Actionable Tip for Retailers- #4: To Blog Or Not To Blog

It's possible at some point along the way a wise SEO / internet marketing guru told you to have a blog on your website. You were told it would increase traffic to your site and improve search engine rankings. This is true, however this only works if you keep your blog updated. As mentioned in previous posts, we spend a tremendous amount of time here at Service Reign looking at bike shop websites. This is not a scientific study, but it is fairly safe to say nearly 90% of the sites we view, which have blogs, have not updated their blog in more than 2 months. In some cases it's more than 2 years!

Kudos to these shops for attempting to start a blog, but like an unkept bathroom, an outdated blog is just another let down for your customer. And, that brings us to Actionable Tip for Retailers - #4: To Blog Or Not To Blog

If you can't keep your blog updated with weekly posts, turn off your blog. Shut it down. The harm of having an outdated blog far outweighs the benefits having one.  That's it all!

Actionable Tip for Retailers- #3

I was in one of those fast casual restaurants a few days ago and had to use the bathroom. The room was (and likely still is) very dirty. The paper towel dispenser was broken with just a roll sitting next to the sink. The trash can was overflowing and there was no soap either. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If the bathroom is filthy, I wonder what the kitchen looks like?" The same could be said for your service area. The same could be said for any retail business offering repair services. Do you think a customer has confidence in your ability to take good care of their bike (or skis, or snowboard, or jewelry, etc.) when you can't even keep your store bathroom clean?

It goes without saying, if you have a customer bathroom in your retail business, make sure it's clean. A clean and tidy bathroom lets customers know your business is dialed and you care about your image. And, that brings us to this week's Actionable Tip for Retailers - #3

  • Keep your bathroom clean!
  • Establish a cleaning schedule for your employees, that includes routine clean-up and restocking. This should probably be every hour or every two hours at the very least.
  • Rotate the cleaning schedule among employees, daily or by shift. No one likes the job, but it has to be done. Offering an incentive to the bathroom cleaner each day won’t hurt either!
  • Clean the walls. Clean the toilets. Clean the sinks. Clean the doors. Clean the mirrors. Everything.
  • Keep bathroom well-stocked – toilet paper, soap, towels.
  • Repair the tiles. Repair the mirrors. Repair the hardware. Repair leaks. Repair and repaint the walls and ceilings as needed.
  • Make sure the bathroom door locks.
  • Ensure the bathroom smells fresh all the time.

Actionable Tip for Retailers- #2

Here at Service Reign HQ we spend a tremendous amount of time looking at the dealer locator feature on bike company websites. You do know what a dealer locator is, right? This is a web page customers visit when they are trying to find out where they can go to look at and potentially buy a new product. The dealer locator is where your business is listed if you sell this particular brand. Typically it includes your store's name, address, website url, phone number and email address. Unfortunately there can be a tremendous amount of typos, broken links and outdated information for your store on these dealer locators. This is the first place you could lose a potential customer because your store's information is incorrect. So, here is your Actionable Tip for Retailers - #2

  1. Make a list of your top 20 brands.
  2. Designate a person on staff to visit each brand website and make sure your store information is correct.
  3. Contact the brand rep if mistakes are found.

Actionable Tip for Retailers - #1

Is your security system dialed?

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As some of you may know one of our clients, Golden Bike Shop got broken in to over the weekend and had $50K of bike stolen. While this certainly sucks I thought it might be a good time to remind you all to do a security check up at your store! Here is your Actionable Tip for Retailers #1:

  • does your security system work the way it's supposed to?
  • do you have security cameras and are they in the right place? Are they capturing all the potential entry ways?
  • is your insurance policy dialed and up to date?
  • have you ever run a long cable and lock through some bikes at closing time?
  • do you have a record of every bike's serial number?
  • what other steps can you take to prevent theft?
  • curious to know what security system you use? Let us know.

Shift Up Podcast: Improving Your Customer Feedback

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Service Reign founder, Brandon Dwight was fortunate enough to be a guest on the Shift Up Podcast hosted by Arleigh Greenwald. In this episode they discuss the customer service loop and how bike shops can intercept negative feeling online before it spreads too far

Pointing to the automotive industry where the customer feedback loop is said to be “lightyears ahead” of the bicycle industry’s, presenter Arleigh Greenwald begins by asking Dwight why he decided his Service Reign development is necessary for the independent bike shop.  

To listen CLICK HERE >>

Why Service Reign?

When I was a bike shop owner, a huge source of stress for me was receiving a negative customer review. Whether it was on Google, Yelp or social media, a bad on-line review kept me up at night and turned my hair gray sooner than it should have.

It felt even worse was when a friend would mention a person they knew who had a bad experience at one of my shops.  At least with an on-line review I could respond publicly to the customer in an effort to make things right. When I heard about an unhappy customer, my two biggest concerns were:

“How many people has this unhappy customer told about their bad experience?”

“How many people have had a bad experience, but kept quiet and just didn’t return?”

One thing I learned in many years of retail was when a client had a bad experience, nine times out of ten it was due to poor communication. Sure we dropped the ball once in a while, but more often than not it was due to a simple misunderstanding. I also learned that most unhappy customers do not complain. They just don’t come back. This frustrated me because when I was able to speak to the customer and address the concern I would usually turn it around and make them happy. I’m sure many shop owners and managers have had similar experiences.

To help bike shops, as well as other retail service businesses, keep customers happy I developed Service Reign. It is an easy (and I do mean easy) to set up software application works seamlessly with Lightspeed Retail point of sale and allows your customers to quickly and honestly provide feedback.

If your customer signals they are unhappy you’ll be notified instantly so you can find out what went wrong and make it right. You will be able to contact them before they could potentially leave a negative review or tell dozens of people or worst of all…never come back.

Service Reign is not a gimmicky survey or rating system. It is a simple tool for you to ask your customers for honest feedback. Your customers like your shop. They want to be part of your tribe. Service Reign gives them a simple, unobtrusive way to offer positive reinforcement and constructive criticism. We have tested Service Reign with many great shops and all of them have made unhappy customers happy and loyal!

Service Reign costs $19 a month.  So, if you are doing the math at home (and I know you are) that comes out to just $228 a year. Even if Service Reign only helps you make one disgruntled customer happy each year it pays for itself.

Service Reign is not just for bike shops. It works for any Lightspeed Retail user offering a service. Whether it’s pet grooming, jewelry repair, ski and snowboard service, or electronics repair, Service Reign is the easiest way to get real time customer feedback fast!


About Service Reign founder Brandon Dwight

Brandon Dwight is the co-founder of Boulder Cycle Sport, an internationally recognized specialty bike shop with three locations in Boulder, Colorado. This shop was awarded Best New Bike Shop by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News in 2005 and won Interbike’s Retailer Of The Year in 2016. Brandon stepped down in early 2017 to spend more time with his family and explore new ways to help small business owner thrive in an ever-changing retail environment. Boulder Cycle Sport still flourishes today doing amazing things for the cycling community.

When he is not trying to improve customer service for small businesses you can find Brandon riding bikes or hiking mountains with his family, racing a bit of cyclocross or coaching junior cyclists.