In retail if you can increase engagement between staff and customers the owners will have two ideal results. First, improved customer service and second, an improved connection between the business and the employee. In bike retail, when this is done well, the person working in the store will be come known as the bike shop guy/gal, people will know where they can find them, they will seek them out to ask questions, and any thought they have that relates to bikes will default to them and, by association, to your business. If your staff known for where they works, if their role becomes part of their identity, they are motivated to stay and to do right by customers.
Here are some steps to take with staff to increase their relationship with customers and the cycling community.
- Put them in charge of the local cycling club or team
- Have them to attend or lead group rides, races, and other events.
- Ask them to lead clinics on coaching, bike repair, or skills training.
- Have them to donate their time for trail maintenance.
- Ask them to speak about cycling at a nearby school.
- Have them manage the sponsorship relationship for a local triathlon.
- Set up a coffee station during Bike To Work Week and ask that they run it.
As a manager you want to support anything outside of the bike shop that will support the growth of the cycling community. This is how you will develop social wealth in your staff and earn their dedication and hard work.