Thursday, September 11, 2014
What exactly is ETHOS???????????
Seems to be the word heard a ton lately; it means the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations....
I am huge bicycle shop evangelist, and over the past two years since my bicycle ride from Indiana to Florida I have sunk into the art of customer service from a customer stand point...Not from what I have dished out over the years, but what I received from a bicycle shop.. I started looking into shops, reviews, basically the grit of what makes a bike shop flourish and stand out among the mega stores, on-line purchases, E-bay and Craigslist.
Every shop I looked into all carried the same key principles of ETHOS---
I Have Walked The Talk
Basically shops are delivering top service to patrons on all different levels but the core remains the same--putting people before the dollar.....
We read reviews, see the 5 stars, see the positive feedback from staff, owner or weekend college help..
Bike shops are gaining speed, people want more one on one attention, they want to feel the passion of the store, the feel of the store, the smell and scent of the store....
The record players playing albums, yes albums.....Coffee, a beer and a good weekend day ride around the community on a bike...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
"Simple, sustainable bicycle transportation multiplies an individual's efficiency. Compared to walking, bikes improve access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. They increase carrying capacity and accessible travel distance while decreasing the time it takes to commute to schools, clinics and markets."
Friday, September 5, 2014
So I was up at my local bicycle shop--the ones who got me to Florida in 150 days having not been on a bike in 25 years--I stopped in to see what my chances are to do a triathlon in 11 months from today.
They looked at me and said "Jim, you are 43--bad knees, short and stocky--however with guidance and a the will to train you can do it, just not in record shattering time."
Now I feel they are honest with me, so honest that two days later after I stopped in an chatted the bike mechanic--EINSTEIN as I see him called me and said they had a triathlon book I could use and look over; to get a feel for what was ahead of me. If I chose to take on this challenge.
This is the customer service that bike shops have--they always seem to go out of their way to track me down and offer more assistance, more knowledge, more wisdom on the sport of cycling.
Here is a review of a bike shop--triathlon right in the thick of network.
"I bought my first bike here (Giant,) and I've been riding the weekly group rides around San Diego for about two months now: Awesome stuff, just joined the Tri-team and competed in my first Triathlon in Mission Bay. I recommend the bike-fit package they offer, my bike-fit has been virtually perfect. Good stuff! Mechanics are spot on, Team provides lot's of support to riders. Pretty good program."---Philip H. via Google review on Moment Cycle Sport. San Diego, CA.
We can learn a ton from a small business like a bike shop--connecting with community on different levels; entry, mid, advanced and pro---they are finding a niche for all levels, even the commuters as well.
Thinking about doing a TRI?????--stop by your shop and get a feel, meet new people and make lasting friends like I and millions of others have.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
It is very hard to convince a person to buy a new dishwasher and a new dryer when they don't have a broken one....
However when a customer has a broken disposal it is very easy to recommend an item based on the salespersons recommendation.
I will use this as a case in point--my disposal broke--yes the most needed item in the house next to a washer, went out on Memorial Day weekend...
Lucky for me I live 45 seconds from a Home Depot--more like 5, but it is close.
I headed right up there with the model number and name of the manufacturer and proceeded back to the department--upon my pacing back and forth a sales rep confronted me with a smile and a warm handshake--BAM!--first indication he cares.
2nd -- he asked "What are you looking for?"
I replied a new disposal--with that he said --"How long did the old one last?"
6 years I replied...... 6YEARS!!!!--he stated, that is great.
3rd--lets go and look at the same manufacturer and see what we have---
Sure enough they had the same model and same manufacturer..
$85 dollars---he said that is a great investment with little cost to you---What do you mean I stated, knowing what he was going to say--but this Home Depot chap new his stuff, he was in the people first business....
He said I can sell you a $150 dollar one, I can sell you a $200 dollar one--but for $85 and lasting 6 years, you don't need a high end item--you are happy with the price and happy with the years of service, so he exclaimed WHY UPGRADE????
He was totally correct with this transaction--he put me first and my wallet second and put Home Depot 3rd..
I can name almost every single employee at my local store, I have spent a vast amount of money in the 7 years I have lived this close--every single time this is how they treat me---even on day one, the customer service has never defaulted to a lesser experience.
HD sales are up for me because I enjoy the people--if the staff stayed and the name changed I would still continue to shop there.
The same goes with my local bicycle shop---they put me first, wallet second, service 3rd and the shop way back at the end--LEADERS eat last atmosphere....
"Bike World has a helpful, knowledgeable service staff and a low-pressure sales environment." Google Review of Bike World---Paducah, KY.
I love bicycle shops---the small business feeling that comes with a passion and a ZAP of energy that can be felt from the moment you walk in, to the moment you walk out--- then it repeats upon the next visit....Just like my local hardware store......Staff putting people first.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Why do customers go back to the same grocery store?
Why do customers go back to the same bank?
Why do customers return to the same barber?
Why do customers return to the same burger joint?
Why do customers return to the same pizza place?
Now the flip side--
Why don't customers go back?
Why don't they return?
Why don't they purchase again?
My thought is, it all boils down to one item and one item only---do they [business] put "People First"??????
When we as the business put others first and our needs second, we win in the long run--
I worked at a million dollar convenient store in Cincinnati for six years while in high school and college--Earl, the owner would say if a customer is less than a dollar short, allow them the purchase.
$1 is not much--but if 50 customers a day would do that, it equals 50 bucks....Moreover, was the thought that 99% of all the customer shopping there were returning customers. Yes, some I had never seen before--not much though. The store was surrounded by 1000 homes---1000 homes, two parents and minimum of three children. Soft-serve ice-cream, ICEES, frozen pizza, charcoal, beer, chips, baby food, diapers, fresh veggies and fruits all were flying off the shelves.
Cincinnati is a hilly town, cold winters and sometimes harsh winter storms.
Earls philosophy was if the store is open, then in bad weather, power outages, we will remain open with a flash light and good old fashion math....
Earl taught me and the other young men over the years that putting customers first is and always will be how you create and maintain a business. If it flips, you will loose.
Bike shops are the same key as the convenient store---thousands upon thousands of bike shops are living, breathing on the notion of giving patrons so much more than just a sale....
"Cant say enough about the customer service. They are very friendly and go out of their way to make the buying process great"---M. Hart via Google review on Performance Bicycle--Tampa, FL.
"Staff is very helpful knowledgeable and really want to earn your business. I have purchased several bikes from them and they provided exceptional service".---Pablo R. via Google review Flying Fish Bikes -- Tampa, FL.
"Fast service, excellent quality, extremely affordable. Too bad the rest of the world can't operate with the same standards."--Google user via Google review via Joe Haskins Bicycle Shop. Tampa, FL.
For the record--I was watching Sports Center and they wee talking about the Tampa area--so I chose to choose a few bicycle shops from that are to read up on the reviews....Very impressive reviews on all the shops in that area--but only have space for three today.
I love my bicycle shop here in Indiana, I spoke on this numerous times---not having a clue about cycling and wanting to go from Indiana to Orlando in less than 150 days was a huge task to take on--however, the bond and attachment I felt with the folks working there is off the charts....They built me up from nothing to something on good old fashion customer service.......excellent service is NOT hard to find these days, it is still alive and well.
Bicycle shop--stop by yours these week---Christmas is getting close and tell Santa a bike from a shop will come with superior customer service......YOU will get a excellent return on investment, trust me and the millions of others who adore their shop and their friends.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
I visited my first bicycle shop in over 30 years back in 2012--2014, I am still a part of the family.
The moment I walked in I felt the thriving atmosphere, the environment and notion the shop welcomed new customers with open arms...
The repetition was over and over--every time I walk in they say "Hello Jim"---no matter the day, the time....If I am with my daughter they ask her how school is, horse riding, mountain biking and of course they are completely vested in my family, which is the same with others..
"You won't find a better local Cincinnati Bike shop than Jim's. Guess who the general manager is . . . .JIM!! Guess who the local expert is . . . . JIM!! There isn't a better local bicycle dealer than Jim's, love their product, their service, and the follow up after the sale. Once you become a customer of Jim's, you're treated as a family member. I highly recommend you purchase your next bike, or have your current bike serviced, at Jim's." Review of Jims Bicycle Shop---Cincinnati, Ohio
For the record, I grew up in Cincinnati and yes my first bicycle was purchased in that city--but it was not a Jims....But I was looking for a great review about family and Jim is my name so I chose this one...
This review is the key to a business, on of many points that small businesses thrive on..
Bicycle shops are creating a family within a family...
On your next purchase consider stopping at a bike shop first---you WILL see and feel the passion.
As the picture states--ALL love bikes; mountain bike, road bike, cruiser, TT, cycle-cross---it does not matter. Bicycle shops have staff with a wide range of knowledge---but they thrive on BIKES.....Willing to share it with us the customer.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
When I first decided I would ride a bicycle from Indiana to Florida, I had too take into consideration I could not do it on my own.
I had to seek out the pros--I had to get a glimpse into the needs of cycling, I must head up to my local bicycle shop...
When I headed in, the staff jumped up and headed over to welcome me to the shop--they offered a sturdy handshake and welcomed me, it was so engaging, so welcoming.
"Brought in my (flat) front tire to have the tube replaced. One customer was being helped already but the other guy in the shop immediately stopped what he was working on and assisted me. He replaced the tube & inner cloth out on the spot in just about 5 minutes. It literally took me more time to find parking than to get the repair done. Awesome service I will definitely be back for any of my future bicycle needs."--Jeffrey T.via Google review of Mike The Bike Guy--New Orleans, LA.
One swift, complete interaction can give a whole new perspective on any business--bicycle shops deliver.