Monday, October 11, 2010

Gorillas in a bicycle shop..

Bicycle shops aren't what they used to be these days..

I was told that best bargains for bicycling goods can be found in Taman Megah near SS2 in Petaling Jaya.
The said shop has years of experience and started out as a humble outlet catering to bicyclists in the neighbourhood.
Their owner was a guest-of-honour at my wife's best friend's wedding some years back.
When a business unit is small, the owner and staff would have time to give their customers some service and personal attention.
Now, fast-forward 15 years, the said shop had moved to a new and bigger location near its old location.
I made a trip there to find out more about cycling helmets.
During lunch, it was packed with customers and in a single glance, I realised that some of the regular clients there are from the upper class market.
At least two of the guys there were bigwigs and the rest were yuppies.
If you expect counter service at this place, well, better forget about it.
I approached this Gorilla-like retard at the counter - a Malay dude probably in his late 40s with long hair and a Quasimodo hunch.Then I asked: "Eh bang, saya nak beli helmet, bajet lebih kurang RM200.." (I want to buy a helmet with a budget of RM200).
His reaction: "Kedai kita ni bukan macam orang lain, helmet murah pun boleh dapat, RM50 dah siap. Kat sini, barang kita mahal.." (We don't sell cheap stuff here).
I was taken aback with his attitude.
The Gorilla didn't seem to bother with casual walk-in customers and I was warned about the owner's reputation of licking rich people's ass.
So, with that in mind, I have strucked off one bicycle shop on my list.
They can have the best deals in town, a variety of tools and gadgets and all the shenanigans on Earth, with their attitude, they can eat the peanut out of my shit.
Now, 10-minute's walk away from this shop, the scenario was entirely different.
I went to an outlet owned by Kean Seng Heng (KSH Bikes) and the service people there are from a different planet.
This is like comparing fire and ice.
For a posh joint, I was surprised and humbled with their courtesy and attention given.
Even for asking, I get a smile and Herbert, the guy who took my inquiry, was kind enough to show me around.
In terms of sale, this guy got my vote.
The other shop may have everything lined-up for success, but if they expect me to kiss their owner's saggy ass, they can forget about it.
If there is a business model that can be expanded, the KSH retail chain would have a lot of prospect.
At the end of the day, its how you treat people that makes the difference.
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