Buckman’s Ski & Snowboard Shops – leading retailer of top brand names like Salomon, K2 Skis, K2 Snowboards, Ride Snowboards, Spyder, Marmot, Orage, Kjus, Volkl, Tecnica, Oakley, and Burton Snowboards – was recently awarded as the SnowSports Retailer of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic region by Snowsports Industries America (SIA).
According to the SIA website, the US SnowSports Retailer of the Year Award is based upon a shop’s contribution to the growth of the snow sports industry, its promotional and marketing techniques and its success in the ski, snowboard, tele, cross-country and/or snowshoe marketplace.
This national recognition comes on the heels of a strong ‘07-‘08 winter season for Buckman’s and brings to the forefront the dedication and focus that the company has always placed on superior customer service since its inception.
According to Jeff Buckman, President and owner, Buckman’s has been family owned and operated since 1971 and has made customer service its focus from the beginning. “Many companies say that they are concerned about customer service, but at Buckman’s we make customer service part of what we are made of. What really allows us to deliver ‘service second to none’ is the fact that we retain talented year-around staff in a seasonal business.
“In the summer our staff stays on and services our summer business, packaging and distributing swimming-pool chemicals. All of our employees are highly trained in both seasonal businesses and some have been with us for over twenty years! Experience makes the difference!
“Customer service is a desire that starts at the top at Buckman’s and works its way down to everyone working for the company. Customers come to us looking for advice and help. We are not a supermarket where you have to serve yourself; customers need to know what makes one piece of equipment or clothing different from another. Training, desire and a staff that wants to satisfy each customer are the foundations that we have built our company on.”
Buckman’s has five retail ski and snowboard shops in the greater Philadelphia region in addition to its online shop at www.Buckmans.com. Buckman’s staff takes pride in providing each customer with the same dedicated service whether they walk into a retail store or login to the website.
“We believe our customer service is what separates us from our competitors and adds that extra value that online shoppers are looking for,” said Matt Gahman, Buckman’s website manager.
“We know our customers are watching every penny, especially in light of what’s happening with our economy. It makes a difference when you can tell a customer ‘I’ve skied that pair of K2 or Volkl skis you are considering and they’re a good buy’ or when you can tell them ‘I have that Spyder jacket or those Marmot gloves, you won’t be disappointed!’ Websites that ship out of a warehouse can’t say that. We ship right out of our stores so when we tell you that a snowboard jacket is insulated and waterproof, we can say it honestly because we use what we sell and can actually walk over to the rack and pick it up while we are talking to you on the phone.”
A company’s response to mistakes also sets it apart from the competition. “Obviously we try to avoid shipping or inventory mistakes,” Gahman said. “But when they do happen, it’s just another opportunity for us to show the customer that we care about them and give them the service they deserve. There have been times when we’ve actually driven a botched online order to the customer’s home so they’d have it in time for a trip.
“Another time one of our managers drove to another state to buy a snowboard for a customer and then shipped it overnight to them. We lost money on that order but we gained a customer for life!”
With dedication to superior customer service like that, the folks at Buckman’s can look forward to many more awards and strong winter seasons.