On Customer Service

Customer service is simple: make it as easy for customers to hand you money as possible, and make them happy to do it so they keep coming back.

A local bike shop doesn’t seem to understand that. I bought my helmet there, happened to see Lenore at the same time, and bought her about the same time. Those were a matter of convenience and luck, respectively, and by the time I added new tires and saddlebags to Lenore, I dropped a good buck there. Return visits have been for simple things, but asking simple questions about those simple things appeared to be an inconvenience for the owner.

This week I cracked open Lenore and decided I need to replace the air filter. I called the same local shop, asked if they have them in stock, and got a quick negative and the guy started to hang up. I asked if he could order it. An impatient yes. I said I’d stop down and order it, and the answer was pretty much “Okay, *click*.”

Alright, then. Time to find someone actually interested in my money.

I called Grayboy on Prospect in Peoria Heights, got their parts department. I told the guy what I needed. He asked if I needed any other parts, then checked their stock. When he returned he politely informed me it was out of stock but he could have it in three or four business days. I asked if he could order it right away, and he said I could order it over the phone. They even had my name in their system already from when I bought some gloves a few years ago.

Now I’ll be stopping in there on Tuesday to pick up an air filter and spend even more money on oil, an oil filter, and an oil filter wrench.

That wasn’t so difficult, was it? I don’t need my ass kissed, but I’m more than willing to hand over money to someone who’s willing to find a way to take it.

What’s more, it will give me a chance to drool on a 2010 Honda Shadow Phantom:

I have no reason to upgrade yet, but I kinda dig that blacked-out look. I’m just reserving judgment until I see it in person.

Word is they have the Fury in stock, too. The faux-custom thing doesn’t do much for me — I prefer a beefy cruiser to the stripped-down chopper — but it might be fun to kick the tires.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. Tim Daly says:

    I don’t know what the statistics for the failure of small business are, but I’m sure they are fairly high. What people never say it that, in a lot of cases, the people who open a small business are idiots.