Today I got a call from a dude on a rented house boat. He has two bikes that needed attention because of a minor accident. Now I'm not totally foreign to going on house calls, I've done them before and make sure to charge a minimal fee for the service.
I packed up the car with my basic tool kit and headed out in the down pour to the local canal dock. In 4 minutes I was there, greeting Renee and his wife. After examining the Raleigh Sprite and the other bike of similar history I came to the conclusion that neither of the injured wheels could be saved. Sad, but true. In some rare cases I come across a bike that I simply can not repair. In the case of both bikes, they had been pinched between the dock and the boathouse resulting in the rims being terribly bent. Nothing I could do but offer my help in locating replacement wheels.
Renee seemed satisfied with my service and offer of a ride to a local 2nd hand bike dealer. I think I made a friend. Sometimes even though the end result is not what either of us want, the customer is so impressed with the attention and personal care that they still feel compelled to spread positive vibes about it. This is the type of service that builds strong customer loyalty. If I could continue to provide similar service throughout the year, I would be a better person and more satisfied bike repair guy.