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Reinventing the Wheel

Book Description

When Chris Zane bought his bicycle shop at age 16, his business struggled until he discovered the secret that catapulted his store into one of the largest in the country. His secret? Provide unbelievable, over the top, excessively generous customer service.

Chris Zane isnt a management consultant or professor preaching a theory of customer service; hes a hands-on entrepreneur whose customer service approach has yielded enormous success. Zane has become a business celebrity, including being featured in the most recent round of American Express television ads.

Featured in the New York Times and in Associated Press articles and bestowed numerous awards for its unique business practices and outstanding customer relations, Zanes Cycles has produced ideas thought by many to be pie-in-the-sky. But these counterintuitive concepts have proven to be hard-headed and effective. For example, Zanes offers a trade-in program for families who can turn in bicycles their kids have outgrown for a 100 percent credit toward new ones. Initially thought impossibly generous, this program has proven to be good business. Experience and a clear understanding of the lifetime value of a customer makes this program, and many others Zanes implements, work.

In Reinventing the Wheel, commonly overlooked elements that make a business exceptional are revealed. Zane produces a case study unlike any otherone that shows the importance of investing in customers and employees and how businesses are really selling experiences, not products. His philosophies and tried-and-true methods of guerilla marketing will show entrepreneurs and business owners how to knock out the competition while thriving in any kind of economy and doing good for the community along the way.

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Introduction
  5. • 1 • - what business are you in?
    1. • great customer service • trumps cheap prices
    2. • what business are you in? •
    3. • making the connection •
    4. • keep your focus •
    5. • building relationships •
  6. • 2 • - building lifetime relationships
    1. • the lifetime value of customers •
    2. • the end of nickel-and-diming •
    3. • life is like a bowl of quarters •
    4. • don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk •
    5. • trade in, trade up •
    6. • guerilla marketing •
  7. • 3 • - a winning proposition
    1. • the lifetime service guarantee •
    2. • offer the best value package •
    3. • building our three-legged stool •
    4. • the accidental home run •
    5. • changing the game •
  8. • 4 • - planting seeds
    1. • building community ties •
    2. • investing in the community •
    3. • fertilizing our relationships •
    4. • broadening our horizons •
  9. • 5 • - stretch your comfort zone
    1. • opportunity knocks •
    2. • taking the premiums plunge •
    3. • shifting into high gear •
    4. • a natural progression •
  10. • 6 • - game-changing tactics
    1. • drive your competitors nuts •
    2. • drive up the price tag on talent •
    3. • keep the pressure on •
    4. • take advantage of defunct competitors •
    5. • tactics for the future •
  11. • 7 • - focus on continuous improvement
    1. • make your intentions clear •
    2. • always ask, “what can we do better?” •
    3. • win back at-risk customers •
    4. • bottom up, not top down •
  12. • 8 • - hiring help
    1. • recruit nice people who have • the potential to deliver great service
    2. • the power of pointing north •
    3. • keep your eyes and ears open for talent •
    4. • empower your employees •
    5. • the valentine’s day massacre •
    6. • scaling up and branching out •
  13. • 9 • - mix it up
    1. • overcoming cultural barriers •
    2. • gender bender •
    3. • embracing customers • with alternative lifestyles
    4. • embracing new opportunities •
    5. • finding our national niche •
  14. • 10 • - think nationally, act locally
    1. • strength in numbers •
  15. index
  16. about the author
  17. Copyright Page