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How do you treat customers in your shop?
#1
Ive been letting my friend use my forum account the past few weeks and he made a few noobish threads on how much repairs are etc, I apologize.


So how do you treat customers in your shop?
Normally if they buy a part from me ill offer to fit it for free or if they buy a lube from me ill show them how to use it, if they bring there bike to be fixed ill give it the once over and a quick shot of lube, i find treating customers to "extras" is better than just selling them something and getting them out of the door faster than you can say seeya
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#2
That's a good 'thinking topic' for us shop guys, Matt.
For starters, let's talk Advertising. A LBS can spend $$$$ on radio, newspaper, phonebook, website and other forms of advertising and see little, if any, increase in traffic. That's because a bike shop is a 'destination' more than an 'attraction'. People will seek out a bike shop as needed. Seldom do they drive by, notice a sign, slam on the brakes and say "Hey! Dude! A bike shop. Let's go see what that is!".

In the case of a bike shop, the best advertising is Word Of Mouth, IMHO. Serious and frequent riders already know where you are. They knew you were opening a shop before you opened.
Parents that need their kids bikes worked on will tell other parents about you, either good or bad. It's your attention to them and their needs that makes it or breaks it. Word Of Mouth.

I learned long ago to never diss anyones bike. Word gets around. It may may be a family heirloom; a bike they once loved and want to love again; a bike that they were given so that they could get to a job... Don't judge a book by it's cover, ya know!

Yes, it is at times very difficult for a mechanic to share the same enthusiasm over a 'restoration project' that a sales guy might have. I prefer smaller shops where the mechanic IS the salesperson. I might not be able to handle 6 customers at once but, you can bet I will acknowledge your presence and say "Hi" when you come in. When I do manage to give you my attention, you can be assured that my focus is on YOU and your BIKE. Not the guy drooling over the $2000 in the corner. He does that every weekend but buys tubes and lube so I put up with it. Besides - we ride together.

When it comes to a bike in the stand, I do go 'the extra mile'. You have to. My stand backs up to the repair area and faces the floor. I encourage customers that bring in a bike for a flat to wait and watch me so I can teach them. I charge $5 to do it. Every time. For an extra $10, I can send them home with tire levers, a spare tube, and the knowledge that saves them when we are closed and may lead to the sale of a chain tool.

I think you know this already.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#3
(10-30-2010, 01:18 AM)RobAR Wrote:  That's a good 'thinking topic' for us shop guys, Matt.
For starters, let's talk Advertising. A LBS can spend $$$$ on radio, newspaper, phonebook, website and other forms of advertising and see little, if any, increase in traffic. That's because a bike shop is a 'destination' more than an 'attraction'. People will seek out a bike shop as needed. Seldom do they drive by, notice a sign, slam on the brakes and say "Hey! Dude! A bike shop. Let's go see what that is!".

In the case of a bike shop, the best advertising is Word Of Mouth, IMHO. Serious and frequent riders already know where you are. They knew you were opening a shop before you opened.
Parents that need their kids bikes worked on will tell other parents about you, either good or bad. It's your attention to them and their needs that makes it or breaks it. Word Of Mouth.

I learned long ago to never diss anyones bike. Word gets around. It may may be a family heirloom; a bike they once loved and want to love again; a bike that they were given so that they could get to a job... Don't judge a book by it's cover, ya know!

Yes, it is at times very difficult for a mechanic to share the same enthusiasm over a 'restoration project' that a sales guy might have. I prefer smaller shops where the mechanic IS the salesperson. I might not be able to handle 6 customers at once but, you can bet I will acknowledge your presence and say "Hi" when you come in. When I do manage to give you my attention, you can be assured that my focus is on YOU and your BIKE. Not the guy drooling over the $2000 in the corner. He does that every weekend but buys tubes and lube so I put up with it. Besides - we ride together.

When it comes to a bike in the stand, I do go 'the extra mile'. You have to. My stand backs up to the repair area and faces the floor. I encourage customers that bring in a bike for a flat to wait and watch me so I can teach them. I charge $5 to do it. Every time. For an extra $10, I can send them home with tire levers, a spare tube, and the knowledge that saves them when we are closed and may lead to the sale of a chain tool.

I think you know this already.

Yeah i appreciate you writing that up,If you treat a customer nice they will come back again and recommend to a friend and then word will get around,I see what you mean about dissing peoples bike i have a fixie where as most people have bmxs so i get a few weird looks.
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#4
Very good and nice topic here! Robar said it quite well. This past summer was very busy for me. The word of mouth I believe goes faster and is more effective then pouring 1000's into advertising. I did not put a penny into that. Although I really did not have the customer flow of a full professional bike shop, I did have steady people asking me for different things and if I could install certain items. Carrying, offering mechanical service for, or selling just one kind/type of bicycle is NOT a good idea or practice. Make a long story short there is all different models with different types of parts which means there are different types of tools.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#5
(10-31-2010, 01:23 PM)Bill Wrote:  Very good and nice topic here! Robar said it quite well. This past summer was very busy for me. The word of mouth I believe goes faster and is more effective then pouring 1000's into advertising. I did not put a penny into that. Although I really did not have the customer flow of a full professional bike shop, I did have steady people asking me for different things and if I could install certain items. Carrying, offering mechanical service for, or selling just one kind/type of bicycle is NOT a good idea or practice. Make a long story short there is all different models with different types of parts which means there are different types of tools.

Yeah theres a bmx only shop round here, they don't get many customers but thats probably because if how much they charge
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#6
From my shop days, I can attest to the value of always giving the customer a bit more than they ask for. We never let a bike go out without giving a quick wipe down and chain lube. And we always would give a quick tweak to brakes or gears if they needed a little adjustment that didn't really warrant asking the customer to pay for a full service. Especially when you are working with people who do not have a lot of mechanical knowledge, I find that people judge how the shop did based on how the bike "feels" when they get it back. An extra 60 seconds of work to make the bike run better always seemed to make people feel like they'd gotten value.

That said, no better way to piss off a mechanic than the old "hey can you check out the brakes real quick since you've got it up anyway" when they asked for a flat repair and there's 5 people in line behind them...
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