Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bicycle shop------Book on customer service, loyal customer and a true story....

Two years ago this month I rode a bicycle from Carmel, Indiana to Orlando, Florida.

I rode down there for cancer, addictions, suicide and literacy.

150 days before my journey was to transpire I had to find out what all goes into riding a bicycle--I mean more than 1 mile up to get ice-cream.

I forged a relationship with a bicycle shop--a relationship so powerful that I had to write a book about the art and craft of customer service---

I have been in the customer service for years--but this time I was the customer receiving the gift of wisdom from a small business that delivered a epic trek.

This book is full of 10 ingredients that a bicycle shop here in Indiana delivered to me--but what I found out was they delver this zest to all their customers, day in and day out.

As a researched this book I found other bicycle shops around the US and the globe share the same passion for a business.

A thriving business puts people first, money second---this motto really is the foundation for generating a powerful and epic customer interaction and generating a customer for life.

There are nearly 5,000 bicycle shops in the US -- 

Bicycling is booooooooming across the globe. People are demanding first rate customer service and in this book you will read my true story about how a bicycle shop here in the Midwest delivered first-rate service every single time I went there.

I happy to announce the book is up for-sale--

More important, I am thrilled to share how a bicycle shop; a small. tiny store delivered service of epic proportion so well that I had to write a book about their quality of service.

I am a evangelist for customer service, so I wrote a book about it. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bicycle shop---miles, groups; but the most important is the friendships formed.

"Did you know that Nebo Ridge Bicycles hosts the country’s largest regularly scheduled weekday shop ride?"

"Oftentimes on a Thursday night, we have well over 250 cyclists (divided into five groups) participating."

 "Did you know that cyclists riding in the shop ride have ridden more than 1.5 million miles since the Tuesday/Thursday rides began in 2005?"

"More important that the number of participants and miles is that this ride has generated--

 (i) thousands of smiles.
 (ii) tons of fun.
 (iii) hundreds of safe and confident road cyclists.
 (iv) hundreds of millions of calories burned.
 (vi) fitness galore.
 (vii) a thousand and one “big fish” stories.
 (viii) hundreds of gallons of beer drunk and pizza eaten.
 (ix) an uncountable number of great friendships forged."

This is the key component to any business--is #6 as stated by this shop--forging friendships.

Any business can do this, all have the capability of delivering more than a customer expects.

A bicycle shop is no different than a beer vendor, barber shop, Cincinnati Reds game, Orlando Magic game, nail salon, airline--they all are delivering a service, but what keeps us coming back over and over is the epic service and experience we have while we are there...

The staff, the knowledge, the bonding, the passion they  share---we the customer come back over and over--yes, we feel welcomed, yes it is inviting but what separates the good from the great is the willingness to put people first and the money second...

I will pay 10, 20% more at a business that delivers every single time, and I can count on them to the job correctly.

There are over 5,000 bicycle shop in the United States--the sport of cycling is booooooming.......Growing and growing and we all have a choice to make as to where to shop. Mine is the shop above Nebo Ridge right here in Carmel, Indiana...

I love the staff, the core of people first and money second..It is on display 24/7...I see it and I feel it.

Consider a local bicycle shop for a horn, basket, seat, bell or light.....Build a friendship as I have and the millions of cyclist who have.

Customer service is more than saving money---it is  making patrons feel welcomed and reassured they made the right decision to enter you establishment. Then the we the customer come back again and again and we tell of friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bicycle Shop---Staff giving customers more than they expect.

"I went yesterday with a bicycle I got from a garage sale. The staff was ALL attentive to my needs. All I needed was air in the tires and my seat raised as well as a lil oil on my chain. Almost immediately I had a customer service professional outside to help me get the bike out from my trunk and do those above-mentioned things. I was told at the garage sale that I had to buy new tires for it.. Tom's Bicycles said no...and they were right. This gentleman aired them up and did not try to scam me into new tires when really they were just flat, not blown. He applied oil to the rusty chain and sent a coworker to lift my seat. The original CS professional knew we wanted to ride it today but made me aware that the chain would need more work LATER. The bike cost me NOTHING and ALL their SERVICES which were all provided with a smile cost me NOTHING yesterday! NOTHING!!! They are worthy of 5 stars although this review will not allow me to give them more than 4.7. I will definitely RETURN there and send anyone and everyone who needs bike work to go there... Likely I will return for brake work and a bigger comfy/maybe gel seat as they have a great selection of seats as well as every other gadgets that one could use for serious or casual biking. I Thank GOD ALMIGHTY for their awesome and wonderful Customer Service. The whole experience was wonderful!!! Now my son's Mongoose has a chain problem. I will be back in the store today for some more of their tender loving care. At the first I had even told the CS professional that I only had $40 for the fix yesterday. He could have easily taken my money for the services provided and I would have happily paid it. But he didn't. God BLESS ALL who work there. My best advice is GO THERE for A GREAT experience to make your bike ride like a dream."  A. Michelle--review on Tom's Bikes. Tulsa,OK

I have spoken on this topic for a while--what is the ROI on EPIC customer service?

What transpires after a individual leaves the store after a superior customer engagement?

The answer is very obvious, they tell others.....The customer blasts it on social media, tells neighbors, friends, colleges and even takes the time to write up a 5 star review..

The bigger event is  future event, the vision of the store giving first rate service, the vision of patrons coming back for more--

Bicycle shops are strong, growing world wide--yet they have been around for over hundred years--2 wheel transportation is nothing new, why is it some have come and gone, yet others still flourish?

The reason, like a local barbershop, is delivering excellent service which creates a loyal customer...

I love my local bicycle shop--I even stop in and buy nothing, just to peek in and say hello.

The above review nails the key to why business people even go into business, they understand the art of putting people first. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bicycle Shop---customer service at its finest.

"The work ethic of the Heavy Metal Bike Shop Employees is stellar. Work Ethic, Integrity, performing a job superbly, having rapport with the customer has almost become extinct in today's society. The price quoted for assembling my bicycle was reasonable and the employee finished assembling the bicycle within the time frame that was quoted."--Review of Heavy Metal Bike Shop--New York, NY

Biking, cycling, commuting, cycle-cross, mountain bikes,bike lanes, evening bike rides, bike groups--these are growing, growing and growing stronger each and every day. We read it in the paper, magazines, hear it on the evening news--People are bicycling more and more...exercise, scenery, commuting, saving gas consumption...The reasons are all over the board, however a old component to cycling is the local bicycle shop...The ones in the community, the ones paying local taxes, the one whom had/has  who go to your kids schools, played softball on the same fields, had the same teacher etc......

Customer service is more than just being there, it is being there for the customer and employees....I have seen this over and over with my local bicycle shop. The owner is knee deep into his staff, knee deep with the community, knee deep with his customers and knee deep into his suppliers---

I adore my bicycle shop, I have created new friends, found a new passion in biking again.....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bicycle Shop-------"ETHOS"

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---

Customers First
Dollars Second
I Have Walked The Talk
Friendly Atmosphere 

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

Bicycle Shop----Making bikes available to those who need transportation.....education, healthcare.

"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."

  • Student attendance increases by up to 28%; grades increase by up to 59%
  • Healthcare workers reach 40% more patients more often
  • Entrepreneurs travel 4X further, carrying 5X more goods, increasing profits by up to 50%

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bicycle shop---Triathlon, bike shops offer excellent service on this topic.....

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.