In the competitive market of selling and servicing bicycles, some shops do well and others die a slow and painful death. To find out why some shops do well and others don't, I went directly to the customers and asked them why they choose a particular shop. Of all the surveys I've taken from my ride list, no other survey has sparked more detailed feedback. Riders are passionate about bikes and bike shops.
What makes a good bike shop and what keeps you coming back? I suspect some of your answers are listed below.
Bike shops that are close to a cyclist's home or work got high marks. If the shop isn't close to home or work then it's best if the shop is located on a route frequently traveled by the cyclist. This goes back to the old real estate tag, that it's all about location, location, location.
Knowledgeable and Helpful Sales StaffRiders want the shop staff to be friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. This means giving riders factual information as well as personal preferences—while separating the two. When a customer is investigating a product purchase, the sales staff outlines the features and benefits of the product. If the staff person has a personal preference, he or she tells why and owns the comments.
Multiple riders have told me they will go out of their way for a good mechanic. When a rider takes a bike into the shop for service, they want to trust the person working on their equipment. For some riders, shop selection is all about the mechanic. They will travel out of their way to a particular shop for the mechanic and might even go as far as changing shops to follow a mechanic.
Many riders commented that bad work by a mechanic means they won't be back to the shop.
For other riders, taking a hard look at the maintenance area is crucial. An unkempt and unorganized shop is associated with sloppy work.
Fast Turnaround on Repairs
People that ride a lot don't want to wait for one or two weeks to get a bike back. Many will pay a bit more for fast, accurate service. If the job won't be done on time, quality shops give customers a call to let them know repair status. It's always a bonus if your bike is ready ahead of schedule.