“I just bought a bike somewhere else, can I join your team?”
“I crashed my bike last week at a race, it’s acting real weird. I need you to take a look at it, NOW. This won’t cost money, right?”
“I know you’re a dealer but I bought these parts online. They don’t match my bike; so can I exchange them here?”
Let me introduce you to the Anti-Customer: The Anti-Customer always demands you to tune his derailleur right before you roll out on a ride. The Anti-Customer likes to stand over you while you complete any repair, because anything he deems “easy” should be free. The Anti-Customer seems to show up at every recovery ride and attacks/rides off the front. The Anti-Customer will attend every event you put on, but only to drink free beer and eat free food. The Anti-Customer will show up at your shop once a week, all summer long, looking for you to pump her tires, because “her pump just broke”. The Anti-Customer buys parts online, breaks them, then demands you to handle the warranty. The Anti-Customer will expect you to properly fit them on a used bike they’re buying, all over the phone, for free. The Anti-Customer brags about the great deal he found at another shop or online while on your group ride. The Anti-Customer will interrupt every conversation because the Anti-Customer has an opinion about everything. The Anti-Customer will bring in receipts from other stores and ask for the same price on a repair before you even write a quote. When the Anti-Customer always expects you to drop everything to service his internet parts. The Anti-Customer will make late night appointments, forcing you to stay late, and not show up. The Anti-Customer will call over and over, sometimes using fake names if they don’t get what they want. The Anti-Customer will take an expensive bike on a 4-5 hour test ride, leaving you wondering if you should call the police or a self defense lawyer. The Anti-Customer always ask, “So, how’s business?” or say proudly “I’ve sent so many people your way”. You’re forced to spend a lot of time and effort with the Anti-Customer. But when you check your transaction history; you notice they’re not supporting you at all.
Fortunately we have the polar opposite: The Loyal Customer. For the Loyal Customer you’ll stay hours late so their new bike will be ready for the weekend. If you notice the Loyal Customer’s cable fraying before a group ride, you’ll quickly grab the tools to fix it.The Loyal Customer offers to pay for things you’d never even consider charging them for. For the Loyal Customer you’ll search dozens of distributors for the small part that will improve their ride. If the Loyal Customer broke a spoke, you’ll gladly loan them a wheel. The Loyal Customer might get a troublesome flat on their new bike, and you gladly pick them up when they call for help. When closeout season approaches, you offer the deals to the Loyal Customer first. The Loyal Customer doesn’t have to tell you how many customers he’s sent your way, you know. The Loyal Customer doesn’t incessantly ask you how business is, they know business is good because they are supporting you. The Loyal Customer buys a shop kit and wears it proudly. When you run into your Loyal Customer at the grocery store, they’re wearing your t-shirt and don’t ask you a bike question. The Loyal Customer comes to your races and supports the local businesses surrounding the event. The Loyal Customer is always top of your repair queue. You’ll gladly open early to fit into the Loyal Customer’s schedule. For your Loyal Customer you’ll cannibalize a floor sample or even your own bike for the parts that get them back on the road. The Loyal Customer is a important member of the race team, even though they never finish on the lead lap. For the Loyal Customer, you’ll always find the time to clean their bike. The Loyal Customer may be someone who only brings his tune-up once a year, or he may have spend tens of thousands of dollars in your store. The Loyal Customer isn’t measured in dollars. They’re measured by their character and their respect for your hard work.
For the Loyal Customer you’ll do just about anything. They’re more than worth it.
Nicholas Moroder is the everyday face of Belgainwerkx. He has been wrenching on bikes for 10 years and is a Certified Retul University fitter. He’s the kind of guy who can tell you what tire is best for your wet rides, or what brake pads will make your rims last the longest. He manages the service, product , fitting, and day-to-day operation of the shop.