RadMarkt 03/2020

Dirk Zedler: Developing customer contacts professionally

The bicycle tester and expert Dirk Zedler held his lecture four times at the Infotech and each time the room was crowded. There was only one point of criticism of the instructive lecture: the title (The seven deadly sins of the workshop) was misleading, because this was only one small aspect of the comprehensive tour d’horizon.

The most important message of the speaker: The retailer must demonstrate professionalism towards the customer. This can be seen in the big lines, such as the shop and workshop equipment as well as in small, presumably minor details.

In earlier times the Ludwigsburg test professional had registered an increasing number of quality defects in bicycles which could result in disputes with dissatisfied or even injured end consumers. With increasing product quality sometimes ridiculous and above all avoidable trivialities are the trigger for tangible conflicts. Zedler, as the appointed expert, only had to grease a chain to remove the stumbling block. One does not know who is more likely to pass off as a caricature, the end consumer who takes legal action because of a noise or the retailer who overlooks the dry chain when inspecting the complained bicycle.

Already at the beginning of the customer contact you can do a lot of things wrong, especially at this moment, because of the first impression. It is not by chance that Zedler mentioned that the receptionists in car dealerships responsible for the first contact have a well-groomed appearance, are friendly and caring and sweeten a possible waiting time of the customer with a cappuccino.

A mounting rack with which the bicycle in question can be lifted to eye level so that the complaint does not have to be discussed bent over, is a reasonable investment, even if it is more expensive than a set of team clothing distinguishing the staff from customers and underlining the professional appearance. Friendliness costs nothing, but is not always the easiest point to fulfil.

Zedler warned in any case against increased demands due to e-mobility. E-bikes would have a completely different significance for their owners than normal city or trekking bikes; their owners would ride nearly four times as many kilometres on them. For this reason, it causes bad mood to a completely different extent when an e-bike is no longer ready for use due to a defect and you have to wait for the workshop appointment.

So either it is repaired “pronto” or a replacement bike is provided, otherwise you cannot win.

Furthermore, Zedler called for one or the other matter of course, like working with torque keys. The assumption of many mechanics that they could set the right torque value from their feeling was refuted by practical tests, reported the speaker.

By the way, he warned against range discussions among couples buying e-bikes. This does not always have to be due to the fact that the man is heavier; it could also be due to the fact that he would set the higher assistance mode, whereas the woman would stay in the Eco-mode and pedal harder, assumes Zedler. Unpleasant discussions could be avoided by pointing this out in advance and having a practical tip ready: battery change after half the total distance.

Author: Michael Bollschweiler

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