Thursday, July 24, 2014

New bike shop --- OPEN 7 days a week, 24 hours a day--impacting the community.

This sign is so funny to look at--neon, that is on during the day then a hanging tassel is pulled and the light goes out the minute the store is closed.

But is it really closed??????  What goes on from 5-9 overnight is what really determines a persons true character, true passion for life--family, friends, reading books, volunteering, going to church etc...

So the next time you look at a open sign ask yourself what transpires after the store is closed---do they connect with the community, sponsor a youth baseball, soccer, football team??? Are they delivering more than just open for business, or are they open 24 hours touching and reaching out to connect with the local community.

This link below is of a new bicycle shop that opened up last week--their passion is off the charts for the cycling industry...What reeled me in was what they were doing for a local program called Kids-in-Need......

Look at the paragraph where they state they are closed on a particular day and see what they do if need be. Customer service at its finest, truly a business with local involvement and gaining speed..

After reading this link, I believe the open sign should read OPEN 24 HOURS--7 days a week. Yes they are connecting with customers and patrons all the time.

Go the EXTRA mile in customer service---create a returning customer.

"My little girl's cheap pink bike had a broken brake lever, so I took it here for repair, somewhat concerned that they'd scorn a trashy bike like this. The repair guy said he didn't have that part in stock, but he pointed out the number on the bike I could call to get a free replacement part sent to me. I was like, "Really?" But I called the number and it was true, and the part's on its way. Then he showed me how I could fix it myself when the part arrived. This helpful advice was all free! He also tightened the chain for free. I'll be sure to use this shop for future repairs and purchases. I hope they eventually charge me for something, since I want to support this very helpful shop."

FREE----okay, it was not free....Nothing and I mean nothing is for free; but the way I see it the leader of this store, owner, the boss, senior management gave this employee FREE reign to give customers free advice. Which in return created a new customer, which created this awesome review of a business, explaining the core of the business--PEOPLE. 

The customer states that I hope they charge me for something--well when you return to purchase a new bike, helmet then they will charge you for it.....Giving a little keen advice goes a long way in creating trust with the business and the customer....Why do you think airlines give away peanuts and pretzels--it is not for free, but a comfort item. It is built into the bill of the ticket, or the bag fee.

In this case a FREE moment will create a future purchase, which will create a chitter chatter among their friends.

Bike shops have been around for years, why is that???.......They put people first and create a positive engagement....

A small business is very niche oriented, how ever giving customer more than they bargain for is also applicable to big business as well..Connect with them, engage with them, walk the line with them, and be there for them....ALL small little steps that separate the fly by nights to the stable ones.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beer, Coffee and Bikes---offering customers more!

"Fantastic food, coffee, and beer wrapped into a bike shop. One of our buddies told us we needed to check it while we were in Denver and it blew our doors off. Cool place, great vibe."  MTB C via Google Review on Denver Bicycle Cafe

A recommendation comes to fruition--better than an ad in the paper or magazine.... Being different stands out among the crowd---but just not coffee, beer or cafe style....BIKE shop as well--very cool concept, connecting with so many customers and still clinging to the theme of cycles.

"Great place for bikers! Pump up your tires and have great coffee!!!"-- A.T. via Google Reviews of Denver Bicycle Shop

"I brought my bike it to have the rear caliper serviced. I had the parts and was unable to do it myself because the seal that was bad was missing. They did they best they could with what I gave them but couldn't replace that seal. At that point I was a little disappointed. I wanted them to find the solution. They then attempted to do a final bleed and could not get the system to hold pressure. They then contacted the manufacturer and negotiated replacing my entire hydraulic brake setup under warranty (outside of warranty) due to a defect. They still have my bike, waiting on the new system, I'm sure they'll do a fine job as they have already proven to be thorough. They have exceeded my expectations and will be getting repeat business and referrals based on this experience. They really came through for me." J.G. via Google reviews of Denver Bicycle Shop

All three reviews brings into the idea of giving more to customers, instead being one minded...This works for some business but not well for others. All three reviews come from customers seeking a different service the shop provides---coffee shop, beer and bicycling. One can bring in new customers and can generate more chit chat around town.

Very cool concept that seems to electrify new and existing customers to come in for more, or walk in for the first time.

I am a huge bicycle shop fan, as a matter of fact I stopped by my local one today--it just blows me away that I stop up there without buying anything, I just walk in and they all say hello---shake hands, ask how my wife is,my daughter is, how is work going? etc.......I ask them how business is, we talk about new bikes out, talk about the community and I always learn what is going on around town with cycling--they just had RAIN--race across Indiana--very cool, 1300 riders involved.....Bikes and shop I just love it. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Loyal customer vs Satisfied customer ---Bike Shop

The above chart is what the talk on the street (no pun intended) is about when speaking on the topic of customer service....

Are you creating loyal or satisfied customers?

Molding a loyal customer takes a few more steps to create that edge, to create a wholesome and loyal customer.....

A loyal customer is not just satisfied, but they keep coming back for more--you are creating an addiction, you are creating more than a need--you have created a want..

I want to do business with you--I want to give my money to you because there is more to it than I need, I want that little more effort, little more charisma, little more honesty, little more attention to detail, little more passion for customers and a thriving business.

The chart does not lie--it is the tone that all are searching for....But to create a flow like above we have to do more than a handshake, free wi-fi, free peanuts, hot coffee.....We have to interact with the customer.

Birthday cards,thank you cards, calling them, sending a follow up email, calling them on one year anniversary.....No phoniness, but pure customer appreciation and not just one day but all 365 days.

"Love, love, love, love! A friend gave me a bike. I took it to Bike Stop to get a tune-up. Then I went back multiple times to buy accessories. They gave honest opinions about the products, even selling me less expensive items b/c they knew I didn't need the high end stuff. Yes, some of the accessories I could buy online for slightly cheaper, but the Bike Stop guys install them and explain how they work. They are all friendly and laid-back, which should not be mistaken for uncaring. When they're not busy, they are always willing to give advice on bike safety and any other general biking questions I have, since I've only been biking for a year. I will definitely continue to shop here!" Beth R---Bike Shop Astoria New York, via Google reviews.

The above review is how customer loyalty is created--it exemplifies the epicenter of the business--people first, which creates customer loyalty...

Bike shops across the world exemplify this concept day in and day out....Bikes have been around for a long, long time and are growing faster and faster with the times..

Her review nails why people still buy locally, they are engaged by the staff--they feel welcomed, and she will go out of her way, pay a little more to feel the zest of the Bike Shop.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Customer service---repeat it all the time--not when you feel like it.

"Normally, an awesome store. Would rate 5/5 But I just called this the bike factory asking how much a repair or replacement derailleur costs after briefly explaining my situation. He said "I don't know. Inexpensive, but I gotta run."---Via Google review of a bike shop.


This is customer service 101--this is what we learned back in our basic training, back in our "A" school, what we learn in seminars, meetings, and on our initial training day.

We never rush a phone call--customers go out of their way to call and ask questions it is a sign that they are willing to do business with us and in this case sounds like repeat business.

Why is it the employee had to run? Under staffed for the day, poor planning or frankly did he just not care? We will never know the answer--unless the customer came in and had a shoot out with the staff like the Alamo--but I doubt that happened..He just wrote a negative review of a place he normally speaks highly of. 

CRO---Chief Repeating Officer is a position that is not yet created, but it should be. Repeating the same service day in and day out, talking to customers the same day in and day out--being there for them day in and day out, (during normal business hours of course) But be the same no high and no low--the bar has got to be set at an effective level at all times and repeat the motions in a positive/fulfilling manner every single day. 

I am very surprised that a customer who seems pleased with this business took the time to write a negative review--I know we all have the right to voice our opinion--but taking into consideration they seem to like this shop--why is it they wrote it up??

I will tell you why--they treated him like dirt on the phone and that is it--had he been there in person it probably would have transpired a little differently.

The moral of the story is this--whether in person or on the phone, in an email, Skype, Facebook; we have got to treat our customers with the same respect they expect from us at ALL times, not just when we feel like it. 

Did the customer come back?  I would, you never know if it was a young college kid, part-time summer help or the mailman who had to assist while others were helping other customers. If you are happy with a business don't let one little hiccup ruin your opinion of a business, now if it happens again--absolutely stop going--for there will be long line behind you departing as well.

I love bike shops and the niche they have, for small business is alive and well in the world....

5/5 he states---well now he can give it a 4/5 which is still a awesome score if you ask me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Knowledge, Business and Abraham Lincoln....Be on top of your game at all times---learn and learn.

"Great place to keep your bike in good shape,get advice on accessories or places to ride. Knowledgeable staff and quick turn around on repairs."---Robert S. via Google Reviews on Allspeed Cyclery & Snow, Portland ME.

Knowledge----facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

I thoroughly enjoy these types of reviews on businesses---they hit on a key element on why they are successful and why they bond with customers..The fine art of studying, research and awareness of their products.

The picture above is of cycle that is apparent at this bicycle shop, it is the craft of gaining knowledge, retaining the knowledge, sharing the knowledge and learning more knowledge----it keeps going like a figure 8---it never stops. Equipment, accessories, frames, helmets, customers etc.....all change.

But change is good, it keeps you on top of your A game--if not you will be a B+ then a B then a B-....WE as a thriving business don't want to slip into a vortex and scramble to get out of it because we were too lazy to stay abreast of news effecting our department or customers.

Read, go to seminars, take a on-line course, attend meetings, clubs, community events and watch this cycle continue and continue which can/will lead to more customers which leads to more money.

Here I am watching the Tour De France and I just learned about how an accident was preventable--I know I don't know it all--plus know it alls fail to learn...They cap themselves, so don't be a capper(no such word--invented it)

So as the weekend starts--what are you going to learn this weekend that you can apply to your business?

I was at the Abraham Lincoln museum in Springfield, Illinois today with my daughter---3 hour road trip...Listened to 1/2 a audio book there yesterday and back today.

Great trip with her--and we learned about the importance of never giving up on a dream--he didn't...To see the timeline of his failures and accomplishments was quit impressive---he stood his ground through his passion for being thoroughly educated on his chosen topic--PEOPLE...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The bike shop and negative reviews---Rude and argumentative employee???

"The owner could teach you how not to run a business......he was rude and condescending while I was being nice and friendly. It is obvious he does not need the money but instead he needs a place where he could vent with his bad personality." L.A. via Google review on a bike shop

The bike shop name was left blank for the reason I did not want to "CALL OUT" the shop for the reason of I have never been there before--so I can't report first hand on why this was posted. 

However, what I can do is look at all 7 reviews of this establishment and make a judgement call or create my own hypothesis on this business.

#1   Seven reviews on this shop and four gave this a one star.
#2   Two reviewers gave this business a two star.
#3   One gave this a place a five star.
#4    That is an average of 2.6 out of a five star rating.

Now looking deeper into all the reviews key words jumped out.

Di** --  action word or sentence enhancer.....You know the rest.

This is a bicycle shop--opened to the public, seeking to improve the world of cycling, improving the local community through their knowledge. Yet, only one reviewer gave it a 5 star...Yet the reviewer said nothing about the bicycle shop--they defended the business and bad mouthed all the other reviewers..

The question is, would you shop here based on seeing this?
Can you make up your own conclusion on this establishment based on these?

I have been to New York over ten times, the first time was an eye opener--I thought they all were rude, no hospitality at all. But at the end of the trip I realized I was taking them way too seriously, they were just up front and honest....No blah, blah, blah--straight and to the point.

I would love to visit this bike shop first hand and get and idea of what transpires there--in the one review they stated "I can't believe they have been in business for this many years".

Years--the doors are open--business is good.....But rudeness, argumentative and the sentence enhancer as stated above are not positive reviews.

I can make a excellent call and say if I do go in, be prepared to handle rudeness, or just plain straight forwardness. Honesty, blunt can be taken as rude....yes a little more care on the tone of the voice can go a long way is loud--but I would not judge the shop without going in first to see what all the commotion is all about.

Look at it from this angle--open for years.....Could this be underground negative reviews created on purpose through a pipeline of jealousy? You chew on that thought.

So the next time you go shopping, to a restaurant, to a movie etc.....Look over the reviews, but look deep into the statements and you will be prepared for what transpires next positive or negative.

Bike shops--all 5,000 plus in the USA are alive and well and thriving for good reasons...Bike movement is growing and growing--competition is fierce and location is crucial. But, like any business we have to separate the good from the bad and reviews can do that--but word of mouth is still the best vibe on the streets. Not all reviews reflect the establishment, so judge for yourself.