Today, we at The Bike Collective are excited to explore innovative online services that allow your customers to schedule repairs directly on your website. A multitude of companies offer this functionality, seamlessly integrating your shop calendar with a tool that your customers can access to view available service slots for their bike.
However, similar to payment processing providers, these companies are not bike industry experts. Consequently, their subscription services may include features that you neither need nor help grow your business. We aim to help you navigate through these options and find the perfect fit for your specific needs.
My name is Nigel Groce-Wright and I have worked with retail businesses for close to a decade. I help businesses streamline operational issues that affect their profitability. In other words, I make sure you have the tools in place to run your business as cost-effective as possible.
What Is A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a tool that helps manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. Its primary aim is to enhance customer service relationships and retention, and drive sales growth.
For a bike shop, a CRM system can be incredibly useful for managing repairs in several ways:
Tracking Customer Details: The CRM stores all customer data in one place, including contact details and purchase history. It could also keep track of each customer’s bike model and service history. This makes it easier to provide personalized service and anticipate potential repair needs.
Scheduling and Reminders: A CRM can help manage repair appointments, automatically scheduling them based on available slots, and sending reminders to customers about their upcoming appointments.
Repair History and Follow-ups: The CRM system can keep a detailed record of all repairs performed on each bike. This is useful not only for warranty purposes, but also to proactively follow up with customers when it’s time for regular maintenance or check-ups.
Communication and Feedback: A CRM can be used to communicate with customers about the status of their repairs, and gather feedback post-service to improve the shop’s services.
Marketing and Promotions: Based on the purchase and repair history of customers, the CRM can be used to target marketing messages and promotions, such as discount offers for specific services or accessories.
Data Analysis: The CRM can generate reports and analytics to understand customer behaviors and preferences, identify trends in repairs, and make informed decisions to grow the business.
In essence, a CRM system could make the process of managing repairs at a bike shop more efficient, personalized, and customer-centric, ultimately driving repeat business and fostering customer loyalty.
A new cloud based service offered by Hubtiger has the ability to simplify the booking process for your customers. Whether they prefer to book online or in person. Customers will be able to book in person or over the phone, you’ll also be able to use Hubtiger in-store to make the bookings and still provide a consistent and seamless booking experience.
This is a good option on the market offering the basics of this new offering, but there are a few points we want to highlight for our shop owners. Hubtiger in particular has a shortcoming in that customer communication is manually initiated by staff. Your customer communication can and should be automatic to the point that your system will outreach to customers when repairs are complete.
Another repair scheduling management we have stumbled upon is called Velodrop. Like the others, this company offers a scheduling feature to integrate with your POS and your website. They have an automatic outreach system for completed repairs which will save your mechanics time and effort with customer communication. An overall good choice this option will fill some missing pieces in your repair process and is one to consider.
Our goal is to look past the obvious options and find the solutions which are truly designed to elevate your bottom line. Velodrop will resolve some pain points you may be feeling but when your website is reaching its potential, Velodrop will fall short. The Bike Collective knows that once your website is integrated with your storefront and supplier inventory you will need your schedule management tool to keep up. Your scheduling management system can and should have the ability to also update your inventory based on your repair needs and we are here to find those tools for you.
Along the same lines, a company offering repair process services is Orderry. They are offering booking services, work order management, and customer communication. Their services have the ability to streamline your scheduling process, and push work orders directly to your mechanics. With the work order system Orderry is able to set time limits for jobs and track the inventory required for certain repairs.
This is a great option for our shops, but again they have some shortcomings. This system isn’t able to integrate with many POS systems which will reduce your ability to streamline your shop services with your online presence. We at the Bike Collective think this may be a good choice for ecommerce based shops but their inability to integrate with POS takes it off of the list for physical shops.
Top Choice: Freshsuite
Freshdesk, as a customer support software, offers a multitude of benefits to bike shops looking to optimize their maintenance and repair services.
Firstly, Freshdesk can streamline the management of repair requests. Customers can raise tickets directly through various channels like email, phone, or even social media. Each ticket includes all the necessary information about the repair, from the type of service needed to the specific issues with the bike. This helps the shop quickly understand the customer’s needs and efficiently assign resources.
Secondly, Freshdesk’s multi-channel support ensures that bike shop teams can manage all their communication in one place. Whether the customer chooses to contact them via email, phone, or social media, everything is consolidated into one unified platform. This minimizes the chance of missing out on any customer requests and improves overall communication efficiency.
Thirdly, Freshdesk features automation capabilities, reducing manual efforts and increasing productivity. Simple tasks like ticket assignments, follow-ups, and reminders can be automated. This enables the team to focus more on the actual repair work and less on administrative tasks.
Fourthly, Freshdesk’s knowledge base and self-service options can be a valuable tool for both the bike shop and its customers. Shops can publish articles and guides on common bike issues and their fixes. Customers can use this information to perform minor repairs themselves or to better understand the repair process.
Lastly, Freshdesk provides insightful reports and analytics that can help bike shops understand their customer’s needs better and identify areas of improvement. For example, tracking common issues or complaints can help the shop focus on enhancing specific services or training their team in particular areas.
Our goal is to make sure each and every step of your service process is reaching its full potential. A huge part of your process that we want to streamline is your repair process and customer outreach. These pieces of your business can be integrated into a passive process with the technologies coming out for small businesses, and that’s our goal. Let’s use this tech to bring your shop to the next level, trust us your competition is going to be jealous.