In a sign of the times where bike shops must be more than just retail outlets, Trek’s School of Certified Service, which was unveiled in August, is now fully operational and accepting students for the full schedule of classes.
Located in Waterloo, Wisconsin, at Trek’s manufacturing, research, and development facility, the Trek Certified Service Center covers 2200 square feet of dedicated educational space and can accommodate between 12-20 students per course depending on subject matter.
The five courses currently being offered range from Service Operations Manager and Service Advisor to three levels of Technician training. Trek’s curriculum is designed to develop each student’s skills beyond the wrench, with an emphasis placed on maximizing employee retention, offering a clear career path, the importance and benefits of professionalism, and the customer experience-all while increasing the efficiency and critical thinking skills of Trek retailers’ most valuable staff.
“The service business is a critical component of a retailer’s business that drives overall profitability and can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction. It is also one of the most untapped and underdeveloped areas in bicycle retailing today,” said Ben Lassanske, Trek’s global director of product support. “With the options we now offer to our retailer partners, they can get their staff factory trained and certified on the very same products that they are selling and servicing.”
In-person courses are a multi-day immersive educational experience where students have one-on-one access to the industry’s top educators. For certain advanced courses, representatives from development partners Fox, Shimano, SRAM, RockShox, and Bosch attend as guest lecturers to offer first-hand knowledge of their brands’ key technologies and how they are intended to be serviced. Subject matter and lesson plans are designed in partnership with the same teams that developed the products the students will be servicing.
“Having been a part of the inaugural Trek Certified Service Expert Technician Course, I was able to take away more than just technical skills that will help me as a Service Technician within our shop,” said Eric Turner, Trek Certified Expert Technician at American Cycle and Fitness. “I left with plans for educating our customers in regards to maintenance and care schedules, ideas on how to help our store grow and advocate within the cycling community, and a renewed passion for providing the best service possible to our customers.”
“[The TCS Assembly Technician class] not only taught me how to assemble three different frame style bikes, but I now have a core understanding of how the mechanics of a bike work,” added store manager Michelle Schmiedeler of the Trek Bicycle Store in Kansas City. “This is great knowledge for me to be able to jump in during a rush and efficiently get a bike checked in for service, make small mechanical adjustments for my customers on group rides, and develop a higher standard in efficiency at my shop.”
Trek’s School of Certified Service has courses scheduled throughout the year, covering more than 40 weeks. Trek retailers interested in getting their staff factory-trained should contact their local Trek sales representative or consult Trek’s digital retailer portal.