Great customer service makes a world of difference.
I went to my favorite bike shop over the weekend. Olympic Bike Shop in Tahoe City. If you are ever in Tahoe City, stop by. And talk to Peter. If he's there, you'll know who he is.
Peter immediately greets you, finds out what you are looking for, and is more than happy to have a 20-minute conversation with you about anything you could possibly want to know. I'm not sure, but I think he's the owner of the shop. Regardless, all the employees are incredibly helpful. I have no desire to go anywhere else for my biking needs. I will wait until I go to Tahoe to get things for my bike.
The first time I went to this shop, one of the other employees showed me a used bike for sale. I was really excited about it. He had me sit on it and adjusted it to me. After a few minutes, he told me the bike was just a tiny bit too big for me and that it was in my best interest to keep looking and find the perfect fit. Keep in mind I was ready to buy it. He gave up a sale on purpose because he knew it would be in my best interest. Amazing.
Last time we were there, Peter had me sit on a gel pad for 5 minutes in order to measure my sit bones (which, by the way, are average--just in case you were wondering) to fit me to the right size saddle.
This drawing is hilarious. But, yes, this is what it looks like. Only with a lot more fat on my butt.
While I was sitting there, he was marking, stretching out, and perfectly fitting some lady's mountain biking clipless shoes. Can't wait to take my future clipless shoes to him some day.
This last time he told me all about the various types of gloves and all about the best kinds of lights to put on your bike. I was going to get regular battery-powered lights, but he recommended that I get this rechargeable, very powerful, night commuting light. Here's what I got:
He also had me sit on one of their bikes and walked me through the most important points for good posture on a road bike.
The best part about it is that he always recognizes Christian and me. I'm sure Christian and I could have gotten the best lights or saddles or gloves at this shop, but these employees helped us find the best stuff for our budget.
I went into another bike shop in Tahoe and asked if they had a selection of saddles. The guy pointed to the other wall and said, "They're over there." Christian and I immediately walked out. We had been spoiled by great customer service and weren't about to settle for less.
It's all about getting your customers to keep coming back, right?