Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The ultimate reward for any business is the words "I'll Be Back"---then they do stroll back in with enthusiasm.
The catch is the business has to give the same performance over again--it can't be a one time deal.
You ever go back to a vacation spot for the second time and it just is not as fun as the first time--same idea. As a business we have got to give an encore every single time--we have GOT to be on our toes 24/7, not 16/5---we have to deliver every single time. No Exceptions!
Customers have a choice--internet, Craigslist, E-Bay, China etc.....
When customer s walk in--we have got to dazzle them, give them the 5 star treatment through our passion of the business--through our knowledge, bond, and our leadership qualities. We want to give them a reason to come back again, we want them to walk out with a WOW! moment and return for a WOW! moment.
"I have bought two nice bikes from Cycle Works plus the usual clothes and accessories. I am always treated in a friendly and professional manner and feel like they appreciate my business. It's a well run, well stocked local bike store. I will be back!" Robert K. Via Google Review on Cycle Works. Lincoln, NE.
Arnold could not have said it any better---I WILL BE BACK.....That is the core of a customer driven business, customers coming back for more--I have been saying this for a while, bike shops are guiding the way in a competitive market...We can learn a few things from them--walk into your local shop and see what I am talking about.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
"I recently purchased two new bikes, one for my wife and one for myself. The sales person was knowledgeable and very pleasant. He never pressured us to take something that we didn't want, he let us ride as many bikes as we wanted and listened to our feedback in helping us decide what the correct choice would be. We also get a two week tune and a spring time tune for free with our bikes. My wife and I couldn't be happier with our bike choices and with our choice of bike shop."--Jim A. review of Bike World
Customer could not be happier--WOW! This hits the core of bicycle shops and the core of a thriving business.
As he states he not only bought one, but two--Was the service that good? I would say yes.
I sometimes go to Home Depot and buy paint, then I walk out with a brush, tape, edger and other items I need.
This bike shop understands the customer, gives the customer what they need, service the customer as a person for hom will return after the business shines their experience on them.
It is like a ZAP of lighting, as an author once said--customers can feel the electricity of the shop--the passion of the staff and the knowledge they have obtained
I love bicycle shops--small business oriented, a cozy setting--but they deliver a huge engagement.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
"The boys from Zipp and SRAM will be at our shop this Thursday to offer a great chance to demo some wheels and discuss all the latest toys!"
"Clif Bar will be joining us for our Thursday Night Group Ride tonight at 6pm. Possible swag and goodies before the ride leaves."
As many of you are aware I am a raving fan of my local bicycle shop--but more than that, I am a huge evangelist for superior customer service through creating an engaging customer experience.
Nearly two years ago now, I took off for Florida from Indiana on a 1033 mile trek with my next door neighbor. Two men in their 40's, having never done this before; going for causes such as cancer and literacy. We decided to take this trip to challenge ourselves, to step out of our comfort zone, both of us athletes back in our day--Coaching youth sports and doing Insanity on my part and he racquetball and over 40 baseball league today.
I have overseen major events and worked alongside many great companies when handling events such as Super Bowl, Indianapolis 500, Notre Dame football, Iron-Man events, Indiana State Fair and so on--I have worked over Labor Day weekend, July 4th, Memorial Day, Christmas day, Easter and other holidays with previous company's that depended on those day to bring in a huge percentage of their yearly income. I have worked alongside young men and women whom sacrificed those holidays for the good of the company--having known those days were apart of doing business. I have dealt with young college grads, as well as hired freshman students, giving them a real taste of what a big person job feels like.
I love and enjoy the rubixcube--I have never solved it once in my life---but I had it in my house as a teenager, always trying my best to solve it.....That is what customer service is to me. It is the art and craft of never giving up on a customer, never once taking them for granted---as well as staff and that is where my story begins.
Leadership to me is one whom does not need to have a name badge that says owner---a badge that says I am in charge....Leadership is a quality that is in all of us.Some of us are aware of this trait, others need to transformed through positive leadership. Leadership principles and qualities is what I saw at my local bicycle shop. Boldness, servant-hood, character and so on.
Excellent customer service, which creates a positive customer-store relationship is one with a staff that is cheered on by the store owner to get into the thick of it. A owner who encourages and solidifies leadership values and ethics of good character has a booming business and that is what I found at my local bicycle shop......
It is not only here--it is ALL over the world; bike shops are the local farmers market--they are connecting with us through passion, bond, knowledge of product, no robots, no pushing and shoving with staff, people whom get out of the seat to say hello---people who are happy to be there and are happy to see you--people willing to share their story to encourage you to ride a bike, to buy a TT bike or upgrade to a biker MTB.
The pictures above, as well as the quotes are from my local bicycle shop.....They are giving customers a taste and an experience of more than just money exchanging hands---the shop is connecting with the community of riders. They are educating customers, riders, commuters with nutrition and what is new in the world of cycling---two times a week they have 200+ riders out and about hitting the pavement, creating a customer interaction that is out of this world---it is not just a Black Friday event, it is an every week event the store provides its customers.....it is not a back-to-school sale we see, or a Super Bowl add generating traffic to come in the store---they are truly displaying customer-store interaction to the 100000th power...
Good customer service is in HIGH DEMAND---we want it so bad we will drive hours out of our way to get it.....Bike shops are doing this and we in business can learn from them---go to your local shop this weekend and see what I am talking about---look up your local shop and read reviews, read the paper and see what rides and events are taking place for charity and leisure.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
What is about small business that attracts so many customers?
What is about small business that customers WILL NOT hit them up upon a purchase?
The community feeling is the number #1 reason if you ask me on why people shop there.
Why they don't shop there, is the backing of a major advertisement guru....We don't see them on T.V., on a NASCAR sponsorship, People magazine, prime-time news etc......
However upon entering a small business or niche shop we the customer feel the vibrant atmosphere-- thriving; it is a living , breathing thing.
My dentist is a good example--she sponsors local little league teams, sponsors social events for schools and we can even see her advertise in the local community magazine---other than that no other advertising.
Why do I go there????? She is a small business that is connecting, her to the local community and is boooooming with new customers---I was on a waiting list for over 65 days just to do a routine teeth cleaning. WHY??? Easy, she gives more attention to me, my daughter and my wife....She connects with me, she goes to the same events as I, her kids go to the same school, same community events, we shop at the same store, we have similar interests and the list keeps going.
The same thing is true of my local bicycle shop--they bond with me, share knowledge with me....Eat at the same restaurant as I do, go to local cleaners as I do....They know the lay of the land, for they live here.
My bicycle shop is a small business, but it is so sought after for more than bikes--community rides, charity events, in store product information on evening rides as big as 200+ riders from beginners to the advanced.
I'm all done taking my bike back to the "big box" sporting goods store that i bought it from. This guy knows his stuff, and you can tell the shop has been there for years. It's nice to be able to talk to the guy that's doing your tune ups and repairs, instead of just watching a store employee wheel it back behind closed doors and hoping that it's fixed when you pick it up. Hooray for the small guy!! Ray Taksar Bicycles---Hartford, CT. Via Google Review.
This review nails it--it is the 180 difference that I have been talking about when it comes to the cycling world--we are connected with them, we see first hand what transpires---no back swinging doors, no back room jargon, no dollars wasted---we are right there in the thick of it with them, side by side......I love my bike shop and they support me and I them.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
I find it very humorous, yet so true in today's world---easy and simple, cheap and fast.......I want it NOW!
I will take the easy route, the quickest route---yet, almost always it back fires on us.
Take for example this simple picture above---a van with a hitch and a bike rack....Looks so easy, yet to some it maybe the hardest contraption ever. We think van, hitch lets go to auto shop.....They understand the assembly of this item.
Now lets read the review below and determine why people; customers go to bicycle shops second instead of first.
Imagine if you will, having a hitch on your vehicle and wanting to put a bike rack on it. Seems to be a simple thing, correct? So I went on down to a local Auto parts shop, bought what I thought I required and you know what? I wasted me money. Although the rack was sturdy. It wiggled like crazy. I did not feel like my bike was safe. And that is very important to me.
Today I walked into Syracuse Bicycle for the very first time. First off it is a full service shop with a great range of products. The staff is friendly and extremely knowledgeable. My fear was how to keep my bike secure. That was taken care of so simply and kindly. I now have a perfect rack for traveling to keep my bike secure.
Thank you Syracuse Bicycle. Claudette G. via Google Review on Syracuse Bicycle. Syracuse, N.Y.
Above happens ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the time. Why! Because we as customer or DYI weekend warriors feel everything will be fine and I can handle it.
Yes, we can! Yes, I can do it! I wrote my first book back in 2011, but I did not do it alone. I had an editor, publishing company, another editor, cover designer, proof-reader and the manuscript was reviewed intensively by two writers after I submitted my work. Before the book was completed and ready for release the book had been in the hands of over 20 experts in the filed of publishing.
Nothing is simple and easy......Yes a bike rack and a hitch appear to be easy, simple, yet as the reviewer explained she had to seek out the experts of guidance and knowledge.
So as a consumer why not head up to the store who deals with the accessories we are looking for and eliminate the first costly step.
Bicycle shops are created and opened for a reason--the owner has the passion and the desire for the sport and is willing to share those with patrons.
A new seat simple--go to bike shop.
A new derailleur--go to bike shop.
A new bike--go to shop.
Want to get a TT Bike---head up to shop and check them out.
Need a new bell for little Timmy's bike--go to bike shop.
No more juggling around and hitting up different stores for different items---most bike shops carry all the amenities needed for the cycling world--if not they can/will order them in for you.
I am a huge advocate for small business and the passion we find in them.
Next time you need a bike widget or trinket or item---don't go to the quickest, go to the pro's, plus you keep the community environment strong with local small business.