Tuesday, July 30, 2013

service with a smile

There are a lot of bike shops out there.  Each has a different focus population.  Some cater mostly to high end roadies, others to the average family wanting hybrids, fewer hone in on us mountain bikers... but more, do a little of everything.  So, with so many shops, with an array of bikes and gear, how do you know which is the right shop for you??

Well, if you have a "brand" then that can narrow it down right there.  Not unlike car dealerships, bike shops are "dealers" of certain bike brands.  So, if you are a Trek guy, or a Niner girl, then that right there will narrow your shop search down as not everyone will carry these brands.  Sometimes proximity will be a limiting factor for you.  Maybe you are just looking for ease of accessibility, so the closest one will do.  After all, who really wants to drive far to a bike shop??  Well... I might.

For me, what it all comes down to is personalty and communication.  Would I love a shop that has EVERYTHING I could ever need/want right there available to me at a moments notice... well yeah.  Is that realistic, uh... probably not.  It's just not the nature of the business to be able to have everything available at all times, and that is ok.  It's more important that the guys/gals at the shop talk to me and understand what it is that I need/want.  That they talk to me about it (they might just know a little more about my bike than I do) and that they work with me to figure out how to get said item for me.  Really, customer service is what it all comes down these days with all the "super blowout deals" that are going on everyday with the online stores like Price Point.

In Boston I was a fan of International  Bicycle.  Not only did they take the time to talk to me about different bikes, and how each would fit the riding I was intending, but they didn't pressure me.  I ended up buying 4 bikes from them.  Got all my services done there.  They were great.  I could bring in my bike with a small issue, they would take a look and I was always confident that they would come back with an honest answer.  Many times they would handle it right there in front of me and charge me not a whole heck of a lot!  Confidence... it's important that you are confident in the skills and knowledge of your shop.  

Down here in Charlotte I've visited a number of shops for various things as I've been feeling them out to find "my" shop.  For most service needs I've been visiting Uptown Cycles.  The shop has a training center right inside, and the owners are some serious cyclists themselves - so that could be a bit intimidating to some.  But their service has been stellar.  Quick turnaround, great communication, and a general sense that they do care about you and your bike.  

Yesterday, I stopped in to pick up something at a new (to me) shop that is up by my new job.  I'd heard good things, but the shop just wasn't all that close to me, so I had never visited.  Yesterday I dropped by The Cycle Path to see about some spacers so I could get this chain line of mine in order.

I was greeted promptly by the mechanic and he grabbed me the spacers I needed.  He even threw in a lock ring "just in case" for free.  Now that is service!  Even though I have one, and was pretty sure it would do the trick, he gave me one for free so that there wouldn't be any issues.

When I got home, my lock ring worked (and was the same as the one he gave me) but it was nice to know he had my back.  Next time I'm in the shop, I'll be dropping off that lock ring - that's just good biking karma man.  I didn't take the time to look around the shop on this trip, but I will certainly take a little look around next time I'm in there... who knows, maybe I have a new shop?  At the very least, I can enjoy the view - they are a Niner dealer and have a couple Kermit Green Air9s in the window.

No comments:

Post a Comment