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bike junkie
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading some of the posts about good and bad experiences with the LBS. Figuring that the posters here are experienced and have an opinion as well as many posters being shop wrenches: If you were a shop owner what would be the single best thing you would do to stand above the rest?

Day in, day out how would you be better than the others and make people want you, and only you, to take care of their biking needs?

Good riding. :)
 

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REALLY?
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2,098 Posts
Not sure, I'm just an ex shop mechanic, I work on bikes and do what I'm told, but I've been biking 33+ years and in the time I've only met one guy I trust 100% with my bikes, and this guy is the most professional, courteous, patient, and most knowledgeable guy I ever met when it comes to bikes, the guy seriously knows it all and I think a few LBS's could take a few lessons from this guy.

Ashton Johnson (Sundance Cycles - Agoura Hills, Ca)



Unfortunaly for me he moved his shop 30 miles away - I usually do my own repairs (as I probably should anyway) so I dont let to many shops/guys touch my bikes anymore.

Open Air Cycles (Ventura Ca) honorable mention

Bicycles of Ojai (you suck)
 

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Bike Dork
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1,365 Posts
c-record said:
Day in, day out how would you be better than the others and make people want you, and only you, to take care of their biking needs?
The key is service, service, service, and knowledge. Hopefully I'll be opening a small repair shop come spring that mostly services mountain bikes because the closest other place is an hour away. So we'll see if my formula works soon enough.
 

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bike junkie
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Knowledge?

themanmonkey said:
The key is service, service, service, and knowledge. Hopefully I'll be opening a small repair shop come spring that mostly services mountain bikes because the closest other place is an hour away. So we'll see if my formula works soon enough.
How does yours set you apart and how do you let people know without sounding like a horn-tooting egomaniac?
 

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Bike Dork
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1,365 Posts
c-record said:
How does yours set you apart and how do you let people know without sounding like a horn-tooting egomaniac?
Been working on bikes before there was such a thing as mountain bikes and spent about 10 years managing various shops, but generally I let my work do the talking. We all talk bikes at the trailhead or out on the ride and they see your work. If something breaks on the trail I fix it. I actually had no interest in opening a shop, but the locals here in my new area need one and asked me to do it. I've always been happy to work for others, but there are no others here.

The real answer to your question is the same one my writing profs always told me, 'show, don't tell.'
 

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bike junkie
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hopefully that's enough.

I've seen people really talk up one shop but buy from another over the most fickle things or the newest color. I don't think one shop can be everything to everyone. The people there sound like they really need your help-good shops are hard to find.

Worried about the economic climate?
 

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Is that Bill rated?
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440 Posts
Respect

It seems like a simple word, but it is so hard to earn, easy to lose, and comes about from unexpected avenues.

Respect your customer, respect their time, respect their opinion, respect their needs, respect their purchases. Acknowledge their presence when they come in the store, they are there because they want to look at and talk about bikes. Never belittle their knowledge or lack thereof, you don't know everything and you used to know even less. Deal with one customer at a time, the person you are with is important and any people who are waiting will understand when you tell them that you will be with them shortly (but do let them know that you are aware they are waiting, see top of paragraph). Do the best job you can on each repair, every person thinks their bike is most important (and they are all correct). Never make a promise you can't keep, disappointment kills relationships. Be grateful for whatever business you do, no one wants to spend more money than they feel comfortable with. Understand that not all business is going to come through your hands, no shop is everything to everyone and very few are everything to even a small number of customers. Remember that no transaction is complete until the customer has told you that they are happy, do what it takes to make sure that happens, even if it is a refund. Ride a bike, happy customers are delighted to ride with the people they bought their bike from.

I know it's not one thing, but I think it all comes down to one attitude: respect.
 

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bike junkie
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well said

I remember going into shops when I was younger and getting the attitude vibe. One shop put off so much snobbery that I was sure they must be good just because of how superior they acted. No real respect there for the customer and the owner turned out to not be a nice guy. He was super nice to customers face-to-face and really bickery (sp?) behind their backs. When he stopped being nice his outer layer fell away to expose a really ugly, rusty hull. Experienced cyclists don't go there but there anymore but there are enough new people that he stays open. Too bad.
 

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REALLY?
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2,098 Posts
Oh yeah, and make sure you always get (buyers) give (shop owners) what you ask and pay for. I took my business to a new LBS once and had him convert a mt bike I had to a single speed - at first he tried to talk me into buying a bike instead of fixing up the one I had but I would have nothing to do with that, I flat said NO...now fix my bike please.

Anyway, I asked for slime tubes to be put in, even after I left the shop I asked if he put the slime in and he said yes...well, after about 2 months the shop suddenly dicided to close its doors, after only being open about a year. About a month after the closing, I end up getting a flat...I'm saying to myself WTF? I usually get at least a year out of a slime tube. So I take the thing apart only to find out...NO SLIME.

Heh, heh...I sorta laughed afterwards...no wonder you went out of business - serves you right, aint karma a b*tch.
 

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bike junkie
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So why did you have them do the work?

Seems like you got a bad vibe which was definitely confirmed. You then went ahead and had them do the work and they turned out to be bums. I guess I may have rethought leaving the repair for them if the vibe was bad?
 
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