Victoria Bike Shop

Fort St Cycle: Small Business/Big Service

After a brief stint in Toronto, one of the casualties was my Jeep.  My sweet, sweet 20 year old, gas-guzzling Jeep.  Sorry…having a moment…

Aaaaaanyway, the need to get mobile, get fit and get off my ass finally pushed me to get my bike tuned up and serviceable. Of course if the bike cost more to fix than the bike itself, more sneaker-mileage for me. Fort St Cycle was recommended to me…and since I’m too lazy to do further research or walk farther than a block…FORT ST CYCLE IT IS!

The Order:
I know nothing about bikes. Other than where to sit and where to put my hands, I’m pretty dumb when it comes to things like maintenance, repairs, everything else… So I thought I’d go to the experts to get it taken care of.  I pulled my bike into Fort St. Cycle and let them know I wanted an estimate on repairs at which point I was directed to the shop at the back.  The guy at the counter (sorry, counterperson) flipped it over, spun the wheels and asked me a few questions regarding what I was using the bike for…you know, besides riding it.  The quote came to about $110 and I was told I could come back tomorrow.

And return I did.  The final cost (with tax) came to $107.

The Service:
From the moment I wheeled into the bike shop, to the moment I wheeled out, I was given great direction and recommendations.

The guy at the counter immediately acknowledged me when I came in even though he was talking to another couple.  Once he had time, he let me know that if I could get my bike in right away that they’d be able to get me through pretty quickly.  A quick trip home and back, I took my bicycle to the back shop area.

The technician/mechanic came out immediately and began asking me relevant questions: “How often do you plan on using the bike?” “What do you plan on using it for? Work? Recreation?”  From my answers these, he determined what I needed and didn’t need – $20+ chain vs. $10 chain.  The turnaround time was fantastic.  When I went to pickup the bike the next day, they took it down to the front door for me and held the door for me when I left.

And on top of the expedient service, what looked like a manager/owner made sure I was aware my new bike wires would need to be re-tighted in a few months and to come back for that 5 min. procedure (though he didn’t mention if he would charge me for that).

Fort St. Cycle Conclusion:

Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major. Now that I’ve decided to join the bike culture of Victoria, I will definitely be returning to Fort St. Cycle. For a small company to stand out, they need to provide a little something extra – courteous, helpful, fast and not pushing things on me I don’t need.  That’s a lot of customer service to like.

Service Rating System:
Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

The Tip:
Never be negative. Don’t stick with “No,” but rather provide alternatives. This is an opportunity for a business to show what they have to offer.

“Can I have this?” – No BUT we offer this, this and this or why not try this.

“Can you do this for me?” – No BUT if you are interested, we can do this but it’ll cost this.

Everything is an opportunity and as long as your customer/guest understands you’re not trying to slip something by them (i.e. offering an alternative but not mentioning it costs extra) they will be open to what you have to say.

Ending a discussion in “NO” leaves your customer/guest with a negative impression of your service and misses an opportunity for you to show off what you do offer.

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