A Tightboards Revival
20 Sep, 2010
When it comes to purchasing snowboard gear every customer decides where and who they will shop from and support. During the past couple years snowboard shops hit rough times with the economy, fighting to stay alive and had to work even harder to keep customers coming back. One shop in particular became well aware of just how important customer service and how consumer feedback can be to one company. I had watched Tightboards back in the days of snowboard.com when customers would complain about their customer service, return policy and online inventory having issues but Tightboards managed to rise from the ashes and rebuild a revival before crumbling.
I caught up with Luke Dodson from Tightboards to find out what they’ve done to regain their online presence, changes to improve their customer service and online inventory and what’s in store for the future.
Shay: One of the biggest complaints that Tightboards had was the return policy and customer service. What improvements and changes has Tightboards made to improve shopping for customers?
In the past, Tightboards was managed by a 3rd party company that suffered from the downturn and chose a return policy that was not in the best interest of the customer. Tightboards worked tirelessly to get the customer service terms changed going so far as to completely sever the relationship with the 3rd party company that operated the site and created the policy in the 2008-2009 seasons. Tightboards has now transformed the customer policy to a 100% satisfaction guarantee since last season. We instated a 30 day return for your money back or an exchange policy for all merchandise that is in its original condition, and we have also stream-lined the return process and it is now easier than ever to get the refund or exchange for the exact gear you want. We also have dedicated Customer Service Reps who will work for the customer to make sure they are 100% happy.
Shay: How has Tightboards improved their online inventory so that customers have a better idea of what’s in stock or unavailable?
Tightboards now offers total real-time inventory which means…. what you see on the site is what you get. If it is up there, we have it in the warehouse ready to ship. No guessing, or waiting. In fact, if we are even close to selling out of a product it says so right on the product page.
Shay: What changes has Tightboards as a company undergone in the past year?
This economy has been tough on every industry, and Action Sports is no different. We used this year to make sure that our customers are taken care of. We started with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, Price Matching and new ‘Pro-customer’ return policy. We have also focused on building out a robust Customer Service department, and we have expanded the hours our customer service agents are available on our 1-800 line. We now offer some sort of free giveaway with almost every order, which is always rad… and have increased our inventory to include Skis, Windsurfing, BMX & fixed Gear Bikes. We have expanded our brand offerings as well and now include Burton Snowboards in our offerings. Tightboards top priority is bringing our riders a wider selection of gear at solid prices with worry-free shopping.
Shay: What steps have you taken to improve the Tightboards image since dealing with past issues?
The policies that were carried out by the previous 3rd party company under the Tightboards name were in need of overhaul, in the past year we have really shifted to ‘pro-customer’ policies and now offer the highest Customer Care possible. The best thing that we can do is prove our commitment to our customers. Offering things like the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee policy with responsible Customer Care Reps is the backbone to a good business and happy riders. We have taken every measure to ensure that these things are of the highest quality and we work hard every day to follow through on them.
Shay: What are some future plans in store for Tightboards?
There are always ideas swirling around… but most immediately we are going to continue with our ‘Pro-Customer’ foundation and start offering free giveaways…. for no good reason! Just to say ‘thanks for shopping with us’. We will do this via email, on our blog and most often through our http://www.facebook.com/Tightboards and http://twitter.com/tightboards pages. So follow us… and get free gear! We also have plans to build out the site to be more interactive with videos, chats, live feeds, mountain reports, etc. As riders ourselves we have a long-term vision, and we want to continue to give our riders reasons to shop with us.