Bike shop spins customer loyalty

The guys at Willow Glen Bicycles in San Jose keep knocking my socks off with their service!

Dick and his crew are the kindest, most generous and knowledgeable bike staff around. I’ve watched them take care of the most proficient cyclist with thousand-dollar bikes to kids on Schwinns. When I wheel in my 30+ year-old 10 speed, they never laugh or make me feel like an old lady riding an antique. I’ve been to other local bike shops, including the previous owners at this location, and never been treated so well.

Today, is a great example. Last week I took in my bike because the odometer/speedometer I bought from them a few months ago was not working. At that time one of the senior techs suggested I get a new battery and he wrote down the battery number. I bought a new battery, installed it and it still didn’t work, so today I rode in to see if I hadn’t done something right. They tested the battery — it was fine. So Dick, the owner, replaced the unit with a higher level one saying the one I had was defective. He activated it and I was on my way. He wouldn’t take anything for the new one as he said he’d send in the old one and get a replacement from the manufacturer.

I asked if I could buy a tire valve cap and he said, “No.” I knew he was kidding and said, “We don’t charge for those.”

A month or so ago, I brought in my bike to buy some new accessories. I asked the tech if he could also do a few adjustments, which I was happy to pay for. He said, “No problem,” did all the adjustments, installed my accessories for nothing and I only paid for the merchandise, even though I insisted I wanted to pay for his time. I was told, “No charge.”

The last time I took my bike in for a tune up, I was quoted a reasonable standard tune-up fee. When I picked up my bike a few days later, the bill was about half of what I was quoted. I said the bill was wrong as the fee should have been higher. They said I didn’t need all the things a normal tune up included so they only charged me for what it needed and they did!

They continually do adjustments on my derailer, fill my tires to the right pressure, and install accessories for free. They are a delight. While I wait for service I try to find things to buy to make sure they are around a long, long time.

How could you adapt what Dick and his team do to engender loyalty among your customers?

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