Sunday, July 18, 2010

Really Nice Gesture by a Customer

There are times in the retail bike shop world when one gets really frustrated and tired with a customer. It's true. None of us, employees or customers, are perfect. We get on each other's nerves, irritate one another. It happens, and it's usually totally unintentional, so you learn to take a deep breath and move on.

Then there are interactions like we had the other day. A long time customer of ours thought he'd detected a strange new vibration in his bike, and asked if I'd look at the bearings in his front wheel. We gave him a "loaner" wheel for a day or two, so he could keep riding while I looked into the problem, and also so he could see if the phenomenon was present with the other wheel or not.

Long story short, it turns out there really wasn't anything "new" happening, but other factors had conspired to make an existing vibration more pronounced. We talked about it, and agreed it wasn't worth worrying about and the wheel bearings were fine. When he asked what he owed, I told him it was covered under our "continuing care" policy... when you buy a bike from us, any labor under $20 is free... and swapping the wheel and tire fell comfortably into that. But the customer wouldn't take no for an answer and said he was going to get his wallet.

I didn't talk to him again, but a few minutes later, John, my boss, told me what had transpired... the guy had left John $50! So when lunch time arrived, one of our staff was sent out, and returned with a pile of burritos for us all, as well as a carton of ice cream and a big bottle of root beer. Burritos and root beer floats for everyone... it definitely made a hot summer day feel a lot cooler and more fun!

It's days and customers like that one that make the few tough times a lot more bearable. And makes you really appreciate being appreciated.


bikelovejones said...

I know exactly what you mean. This summer our shop began hosting Drop-in Wrench Nights two Sunday evenings a month, and I finally got to work one a couple of weeks ago. SO fun, and in addition to how nice and appreciative customers were for the supervised loan of tools (with help as needed), several brought in goodies for the staff -- including chips and salsa, beer and pop, and even a little case of ice cream sandwiches (which we promptly shared around with everyone before they melted!).

Not that we ever expect this sort of treatment, but when it happens it's so lovely and brings a smile.

Gemma said...

I'm going to show this to my hubby, maybe it'll force him fix up our kids bikes once and for all :)