Almost a year ago I bought a new vacuum. We have a white German Shepherd (you've seen him in the Rapid Cycling social media feed sporting his shop collar!) who sheds like crazy. When I say he sheds more than any other dog we've ever had, it isn't an exaggeration.
So we needed a vacuum that could handle a lot of dog hair.
I visited our local Cleaning Supplier. I was able to demo different machines, ask very specific questions, have a professional help me pick out a vacuum that best fit my specific needs. All in all, my buying experience was fantastic and I was thrilled we have a local specialty store for something as utilitarian as a vacuum.
Fast forward almost a year, the dog hair combined with the dust and dirt of Southern Utah living, my vacuum was emitting a smell that disagreed with my nose. I took it back to The Cleaning Supplier and left it for service. A couple days later, I got the call it was ready and went to pick it up. My hard-working vacuum was clean and serviced and looked brand new. He handed it over and said "there is no charge, we service all vacuums we sell at least once for free."
He smiled and again talked me through caring for the vacuum and then I left and thought to myself "What if I had bought a vacuum online???" What a different experience it would be.
And then I thought about the similarities between shopping at a small, local specialty cleaning supply store and shopping at a local bike shop. As one of the owners of Rapid Cycling, I can only hope that we have had customers walk out the doors of our stores and be just as happy they bought from us rather than buying online.
Sometimes we really just want or need the lowest price possible. Sometimes we need a fair price and stellar customer service. I’ll take the customer service and personal experience any day.