Friday, February 26, 2010

New "Focus on Service" Program at

Customer service. We know its important. And we know good communication and a relationship built on trust will benefit our customers AND us. That's why as we enter 2010, the team at has a renewed focus on customer service. We have developed a "Focus on Service" program, centered around a basic philosophy about the special relationship we have with our customers.

1. Our customers need to trust us
. In this age of efficiency and computer-based relationships, we all still need to feel like there's someone there on the other side. A name. A trustworthy person.

2. Our customers need to hear from us. Expectations vary from person to person, but we have found that almost all issues can be resolved - or at least better understood - with good communication. Although we cannot promise a perfect match between performance and expectations every time, we can promise our 100% effort toward useful and timely communications.

3. Our customers are our partners
. We are so fortunate to be in an industry where the customers are... well... really cool. Almost every customer we work with is honest and just wants the right fit or a good value - they don't want to rip us off. We want to honor and serve these people, not put them through the ringer.

Based on those 3 core beliefs about our customers, we have developed a new "Focus on Service" program, where customer service is first and foremost. Program elements will continue to evolve, but currently include the following:

1. Remembering the Personal touch
: While computers, e-mail, and automation allow us to operate efficiently and offer competitive prices, we will never forget the value of the personal touch and will offer it whenever we can.

2. Easy Returns:
The returns policy at has always been pretty casual, and we want to keep it that way. It's all about trust. We will take returns with few questions asked. We will always do our best to help our customers find the right product, the right fit.

3. Price Matching on any item, any time
. Our customers have a choice of where to go to get their outdoor gear. We will do whatever we can to honor the prices they find elsewhere because we believe that a loyal customer is worth our time and money. We will appreciate every opportunity a customer gives us to do business with them. See more about our Price Matching program.

4. Continuous Improvement on Communications
: In the next 6-8 weeks, we will engage in a comprehensive evaluation of all of our customer communications - be it via phone, e-mail, or automated message. We will measure our practices against the goal of giving our customers useful and timely information. Where there's room for improvement, we will develop a solution and implement it right away. We will revisit our practices over time, as well, taking into account the changing marketplace and customer feedback.

5. Listening and Making it Right Every Time
: Each customer, each order, is unique. We will do our best to understand the needs of each customer... and then be agile, flexible and creative to serve them - one at a time.

6. Making it Public: This one is a bit tricky, as most people know that bad news travels more quickly than good. But we believe strongly that we will always give it our best, especially if we know any customer service experience can be put in public the eye. And we also have confidence that our customers appreciate our efforts and will reward us with a kind word (there's no better "feel-good" than getting kudos from someone you tried to help) in a customer review. Beginning in February 2010, will invite customers to post reviews at on and will check those reviews regularly for encouragement and points of improvement.

We hope you have already experienced some of these program elements at work. And we invite you to share your experiences and write a customer review on Of course we encourage both good customer reviews and "room for improvement" advice on the web, But we hope that you'll also Contact us directly with the latter - so we can work to fix it right away!

Many thanks to our great customers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Warm Welcome in Vermont

Thanks to the Vermont media for the warm welcome to the Green Mountain State!

Vermont Business Magazine: "E-commerce company relocates to Vermont"

Other mentions:
The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus
The Waterbury Record

We look forward to many years of business here, and of course adventures complete with the best in backpacks, boots, tents, sleeping bags, sunglasses, and more...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 retail outlet , sales trends, and website news

The team at is excited to open up in the new retail outlet at 6580 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, VT THIS FRIDAY! We have had loads of new stock coming in throughout the week and we're moving and stacking and stocking... all while helping customers around the world gear up for adventures in their own neck of the woods.

It seems the snow down south of us has cause quite a few people to think about snowshoes - our Crescent Moons, MSRs, and Redfeathers are in high demand!

On the other side of that coin are those folks who are starting to think of their spring and summer backpacking plans... this week we saw a marked uptick in sales of expedition backpacks like the Gregory Denali Pro. Backpacking/hiking boot sales are on the rise too. For those following the Vasque inventory issue, the company is still catching up on its own inventory, so we have had a hard time getting Vasque boots for customers in a timely manner. But many customers are willing to wait for their favorite Vasque boot. Vasque appreciates your patience and loyalty... and so do we!

In website news.... we continue to put new product on the site, and have recently added a section dedicated to gear for kids and families - check it out if you have a budding outdoor enthusiast or two in your family. If there's something in particular you are looking for - let us know - we may be able to get it for you and/or will add it to our site for others. And though our big 17% off sale will end tomorrow at midnight, we always offer great everyday prices and our same great "Price Match Anything" policy.

Until next time, get outside and enjoy!