Everyone claims that their service is what differentiates them from their competitors, and we often hear about under-promising and over-delivering in the era of “delighting” our customers. But what about when service breaks down? This is an example of just such a case with our experience at local bike shop.
We know that Covid has placed a strain on bicycle equipment and service. It seemed that in 2020 there were few if any bicycles available and replacement parts were nearly nonexistent. Many shops were swamped with repair work and shop work in our area was often scheduled 2-3 weeks out. It appears that in 2021, we are beginning to see a return to normal to some degree.
My wife is a year-round recreational cyclist who is also a bicycle commuter. She typically rides between 500 and 700 miles a month. We do the normal maintenance on our bikes ourselves, but she was having an issue with her front hub (a SON Dynamo hub), and we figured it was time for a professional tune up.
Our local shop has recently been bought by a large bicycle company, so my wife checked their website to see about their service packages. Looking over the service packages, she decided that a Level 2 at $139.99 plus parts should work for her, but she remained open to any suggestions that the bike mechanic might suggest.
Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 8/8/2016
I stopped at the local Outlet Mall the other day to do some shopping and some observation. It was a warm and sunny day and may of the stores had their doors open to deal with the heat.
Being a fan of the brand and a citizen of the PNW, I stopped by the Columbia Sportswear Outlet where they had a great sale going on. I quickly found several items that I was shopping for so I headed to the registers where there were a number of waiting cashiers.
“I can help you right here,” came a greeting from the nearest cashier.
During the transaction, I noticed that a name tag affixed to his jacket. I thought it odd with the stores so warm that a cashier would be wearing outerwear. So, I asked him if he was warm.
“No, actually I am quite comfortable,” he replied as he handed me my change. I thought that would be the end of our conversation but he continued apparently excited to talk about the jacket. “The jacket is made of Omni-Shield™ and it is really comfortable,” he said as he carefully folded and bagged my purchases.
Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 3/14/2016
My wife and I went to our local bike shop to do some browsing. (Yes, some customers do just want to look around.) Entering the shop, we walked right into the middle of a very excited conversation with one voice louder than all others. Looking around, I discovered the voice belonged to an overly friendly employee that had obviously trapped a helpless customer. With his purchases clasped tightly in his hand and his bike lights already blazing and flashing, the customer was trying to inch towards the door while the employee continued to regale him with wild tales of his own recent bicycling adventures. The employee was talking so loudly; it appeared he missed the day in kindergarten when they teach about the difference between your indoor and outdoor voice as his carried clearly throughout the relatively small store.
My wife and I glanced at each other as we hurried past hoping that he would not engage us. Safely in the store, my wife commented about his excessive volume and his overly familiar behaviors. Neither of which are characteristics we appreciate in a salesperson.
As my wife and I commenced our browsing, another couple walked through the doorway. Seeing his chance for escape, the trapped customer scurried through the open doors and into the night. Unfortunately, the couple walked right into the line of fire of the Loud, Eager And Friendly clerk. Let’s just call him LEAF. As a student of retail, I figured this was a customer interaction worth watching.