Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
RandG
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Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Fri Oct 05, 2012 18:48 pm

I thought I'd share my thoughts on my two local LBS and how, in my opinion their customer service differed.

A couple months ago I went and picked a bike I liked the look of, colour/make/model all suited my needs, however, with that you need to to know it fits etc, and the usual, pedals. cleats and shoes. So the first thing they did was get the turbo out, and allowed me to "spin it up" go through the gears, and see how it felt, great I thought....let me get back to you on this.

A week later I went back and said, that's the one for me, but I need the aforementioned, pedals, cleats and shoes, oh and throw a hat in also. Now I already knew the price of the bike, and what the accumulative price of the "extras" would be, but I told the chap my limit. However after some breathe being drawn in through his teeth he agreed on my limit.

A couple days later I was back for the bike, pedals etc all fitted....Jump on the bike sir, we'll sort the seat etc out, on, off, adjustment here, on, off adjustment there....sorted. Hand over the cash/card, shake hands, away goes a very happy customer.

Now compare it to this week at another LBS.

My partner wants a road bike, she looks at two or three in said shop, they were very helpful etc, so after much discussion, she says, I'll come back in during the week, as I really fancy "x" bike there.

We pop back in on Thursday, first question I ask is, can she sit on it while on the turbo ?

Reply...Why do you want to do that!

Just so she can go thru the gears etc (she's never had lever gears) Ok, so they get the turbo out...has a small sit on it and a quick spin. Fine, that's the one for me, she says, but also need, shoes, pedals, cleats etc...they get the shoes in the next day (today) and we head off to pick up bike.

I ask about discount on the "extras" nope, sorry no discount, bearing in mind she's just spent over £1300. paper work done, paid, goes to get bike, pop your shoes on see how it fits.

No turbo out, small spin backwards, and seat post never moved, now I could see instantly the seat was too low, but never said anything, it's not my bike, it's not my money and I don't want to embarrass her in the shop, however, IMO the difference between the two shops was quite considerable.

Don't get me wrong, they were nice and polite to her, but no discount ? poor bike fit IMO ? not quite what I expected, regardless of how much she spent, am I wrong ?

Now I know there are some on here who know the shops I am referring to, and most probably know the folk in the shops concerned, but this is just based on my experiences recently, and don't wish this to taken the wrong way.

Captainlip
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Captainlip » Fri Oct 05, 2012 19:24 pm

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Last edited by Captainlip on Wed Oct 24, 2012 20:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CambsNewbie
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby CambsNewbie » Fri Oct 05, 2012 19:56 pm

2 LBS in St Neots..

One (long established). Book my basic model Boardman in for routine service to make sure everything is ok before letting other half use it for a 200km sponsored ride. Friendly service and hand over my £30 after collecting bike. The man tells me he's done a few adjustments etc, tightened brake cables etc.

Next day out on the bike doing about 45kph the front brake literally falls apart going downhill towards a parked car with a car coming the other way. Not happy!

Second new bike shop. Other half gets a new bike and is having trouble swapping the pedals over from old one. Pop into new shop, having never been there before. The guy stops what he's doing, swaps pedals over then refuses to take any money. When we insist, points at the pub across the road and says if you ever see me in there buy me a beer!

Guess which shop I use now!

RandG
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Fri Oct 05, 2012 20:14 pm

Unfortunately, had the shop where I went had a bike in her size, I would've got her to buy there, but it didn't and she didn't.

sunburntknees
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby sunburntknees » Fri Oct 05, 2012 20:53 pm

Why do you expect a discount? By all means ask, but to expect one... They are running a business, not a charity.

As for the seat height, can you not sort that yourself??? As I understand your post, you did not pay for a specific bike-fitting service and so I don't know what your complaint is.

RandG
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:06 pm

sunburntknees wrote:Why do you expect a discount? By all means ask, but to expect one... They are running a business, not a charity.

As for the seat height, can you not sort that yourself??? As I understand your post, you did not pay for a specific bike-fitting service and so I don't know what your complaint is.


Of course they are running a business, I know that, I also know that there are margins, and when spending £40, margins are very tight, when spending £1300+ I suspect the margins aren't as tight, so therefore, a fiver here or there goes down really well with the customer.

In regards the bike fit, I again refer to the £1300+ spent, the very least I would expect, is the service I received in another LBS, maybe you don't expect that kind of service, I don't know.

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Mikey23
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Mikey23 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:22 pm

I love the guys in my LBS to bits and use them whenever I can. I do a lot of business there and generally get 10%. But I am also aware how much it costs to keep it stocked with the latest product. I also know that every penny they have is tied up in the stock and how difficult it is to compete against the Internet and the big chains

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MountainMonster
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby MountainMonster » Sat Oct 06, 2012 00:03 am

RandG wrote:
sunburntknees wrote:Why do you expect a discount? By all means ask, but to expect one... They are running a business, not a charity.

As for the seat height, can you not sort that yourself??? As I understand your post, you did not pay for a specific bike-fitting service and so I don't know what your complaint is.


Of course they are running a business, I know that, I also know that there are margins, and when spending £40, margins are very tight, when spending £1300+ I suspect the margins aren't as tight, so therefore, a fiver here or there goes down really well with the customer.

In regards the bike fit, I again refer to the £1300+ spent, the very least I would expect, is the service I received in another LBS, maybe you don't expect that kind of service, I don't know.


Still, expecting a discount, then saying poor customer service for the shop when you don't get one is a bit mad.

pinarellokid
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby pinarellokid » Sat Oct 06, 2012 04:30 am

i personally think the customer service is THE most important part

if i got a smiling face and a happy to answer any questions attitude i would always go there.

if you get a discount when spanking the plastic then all the better ...

but answer me this if you do spend £1300 and the seller knows the seat is too low, why shouldnt he take a second to set it correctly, the little extra service costs nothing and goes a long way to building a long fruitfull relationship with the customer. remember this is an expensive hobby we have

living in Manchester and coming from a MTB background i used to go to a big shop in bury,, out of 8 staff only 1 ever gave that extra amount of personal service, and i still remember him for it.
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RandG
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Sat Oct 06, 2012 07:32 am

MountainMonster wrote:Still, expecting a discount, then saying poor customer service for the shop when you don't get one is a bit mad.


No, that's not what I was saying at all. I posted this up on my experience on the difference between two LBS, at no time have I mentioned the poor customer service. The service I got in one shop was, IMO very much better than my good lady got in her shop.

I am comparing like for like in how I seen it, maybe, just maybe the service my girl got is par for the course and I just got lucky in the other shop.

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giant man
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby giant man » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:23 am

I have to say, I like your observations, comparing two different establishments, and I don't know what you expect from an LBS, but in my experience a 'spin' on a bike you fancy on a turbo isn't exactly the same as taking one out on the road. You are not going to be able to tell much from just spinning and going nowhere on a turbo, that's not exactly a test ride.

So in essence neither bike shop gave you much in the way of customer service imo. Why on earth couldn't you take it up the road, lots of bike shops can offer this, OK some can't and I understand why, but I wouldn't have bought the bike based on the kind of 'test' that was offered and you took up. I would have gone elsewhere. Just my opinion ...
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RandG
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:30 am

Yep, that's a fair point or two, however, as much as it's all new to her, it is pretty much all new to me as well, and I never thought for a second about asking to "take it up the road"

Quite possibly in future that might be what I will ask, although I suspect the fact that the first shop immediately got the turbo out makes me suspect they probably would let me "take it up the road"

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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby p1tse » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:36 am

I don't understand why some get negative when people ask for a discount

So you buy a house you asks discount

You buy a car you ask for discount and cheaper service pack or free mats!

You buy a new bed, mattress and headboard you might as for a discount for buying multiple items

You buy a tv and want a discount on stand as well

So why so negative on the original poster wanting discount when buying a high end bike wanting discount on shoes, pedals and cleats?


However if you knew the service she was getting wasn't as good or not setup, you should have mentioned it, that's the whole point of taking someone alone with you for second opinion when the purchaser probably misses out on details

Mainsy
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Mainsy » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:42 am

For me the reasons for using the lbs is for the service and knowledge they have to offer.
They generally are not able to compete with online prices and for that reason have to offer a little more.

When selling a bike, fit is the most important thing for every customer. So if they don't take the time to help set the bike up then they are no better than a faceless online store but more expensive.

Xherdan
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Xherdan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:52 am

If the service was good in the first shop and they gave you a discount, at least in part in order to encourage you to go there again, why did you buy the second bike from a different shop?

RandG
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby RandG » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:56 am

p1tse wrote:However if you knew the service she was getting wasn't as good or not setup, you should have mentioned it, that's the whole point of taking someone alone with you for second opinion when the purchaser probably misses out on details



As I said earlier....

RandG wrote:
No turbo out, small spin backwards, and seat post never moved, now I could see instantly the seat was too low, but never said anything, it's not my bike, it's not my money and I don't want to embarrass her in the shop,



Had I made an issue of it in the shop, she would've gave me it big time when we got out of the shop.

Xherdan wrote:If the service was good in the first shop and they gave you a discount, at least in part in order to encourage you to go there again, why did you buy the second bike from a different shop?


As I said earleir...


RandG wrote:Unfortunately, had the shop where I went had a bike in her size, I would've got her to buy there, but it didn't and she didn't.

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Rolf F
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Rolf F » Sat Oct 06, 2012 13:31 pm

CambsNewbie wrote:2 LBS in St Neots..

One (long established). Book my basic model Boardman in for routine service to make sure everything is ok before letting other half use it for a 200km sponsored ride. Friendly service and hand over my £30 after collecting bike. The man tells me he's done a few adjustments etc, tightened brake cables etc.

Next day out on the bike doing about 45kph the front brake literally falls apart going downhill towards a parked car with a car coming the other way. Not happy!

Second new bike shop. Other half gets a new bike and is having trouble swapping the pedals over from old one. Pop into new shop, having never been there before. The guy stops what he's doing, swaps pedals over then refuses to take any money. When we insist, points at the pub across the road and says if you ever see me in there buy me a beer!

Guess which shop I use now!


Not exactly comparable circumstances are there.

Bike shop 1 undertakes a service on a bike and apparently makes a mistake (we don't know because 'falls apart going downhill' doesn't explain specifically what actually happened to the brake). If a mistake was made, it's obviously a bad thing.

Bike shop 2 swaps pedals around for nothing.

Both shops were helpful. One was asked to do something fairly complicated and possibly screwed up. One was asked to do something extremely simple and did it for nowt. No reason to assume that shop 1 wouldn't have swapped the pedals for free and no reason to assume that shop 2 never makes mistakes. The key thing here, which we don't know, is what actually happened to the brake that failed and why and what bike shop 1 did about it.
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Cleat Eastwood
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Cleat Eastwood » Sat Oct 06, 2012 13:52 pm

It depends who serves you as well. I went to a big lbs, not my normal one to ask about headsets (the ones they stocked were pricey) and a young lad said "if we fit one you'll HAVE to buy it from us" I queried teh price etc, then the boss man came over, I chatted to him and he said no worries - buy it on line if its cheaper he welcomes the custom. Horses for courses I guess.
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d4evr
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby d4evr » Sat Oct 06, 2012 19:17 pm

I suspect I have shopped in both shops and for the record I would never go back to the one in the West End of the city as I have found them to be "not that interested" when I have gone in. I know I'm not alone in thinking this as others have told me the same thing, having said that I know other people who like the shop. The one in the East End I have found to be great any time I have used them. I do think both could do with having a bit more choice. Never used the one in the town centre. As it happens I reckon we could do with another in the Lochee area. :wink:

I do miss Brewsters and Woolers! :wink:

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Mikey23
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Re: Two local LBS: Comparing customer service IMO.

Postby Mikey23 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 19:25 pm

my LBS is excellent and is part of a small community so has to get it right. i always ask for a discount and generally get 10% as a valued customer. today i purchased a couple of mudguards and would have got the discount but for the fact that the shop might have to fit them for me if i mess up, which is fair enough. im old and lairy enough to always try some bargaining which sometimes works. is that your best price? is my stock phrase...


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