Service with a smile (and a diary)

A former female employee has emailed me with a tale of IBDs versus Halfords. She wanted to get her bike serviced. No local IBD could help her, nor could the local Halfords, but Halfords still got the sale. How?
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"I went to get my bike serviced today.

"I really didn't want to go into a Halfords store, feeling I should support the IBDs so went looking for an IBD to service my bike.

"The first shop was called Bargain Bikes - I didn't go in I'm afraid, I didn't want a bargain service.

"The second shop I went in, the guy was really busy and I had to pull him out of the workshop at the back of the shop. He was busy working on a bike (and was the only one working there). He said that he was so busy servicing he wouldn't be able to service my bike for a week or two and that perhaps I should give him a call over the next couple of weeks to see whether he could fit me in. He did say that he was snowed under and that he had got to the point where he could let people down and didn't want to which is why he

didn't take on any more work, which was fair enough. He gave me his number on

a piece of paper and I left the shop.

"I thought I would pop into Halfords anyway. Courtney, the young guy there, was friendly and helpful. He said that they too were really busy with servicing but took me to the cycle desk so that he could look in the cycle service planner. He said he could book me in on a certain day and would I like to book in? In fact they were booked up for

around two-and-a-half weeks. The service guy came out and explained to me what he would do to the bike and I thought, well, if everyone's booked up I might as well book here. I said that I would also like a mudguard fitted and picked one off the shelf and he said that they would fit it for me when they did the service and made a note on my record sheet which also held details of my bike.

"Interestingly the bike mechanic said that they had done way more services

this year than sold bikes, in fact services seemed to be way up on last year.

"Bike shops may be busy, but it doesn't take much to have a system in place and once

you've done a good job of a service you can urge the customer to bring it in

the winter where they can have a next day service.

"My local IBDs lost some servicing, a sale and probably me. And all because they didn't have a desk diary and something that looked like a booking in system."

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