The Mountain Bike Life

Why do we spend our money with one brand over another? Does it all come down to price point or is there more to it? How about how the product looked, brand loyalty or how about how it performed? For me it is all those things, but most of all it’s how I was treated when I bought the product and, if I ever had any issues with the product, how the warranty was handled. The service from the local shop to how the company deals with inquiries and service issues for me is the most important thing a brand has to offer.

Banshee has treated me well for many years now. They’re a great example customer service done right.

With the amount of choices we all have as consumers, why would we spend our money with a company that does not seem to care about their customers? This not only goes for the big names, but for all of the local shops as well. I am blessed to have over 20 shops in this little city, but choose to only frequent a few of them. Not because the other stores don’t carry the brands I like, but because of the shitty service I have received in the best when I walked through their shop doors.

This got me thinking, why with so many choices, do these companies and shops not treat their customers like gold? It’s not like there aren’t other companies out there offering products that will do the same things, so, why not try a little harder?

JRA – Transition treated me well and sent off a new frame. Another company with great customer service

I really love reading grumpy mechanic stories. You know the ones – the ranting about a stupid customer by an old burned out wrench or shop jockey. They are entertaining, and I do understand where they are coming from and I feel their pain. I am in the customer service industry too, and I understand the need to vent now and then, but I don’t feel the need to talk down too or give crappy service just because a customer knows less than I do or made a mistake.

The customer may not always be right, but the customer is always the customer. This means you need to treat them like your livelihood depends on it, because it does. If you are an ass people will go spend their money elsewhere. Bad service is like putting money in your competitor’s pockets. Customers are not going to take your shitty service and keep spending money on your product. They will move on.

Some shops even let clumsy oafs in their workshop. Thanks, SMC, for being awesome!

In my long history in this sport I have come across a few companies who have really burned their bridges with me. The big one is … well, let’s say it’s a big company that starts with S and rhymes with finalized. To make a long story short, the Canadian distributor told me they never wanted to see my name again. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I decided to sell the warranty frame and move on ASAP. What they did not know is how much of a fanboy I had been. I bought their shoes, helmets, tires, pedals – I just loved everything they made. In one fell swoop that warranty guy (I still remember his name) lost a customer who had loved the brand for many years and has now been in the industry for almost 30 years. And I still tell this story to as many people as possible.

I am not saying that all customers are right, or that you need to bow to every whiny person with a crazy JRA story, just deal with it with a little more tact. We are going to spend our money someplace and it may as well be with you, so why not show that you care about the company you are representing and get them back on their bike.

A happy customer will keep on riding your product but a pissed off customer will tell everyone about their experience, so try to make them happy as best you can and move on, what’s the worst that may happen? You end up with a happy customer who will use your product with pride.

Just a nice shot of my best friend Kyle riding his trusty steed last weekend. Not service related…but an awesome photo nonetheless.
I was never much good at good-bye
The Rooftop of France