Non-political "Be nice to fly shops and fly fishing companies right now" thread

Steve Saville

WFF Supporter
Good points, all. One thing to remember from both sides is that we are obviously trying to deal with something we never imagined. It's put a tremendous amount of stress on everyone. Unless you a completely isolated it creeps into every part of our lives. It's very easy to play the blame game from all sides. Kind thoughts and understanding are what is important right now. I am not usually stressed about much but I feel it creeping in daily. I fear for my wife, children, and grandchildren more than ever before. So everyone, please. Keep a cool head and think good thoughts. Make that old rod last a bit longer. Use a different one if you have it. Fish when you can. Read. Foe heavens sake, watch reruns on TV, work in the yard, tie flies. Do something to free up the stress.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
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I usually start out with something light like "Hi Evan, I was calling about the new rod but how 'bout that Antifa?"
You joke, but there's a few folks who call who actually try to go straight for the flashpoint issues like that. I don't know why someone would think that a guy who works for a fly rod company wants to talk about politically/socially controversial topics with near strangers, but it happens about once a week. "Oh you're up there in the Portland area? Well let me tell you what I think about those BLM protesters!"
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Nice post Evan. And unfortunately you're right about those who have taken the time to read your post are most certainly not your target audience.

When I was at Orvis, it always blew my mind that some people would get so worked up on warranty issues...as if I personally wronged them in some way.

I actually had ordered a new snake cage way back in Feb. and it literally just came last week, which is normally crazy....they were having a tough time sourcing some of the materials. I had initially written an email inquiring as to why it was taking so long. I didn't send it and when I went back to look at it, I couldn't believe the tone of it, so I held off and instead sent them one after receiving the cage of appreciation for all of their hard work in getting it to me during a tough time. It pays to actually take a step back sometimes.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
When I was at Orvis, it always blew my mind that some people would get so worked up on warranty issues...as if I personally wronged them in some way.
Not just that, but I get a LOT of push-back from folks on our electronic warranty process. I'm sorry, but especially right now, it's the only way we can get everyone reliably taken care of. With our volume from all sides right now, we literally don't have the time or resources to manually enter every single warranty request or hold everyone's hand through what is a pretty easy process. Usually we would, but when 1-2 people are on phones, warranty will absolutely swamp us (and does on most mondays). People go to the website, and ignore everything along the way that points them to their answers.

While I was typing this, this exact call came in. Guy got our phone number from the website, said he saw the warranty section on there, didn't care to read it.

Please everyone, if you have a warranty/repair issue, try to use online systems. We all put those up for a reason: because warranty is a HUGE resource hog on our end: both time, product and manpower. The only way we can take care of everyone is to use electronic systems. The alternative is to hire an entire staff to do only warranty, which will drive up prices of all products.

edit: one minute after i posted this, two more of this exact call came in. There's two of us on phones.

Not meaning to whine here... It all comes back to doing what you can to make someone's day a little better.
 

bpatton

Kicked
Which company are you with Evan?
I’m thinking of a new 3# and if you’re in the Portland/SW WA area I’d love to keep it local.
feel free to PM me of you don’t want to broadcast it.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Which company are you with Evan?
I’m thinking of a new 3# and if you’re in the Portland/SW WA area I’d love to keep it local.
feel free to PM me of you don’t want to broadcast it.
The answer is on the first page if you read between the lines :cool:

I won't otherwise broadcast it on here, because I'm not here representing my company. I'm here pleading for the fly fishing industry (suppliers and fly shops). It's not about me or my company.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
As somebody working logistics with overseas suppliers I feel your pain. People just don't seem to understand the trickle down effect of countries shutting down for weeks/months at a time. America is just so ready for things to be back to normal. Sorry, you can't just force it.

No way could I be customer facing. I can barely deal with our own sales folks... Anybody bitching at you deserves the wake up that your straight forward style gives them. Ironically when people would get pissy with me I'd joke that we are making backpacks and hats, not ventilators(that was pre-covid).

That said keep an eye on the bright side of things. They closed our entire office for good(some 100 employees in a small community) and I'm now in the process of training somebody in Vietnam to do my job starting July 31st. Talk about insult to injury. I know your job is stressful on the daily level, and that really wears on you. The long term stress of finding a job during record low employment just to keep the family fed isn't much fun either. Not giving you a hard time, just sharing a different perspective.

Hang tough buddy! When I really hated on my job I'd keep a monitor open just for a pic of favorite places. It helps!
 
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Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Oh for sure. I made the mention in the original thing there that the situation is small potatoes compared to what others are dealing with. But since this is a fly fishing site and we deal with folks in the fly fishing world, I figured I'd do what small part I can to help fellow industry folks whose mental health is wearing thin.

Typically, the only customers I deal with are guides, pro staffers, and fly shops. But recent situations have had me dealing with all types. We're not a direct to consumer company, but people still find reasons to call. I'd love to help more, but I'm one person with literally thousands of people needing to talk to me.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
@Evan Burck Your company is one of the best I’ve ever dealt with for customer service and standing behind their products. Hang in there. It will get better eventually, maybe, hopefully...:)
Much appreciated! Helps hearing that when you hear the opposite from so many people on a daily basis.
 

Spawnflyfish

Spawn Fly Fish
WFF Supporter
Hey all. What's awesome is everyone seems to be doing a LOT more fishing than usual this summer. What's less awesome is some of the direct and indirect ways this is affecting folks in the fly fishing industry. After a rough morning here, I figured I'd vent here a bit.

A little background: Since around mid May, demand for fly fishing gear, especially in trout sizes, went parabolic. Just unprecedented in every way. I've been in this industry for over a decade and have never seen anything like this. Good for business, absolutely. (most) Fly shops and fly fishing companies are getting by and making up for lost time after being closed. Unfortunately, many companies canceled orders for supplies back in Feb/Mar anticipating a massive slowdown. So now we're in a situation where demand is way up, and supply is way down.

I talk to dozens of folks per day on the phone and even more through email (and thank you for those of you who use email. you are super duper appreciated as phones are absolutely crazy right now... and in my case, I'm oftentimes the only one in the office since others are having to cover in shipping/warranty) and lots of folks at fly shops and other companies are running on fumes.

I spent my first hour or so today (along with my colleague who was also available to answer phones) taking call after call from people who are unhappy with the speed of service, inability to get the thing they want/need, or other such grievances. After three months straight of dealing with people who are frustrated, sometimes justified and sometimes not, a lot of folks are getting pretty burnt out. We (the collective we in this industry) are just not prepared to take on this level of customer service. We're all doing the best we can, but we're getting to where that isn't good enough, and the mental health of many is starting to take a hit. I've literally, today even, witness people breaking out in tears from frustration trying to get a handle on their workload and making a customer satisfied.

I know there's going to be responses of "suck it up your job is easy," and other such things. Lay em on me as I've heard it all a hundred times since May. But I wanted to just send the message to be nice to your local fly shop folks. And if you have a warranty with anyone in the industry, be extra kind to those folks as they have been absolutely buried, backlogged, overwhelmed, and taking a fair amount of verbal abuse on a daily basis. I've had to take on some warranty customer service lately (this is usually the time of year I'm sitting here with headphones on designing the next year's catalog.. which now looks like i won't be starting for at least a few months now), and I can tell you, it has really taken a toll on my mental health (I have diagnosed anxiety issues and other things. so sleep has been difficult on some days.. but this isn't about me)

This isn't some kind of emergency or super serious issue like other things we're seeing out there. but you have the power to make someone's day a little better in your dealings, and I'm here to encourage you to do so.

(this isn't about my company of employment in particular or anyone else. just a collective thought from three months of stress being vented between industry folks)

You're all very much appreciated and we're happy as hell for those of you who are fishing your damn asses off!
Great message! Thank you for sharing and everything you do! Also thank you everyone for the local support it’s beyond appreciated!
 

Josh

dead in the water
WFF Moderator
@Evan Burck is an awesome dude and his company does solid work. I also +1000 to supporting the fly shops/industry right now, they've had a rough year. Let's all be as patient as we can. And I say this as a guy who is kicking himself for not sending in a broken rod in January (not to Evan's company) and knows that he's got a long wait.

But let me also ECHO Evan's comments and encourage us to apply them to customer support people generally across other industries. Folks are stressed and worried and even straight-up angry right now about life and it's all too easy for them to take it out on the poor working stiff on the other end of the phone/email/livechat. I work in the tech industry, and we're seeing it as well. People stuck at home using their devices and getting mad because something-something-cant-fix-my-account etc. So they yell at our support team.

The folks on the other end of the line are just humans like you and I. They've got bills and elderly family and kids out of school and feel strongly about whatever politics they believe in and all the other things that we all worry about right now. Being a jerk to them won't make you feel better and it for sure will make them feel worse.
 

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