I hear that some shops are struggling, and I’m trying to understand it myself. But here are 5 things that to me, seem like they can help make your bike shop more successful.
It’s not so much about racing anymore.
In the past and still, very often our best and high dollar customers are the race crowd. Bicycle racing does promote the sport, push innovation and drive sales. It’s kind of the whole point for our and other industries too.
Lets just not forget that we are changing the world and part of becoming a more bike-friendly world is we need to embrace the weird and wonderful bikes that our new customers want to test ride. With those bikes come a new group of people that may be put off by the race scene. What percentage of the population in your city races bikes? I bet is just a small part of it. We need to welcome the remainder of the population.
Own the issues and be transparent.
This is an ongoing customer service issue in every industry. be open and honest, tell them what you are going to do, try to do it, if you run into issues, keep the customer in the loop. whether it’s positive or negative. In the long run, it will be appreciated, and respected.
E-bikes are here, they’re awesome and the sales are growing in leaps and bounds at the moment. E-bikes are part of getting that other part of your population in your store and most importantly on a bike and outside. It’s not cheating, it’s another form of transportation that isn’t about competition, itas about access and expansion of cycling for everyone. I mention this every time someone gives that “oh I’d never need that, I’m too good for that” response to e-bikes. More on e-bikes in a related post here.
Talk to your customers.
Be the person that listens and asks questions and validates their concerns and interests. call them on the phone, follow up after the sale, and service. Send thank you and holiday cards. This is important: Not every contact needs to be a marketing ploy. Honest Communication is appreciated and it keeps your awesome shop in their thoughts.
Follow up after the sale and service.
Prep for service during the sale because modern high-end bikes need skilled routine maintenance. Let’s start the education form the beginning and knock it out of the park with fast and expert service with a smile. Call them 60 days after they take the bike home and see if they have any questions or need any accessories. Invite them to a ride or to a how-to class. Let them know you have their backs and best interests in mind.
Don’t shun the do it yourself and online purchase crowd.
They may not know it yet but they need you and your vast experience and honest yet gentle assessment of their needs. You need them too. ask my auto mechanic, D.I.Y folks may not start in your shop but they end up spending money there. They need you as much as you need them. treat them with respect and as interns, they want to learn and don’t want to feel bad for trying it themselves.
Go forth, make your customers love you and never forget to have fun.Top