this course- to add items or plant ideas that may never jive with a particular customer.

So you’ve got questions? Great, let’s hear them.

-So your wading boots are aging and your laces are busted? Sure, we’ll get you some laces. We’ve got some great boots but it sounds like yours still have some quality life left.

-You’ve got this new fly rod that a shop gave you a deal on but you can’t seem to cast it. Well it might not be the rod… let’s first talk about what type of line you have on it.

-So you’re a fair- weather trout angler that gets on the water maybe 4-5 times a year. You’re wondering what type of fly rod might work out for creek-sized waters? Ok, sure we’ve got some options here…

The point here is that anyone can sell you product because they have it to sell. The real question is whether the product you buy is right for you.

Sitting on the banks of The Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon, The Gorge Fly Shop has always been and will continue to be a specialty fly shop run by a tight-knit “family style” staff. Walk-ins are immediately comforted by the friendly, knowledgeable atmosphere. The shop is a place for learning and sharing alike. When it comes to fly gear, we have many different options to help you on your next chapter.

Over the past couple of years the shop has experienced quality growth as a result of more internet and phone commerce. We are very appreciative of this growing presence on-line and we want to thank you all for your business. The convenience of shopping on-line, especially when local, specialty shops are unavailable, cannot be understated. We want you to know that we are proud to offer you this specialty service on every level - essentially providing you with that in-shop feel even while shopping on-line or over the phone. Whether home is right up the street or halfway around the globe, there should never be a shortage of this most important ingredient!

We would love to hear your story, after-all, no two are exactly the same! Please rest assured that when you contact us, it is your story that has our attention. When you spend your cash, you should have the guarantee that the items that you buy are items that you actually need - that the pieces fit!

On behalf of all of us here at the shop, thank you for your continued support!

-GFS Staff

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