Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great review of a bike shop--customer a part of the community.

"What is a community bike shop? A few years ago I was introduced to a new-to-me bike shop in town. I knew that they existed but never took the time to stop in and check ‘em out. I had been a cowbell-ringing fan of cyclocross for 5 years when I heard that BCS offered free clinics and welcomed newbies, so I figured it time to ‘suck it up buttercup’ and get out there! I joined the CX team and slowly began to become part of the community I had watched from behind the course tape. I gained enough skills to participate in a few races that season and found a new sport that I love, thanks to the BCS community. Over the months that followed I became a friend of the shop. I met for rides leaving from there; if my roommate was going to buy parts I asked to come along; if it was bike related BCS was now my first thought. And the shop really shone one evening when I stopped by, in tears because my beloved TT bike, “Greased Lightning,” had been stolen only hours before. The staff was a wealth of support and information on how to deal with a bike theft (craigslist posting, notifying pawn shops, renter’s insurance, hugs etc.) I left the shop feeling very comforted. If that wasn’t enough, they posted on Facebook (my favorite means of communication) they had found the perfect ‘Szabo size’ bike for me. About a week later I was fitted and back out on the road with “Danny Zuko” and a new-found spirit for the cycling community. No matter what I’m doing, if I’m near the shop I make it a point to ‘stop by’. Sometimes it’s to make a valid purchase, other times it’s literally in one door saying “hi” and out the other waving good-bye. They’ve welcomed my silly gregariousness, engaged in my shenanigans, and entertained my desire to ride with guts and grace. They themselves reciprocated the fun by facilitating “Steve Austin” – a cyclocross bike a ‘secret admirer’ bestowed upon me. It doesn’t seem to matter that I can only lead the back, or that I lack the skills to bunny hop, or that my pocketbook isn’t the thickest in Boulder County. BCS always makes me feel like I’m the richest customer. Enjoy the ride!"  Jen S. via Google Review of Boulder Cycle Sport----Boulder, CO. 

WOW!!!! That is one heck of a review of a bicycle shop--this is what I have been talking about for years. All you have to do is stop by one and see what all the commotion is about. The reviewer is one of millions who have gained a friend or two and in this case a whole group.

This review is powerful. It states the obvious, in all successful businesses--engaging with customers....Putting people and their needs first and the shop second. It resonates well with me, it tells the tale, the true story of why small business is so lucrative and many seek out what is so appealing. 

Bike shops, 5000 plus strong and growing across the U.S.A and the world for that matter--I watched nearly all of the Tour De France, but years ago I had no interest. Stopping in on my local bicycle shop sparked a passion for bikes--for the wisdom they provided me, my daughter and my wife was off the charts--they created a biker from the ground up.....

As I looked this shop up, what stood out was there were 47 reviews--47, awesome!---that means they are providing customers with exceptional service and customers are coming back for more--repeating this cycle over and over, bringing their friends as well.

Advertising dollars well spent---socializing, speaking, engaging with customers is the best bank for the buck. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Community involvement --- Bike Shop getting others involved.

"Knowledgeable and helpful, they will help you out with what is best for you instead of trying to sell you the most expensive thing! Also have group rides that leave from the store - great place for cyclists to meet other cyclists and to join the bike community."  Unknown Reviewer via Google Review of The Bicycle Shop.  Baton Rouge, LA.

Community---a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Bike shops are booming across the world--community involvement is an epicenter of any business that is thriving...Show me a business that is doing well and I will show you a business that is involved with the local community.

Bike shops are gathering more and more people willing and able to hit the evening rides and forging friendships---which is leading to 24 hour rides for cancer, rides for diabetes, rides for fallen soldiers and so on.

Local businesses are not just looking at money first concept, they are outreaching to local members, creating new members to benefit communities through charity rides and benefits.

My local bicycle shop on Tuesday and Thursdays has evening rides exceeding 200 riders.

I'LL be back! Customer service at its best. Bike shop creates loyalty.

"Excellent staff and service. Smaller shop (vs local competitors) but that's it's main advantage. More than likely, the day you visit the owner will be on site. Prices are competitive and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. You're not just another 'quick sale' to this business like other larger retailers. Definitely will be a returning customer."--Google user via Google Reviews on Marty's Bike Shop---Stow, Ohio

Lets look at this review of a bicycle shop. Very typical of bike shops across the world. The message is well received if I was looking for a bike shop in Akron, Ohio area. The message is received as this to me.

1. Owner of the business is present. 
2. Small, yet cozy...Easy to get around.
3. Prices are equal to those with the same niche.
4. Staff is full of wisdom.

Okay those can be found all over the place--but what separates this from others is the following two.

NO QUICK SALE----I see this as people first, business second.....That is a huge component.

WILL RETURN---BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will return is the highest compliment any business can receive, it is of the highest quality and why people go into business in the first place.They are so passionate about a product that they want the world to enjoy their passion and are willing to give that niche to the public.....Of course it comes with a price, that being said they are selling trinkets, in this case bikes and accessories. 

I can feel the nucleus of the business through the reviewers voice on paper. 

Any business; small, large can see first hand that bike shops across the country and the world are connecting with patrons on a personal level--shops are seeing people as people and not a dollar bill. Yes, we must generate money, I get that. But, people first, patrons first, sharing knowledge creates loyal customers as noted above.

A turn style operation is one with a vast interest in people--people come in, people buy, people return.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

10 reasons to bike, from a bike shop---

Biking is a movement that is spanning the globe---sitting here watching the Tour De France and seeing the passion of the fans is so welcoming and awe inspiring to see.

Kids, parents, grandmas, grandpas, couples the list goes on and on as to the reason people bike--

So I found this link,  10 reasons why you should bike instead of drive a car--


A bike shop in Washington state posted this--pretty neat and true list if you ask me.

My favorite one is you can cancel your gym membership...So true, out and about town, seeing and enjoying local scenery is justification enough to buy a bike and hit the road...

Which reason is your favorite?

Create or let me know why you ride--fun, physical activity, shopping, commute---the list goes on.

Monkey see, monkey do is not on the list--but when I hit the road, my daughter fell in love with it--then my wife as well..

Some days when I am at work they go on 10 miles jaunts--very cool to see a 10 year old loving the sheer enjoyment of her bike and being out in nature..She does still love her games, but glad softball, swimming, horse ridding and biking are present in her life---so is reading..

Bike shop creates customer who drives by two others to hit theirs up--customer service at its finest.

"I started riding a year ago. I came into the shop a total newbie to the sport. The staff has taught me a ton of stuff about riding and has taken the time to show me things about my bike that I never knew. I drive by 2 other bike shops to get here."  Eric G via Google review of Reser Bicycle Outfitters---- Covington, Ky

I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate reading reviews like the one above--time after time I hear the same thing over and over--I am new to the sport and I thank a bicycle shop.

46 million people or so just in the United States will hit the roads on two wheels this year--WOW!!!!, very impressive. But, what is truly impressive is newbies like the one above who just don't ride a bike, they are engaged with the local community bicycle shop.

People of all ages can ride bikes--very low impact sport, plus you don't have to be fast, muscular, thin or a tri-athlete to enjoy just cruising around town.

I am a advocate for local farmers market, local barber shops--for they effect our local community more so than a mega store---money stays within the local market--so bicycle shops are no different.

Often we here too expensive, too fancy, too flashy--hog wash, bicycle shops have been a part of local cities, suburbs for years and growing even stronger with the wave of bicycle education and knowledge growing off the charts. 

There are 5,000 plus bicycle shops in the US alone, more and more are popping up every week, sometimes daily. On the flip side, some are shutting down. I can't lie to you--But they are not shutting down because of lack of business, they are shutting down due to change--people are demanding excellent customer service, excellent customer interaction and superior knowledge of a business that comes with forging a friendship and a bond with a shop.

Think of your barber--mine was Hugh, way back in the day---his business was booming, his old school style of haircuts for men and boys was sought after and he was racking up the bucks--but I really enjoyed going there in middle school and high school. He knew my name, knew my school, knew my buddies and would give a high quality hair cut with awesome conversation -- plus they always had the Reds game on or any game for that matter on the radio all year around--it was a fun place to get my hair cut--nothing fancy about the place, but 5 barbers were always there waiting to take on the next flat top, buzz ,fade or a neat trim and shave....The item that stood out was they were always staffed, and I mean always--I would walk in and barbers unoccupied were in the chairs talking and engaging others getting their haircut,  then they got up and said "Jim" you are next--come on over. With that they would proceed with the cut with perfection--and I would walk out with a ALL American feel and style--Grandpa was always proud of those haircuts. 

We can learn a ton from a old school barber, and I know that is what people are searching for with customer service--we can get a bike anywhere; Craigslist, E-Bay, Amazon etc......But nothing else comes with it, just a receipt of the transaction--

So the next time little Timmy needs a bell for the bike--go to the local bicycle shop---Grandma needs a basket, go to the bicycle shop. Need to purchase a bike, well--hit up your local bicycle shop and see what I and millions are talking about--forge a relationship and see for yourself. You will be happy with your choice. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dreams do come true--bike shop guided me.

"A "real" bike shop is more interested in understanding your dreams than yakking about their own recent accomplishments.--Chain Reaction Bicycles 

A dream is just that, a dream until you set in motion goals to achieve that mission.

In May of 2012 I walked into a bicycle shop having not been on a bike in over 20 years--what happened next was little steps being created for me to ride a bicycle from Indiana to Florida.

I have seen first had what superior customer interaction  creates, it creates customer loyalty. I went in and then one week later I was back again, then again, then over and over I kept coming back.

The staff had know idea as to what I had in mine, all they knew was I was beginning to ride a bike--from there they asked questions..Getting to understand what my vision was.

From there they led me from a newbie to cyclist in less than 30 days---I was heading up to the shop all the time....

A friendship was created on day one and that was a 1 1/2 years ago. Still to this day that bond is solid. 

My dream came true because of WISDOM they provided and I found myself in Orlando in less than 150 days.....

Friday, July 25, 2014

I will travel 2.5 hours for outstanding customer service....Bike Shop!

"I wanted to thank Mike's Bikes for their outstanding customer service! I purchased a road bike in Sausalito in September, and I have traveled the 2.5 hours from my home to your Berkeley location for additional purchases and to attend a Wednesday clinic. The guys in Berkeley make me feel right at home and offer great advice and support. They have a great way about offering advice without being condescending - to this cycling newbie. Everyone I have spoken with at Mike's Bikes has been great, but I would especially like to acknowledge Ian, Jonas and Kevin for their kind support. Thanks!" 
- Tracy B Review via Yelp on Mike's Bikes

Going out of their way to hit your business up is a true testimony as to why you are in business---people come first. The above review nails it to a T. This bike shop offers more than bikes, it offers clinics--giving a little more.

Now I am a huge advocate for service; having overseen major events such as Super Bowl and Indianapolis 500--but it is the little things that are given that touch customers differently....In this case it was advice that she received, that she found all inspiring. Therefore creating a customer to return.

New business is hard to find experts say. However, over and over I keep reading about reviews of patrons walking into shops and receiving top notch courtesy. Thus creating a new customer on the spot--yes, I have read negative reviews as well, I can't lie....But the good, positive truly outweigh the bad.

Stop by your local bicycle shop this weekend and see what I am talking about, and let me know how your experience went...I know for a fact it will go well. Cycling is BOOOOMING right now, as well at commuter bikes and Mountain Bikes...

Like our customer states, she traveled 2.5 hours to attend a seminar--AWESOME!

This store, this shop is doing what so many small businesses create--they create a customer experience.....