Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bicycle shops -- the art and craft of putting customers first.



Here we are just 12 days till the big jolly man comes down the chimney..

But I want to talk about the traditional gifts, the gifts that have been placed under the tree for years, centuries even. 

The one gift that seems to test father time is a present of 2 wheels.

I have been raving and ranting on for years about the importance of giving the gift they will use over and over--not until they are bored.

A bicycle is that gift, we are living in  society that is boooooooming in the cycling scene--not just the road bike or cycle cross, but mountain biking is back and in full force.  Commuting  to work is in, riding to the bus stop; loading the bike on the front rack and riding to work is fun and easy --plus it saves on gas.

I thoroughly enjoy my local bicycle shop--above is a simple picture describing the image that takes place--putting customers first.

Here they are around back giving the customer their knowledge, their passion and not afraid or shy of taking care of the customer after the sale has been rang up.

So with Christmas here in a few--stop buy your local bicycle shop.

Visit them and see and feel the zest......

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bicycle shops---Small Business Saturday


Small Business Saturday is growing and growing and growing...

People; customers are wanting more than the hustle, more than just saving money...

They are searching for a tradition, the ones that remind them of  when they were little kids.

We love going out and looking at the trains, getting a hot cocoa, getting a cookie and walking around the streets and gazing at the window displays. 

That tradition is still alive and well---it is still flourishing and is still in demand.

Small Business Saturday is that warm, fuzzy feeling...The feeling of the Christmas Spirit.

I enjoy my local bicycle shop---I enjoy them because they connect with me through their passion of the sport. 

There are nearly 5,000 plus shops in the United States and climbing.

I remember as a kid going to the shop---connecting with them, building a fun relationship with them.

A bike under the tree, a mountain bike under the tree or a road bike under the tree sure beats another electronic devise, another video game, another tie for dad---

You WILL get more than a bike upon purchase; you will be in a group environment, evening rides, educated on bike safety, bike paths, community involvements. 

So this Small Business Saturday---instead fighting the lines, being hit in the leg with a cart, honked at in the parking lot---slow down and just visit your local bicycle shop and see what I am speaking of.




Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bicycle shop---Small Business Saturday



I remember way back when--let's say 1979--I was 8 years old....

Seems like a long time ago, but my memory seems like yesterday as an adult who still can recall the cool gifts that made an impact on my childhood.

I still remember getting a ten speed---yes a ten speed under the tree form Santa...

I can also remember getting golf clubs as a early teenager.

I also remember getting Atari one year for Christmas as well.

But as I look back and recall what I used the most; it was the bike and the clubs.

In Cincinnati it snowed a ton, cold, bundled up all winter and the Ohio river froze over.

Once spring came around I was on the bike--I was hitting the links--I was outdoors, riding to buddies houses, hitting golf balls into the woods.

I am a huge sports nut; I love it all--but as a parent today of a ten year old I see, hear the electronics demand--new phone, texting, Ipad, Xbox, new videos, Netflix and the list goes on and on and on.

But my child loves the outdoors as well as the games; arcades were huge when I was her age.
I remember my parents dropping me and my co-conspirators off at the arcade with a roll of quarters on a Saturday night.

But one memory that is very vivid is my local bicycle shop--I would ride up there all the time.
Check out the BMX bikes; get a new bag under the seat on my 10-speed. Getting number plate for the bike, getting my Mag wheels--mac 1 and 2....I had no idea they were giving me more than a bike to purchase--they were giving me a fun, energetic, passionate, thriving small business feel with a hint of we care for you; and yes at 10 me and my posse were always going up there.

Today the same feeling is there--5,000 bicycle shops in the US and thousands more world wide and growing and growing and boooooooming right along with the growing cycling sport.

Small Business Saturday will be here in 7 days--I HIGHLY recommend you visit your local bicycle shop like I have way back when  and today....They know their stuff, they know the roads, the trails, the safety of the community. So if Santa is giving a bike this year and it made the list of must haves; your bike shop will come through. You will receive more than a quality bike, you will receive top notch customer service---customer interaction and a excellent customer experience. 

Here is a article that was posted this week about my experience with my local bicycle shop.


So Santa---support small business Saturday; stop by your bike shop.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bicycle shop --- Bike under the tree for Christmas.



How wonderful would it be for a child or spouse to get a bicycle under the tree from Santa?

I can tell you this I remember when I received golf clubs for Christmas. It was 50 that week and my brother, dad, mom and I all were able to get a round in.

I know electronics are in demand, but why not turn the tide--give a bicycle instead.

We as parents have got to get the NEW xbox 360, the new Call of Duty; of course pretty much the whole electronic ad in Sundays paper--that would suffice the youngster--why not add the new Doritos flavor Mt. Dew and a sign that reads sit inside and do nothing.

I understand that a few states are below zero as I write this;  Buffalo just got white blinded with 70 inches of now--but the hockey game still was played.

A bicycle was in high demand years ago for a little person--now the Iphone is a must have--but what about getting a mountain bike, cruiser, or road bike for the kids or even your best friend.

The payoff is not instant, we live in a society that thinks of today instead of the future--but we as adults can give the craft of the outdoors. 2 wheels of pure delight, the gift of seeing the landscape.

I am a huge fan of a bicycle and the bicycle shops that provide superior customer service in the ever growing sport---bicycling is the new golf....ALL can do it

So this Christmas why not give 2 wheels and a helmet--it sure beats cheesy fingers and sore thumbs.

   

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bicycle shops and Black Friday deals.....



Black Friday--

Here it comes; the day after Thanksgiving.

But what is Black Friday? What does it really mean to you the customer.

Here is the definition:(in the US) the day after Thanksgiving, noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, during which crowds of consumers are drawn to special offers by retailers.


Here is the list of special offers--

1. Wait in a long line.
2. Low end items.
3. NOT guaranteed to have item in stock; on a limited quantity.
4. Getting pushed, shoved, cut off.
5. No interaction with staff--hustle.
6. Waiting in line to find a parking spot.
7. Hurry, hurry and hurry some more---store after store.
8. Not being able to sleep in and wake up with a nice family breakfast on Friday.


I am a evangelist for customer service and as noted above, there really is not too much of that going on.

I am not a Black Friday fan, why????

Lets look at this scenario for a second. Cheap items--I would rather have quality items. Tons of gifts, I would rather get one or two items I really need vs an array of low budget items I think I want. 

I love bicycles; road bike, MTB and the interaction that transpires when buying one. The days have come and gone where we just look at a bike, size it up, test ride it and tell the teenager at the mega store we will take this one. 

Bicycle push, awareness, bike lanes, commuting is on the rise---bicycling is the new golf. I heard that line the other day and it is so true. ALL can bicycle--so this Christmas I highly recommend skipping the mega store for a bike purchase and create a epic experience by stopping by your local bicycle shop.

Shopping there you WILL get more than a bike--you will create friends, you can connect more on a personal level. You get the bike properly fitted, which is critical. YOU will get a quality item, not a mass produced low-end item. People say why did you spend that much money--my answer is simple. Why did you buy a cheap item? Not to be a smarty pants, but you get what you pay for--if little johnny loves mountain biking and he is due for a new one; why buy a cheap one. A quality bike will hold up for years, ride the trails longer.

Keys on why buy from a shop.
1. Customer interaction.
2. Proper fitting.
3. The correct bike for the customers needs---not just any bike.
4.  Usually with a purchase there is a tune up deal for a year.
5. The staff understand the passion of the sport.
6. Community involvement--bike rides, local trails.
7. Leadership--we have walked the talk.
8. There are 10,000 more benefits.

The idea is why wait for Black Friday---head up to your bicycle shop and see what I am explaining.....See it first hand the customer interaction that is so uplifting. 

There are over 5,000 bicycle shops in the USA---we live very close to shop these days. Pull one up on Google and read how close they really are to you. YOU will have a better buying experience and little Suzie will get the bike she can ride for years--as apposed to the bike she can ride for a few months---

Remember little Johnny and Suzie will grow between now and March--so buy with consideration that are are growing....4 foot will be 4.5 in six months......A Bike shop will know that. 

So to me there are no Black Friday deals--just good all year around stores I love to buy from.

Best Buy---I shop there all year around...Not once have I been there on Black Friday, there service is why I shop there. Home Depot same thing, Target same thing, Barnes and Noble same thing---My dentist does not run Black Friday deals and she is awesome--so I go there all year round. My Dr. is super, no Black Friday deals. 
A deal is a deal--but a loyal customer is a must, and I am....... 

http://www.amazon.com/2000-Miles-Wisdom-Jim-Serger/dp/1936800209/ref=la_B00J73F0HY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416382239&sr=1-1

My second book is out January 15th---pre order today.  Customer service.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bicycle shop and putting customer first.....




This article and bicycle ride came true because of a bicycle shop allowing themselves to understand the key to business--putting others first.


By the way that is me in the middle and a MOOTS frame; left store owner and right the GM.

This article and book involves ALL bicycle shops -- Christmas is here soon and a bike is a better purchase than another electronic gizmo. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bike shops creating walking, talking billboards because of customer service.



WHAT ARE CUSTOMERS SAYING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

When a customer takes time out of their day to write a review, you the business have created what you sought out to create...

The VISION of giving your very best to customers, creating a bond and having them tell the world.

The customer becomes your evangelist.

A walking, talking billboard....That is some serious advertisement dollars spent with ZERO cost.

 "I can't say enough positive things about this shop. The people, the bikes, the advice and customer service is ALWAYS top notch! This shop has all the stuff we see in the magazines, and it's an awesome experience!"  Matt S on Moab Cyclery

Giving a patron the gift of putting them first always wins over the customer--more than that when the owner of the store/business creates a positive atmosphere with their employees; those traits radiate over to customers. 

I have a passion for empathy; bicycle shops are no different than fortune 500--ALL thriving businesses connect with customer on a personal and business angle. 

I rode a bicycle from Indiana to Florida for cancer---but I had no idea what I needed till I created a relationship with a bicycle shop.

I have been in the customer service world for years--first job was as a bottle boy handling the returns for 10 cents.

Customer service is so much more than lip service, so much more than just being open.

Once during a black out the little convenient store stayed open running on flashlights--we just about ran out of everything over two days, but the owner new he had to give it all to his customers--he did this all the time, free ice cream on Halloween, 1 dollar short--bring it next time, he created a bond with his customer--sure some took advantage of him, but the other 99% didn't. 

I happy to launch my second book this week for pre-sale on customer service about a bicycle shop and shops across the globe.