My name is Erin and I am an ATHLETE

For the last few years I have been working on my image of myself.  It wasn’t until recently that I actually came to terms with the idea that I am an athlete.

Growing up I was not particularly sporty other than riding my bike everywhere as transportation until about the eighth grade.  I was never a dancer or a track star like my friends were and accepted the fact that I could be the smart one not the skinny fit one.  That badge of smart not sporty stayed with me until about a year or so ago when I realized I was more than just the label I had assigned myself at thirteen.

I went in for my annual doctor’s visit and she actually said that it was refreshing to deal with an athlete.  My health was good because I was so engaged in activities that support bone mass and heart health and keep my weight in a good zone.

I was concerned because the BMI scale had me as overweight despite having a roughly 20% body fat measurement. She brushed off my worry about my BMI because in her words “they don’t account for someone with as much muscle mass as you, BMI is not designed for serious competitors. Most of the Olympic team would show as overweight or obese because the scale is designed for averages.”

WAIT just a second!  She changed my label.

The word athlete was never my badge, and it felt wrong.  It didn’t fit me.  How could it fit me?

Over the next few days I started to work through my definition of what an athlete was.

Very active (4-6 times a week)-Check

Multi sport-Check

Dedicated to a life of fitness-Check

They have strong, muscular bodies-Check

They are constantly pushing themselves harder-Check

WHOA!  Hang on here…. That makes me one of THEM?

Yes. 

So the defense arguments kicked in.

They don’t have cellulite-yes they do

They don’t get tired and feel weak-yes they do

They don’t struggle to improve-yes they do

By my own definition I had become someone who doesn’t casually ride a bike or go for a run, I was committed to a lifestyle of activity.  My idea of a fun weekend was going out for eight to twelve hours of cycling with my friends who I could easily define as athletic superstars.

Then my world changed.

About two weeks ago I broke my leg and damaged the ligaments in my knee playing a sport I love and I realized my world was at risk.  I am in rehab and just now understand that instead of accepting an injury and going back to that sedentary life I have to train at recovery.

I have to commit to doing the exercises for healing at the same level and with the same dedication I would put forth of a century bike ride, running a marathon or achieving a 5:10 climb.

I am in training for an event right now.  That event is my everyday life, because I am an athlete.

Why Customers Come Back… or Don’t

I have been in eCommerce for well… a long time.  We work hard getting a customer to that first purchase transaction and it is definitely not easy to push them all the way through their first purchase, let alone a follow up purchase.

Great looking sites and navigation can only go so far, but amazing customer service has unlimited ripples for any site.

The goal of any eCommerce site is to surprise and delight their customers for two main reasons:

1) so that the come back and spend more money

2) so they tell their friends to shop on your site

This week I had an incredibly positive first time shopping experience at rollergirl.ca.

My order went as follows:

Friday

9:00am

I created an order and asked for sizing confirmation in my special request box.

9:05am

I received a confirmation email stating my order was received and I would hear back from someone to confirm my order sizing.

11:37am

I received an email with the details regarding confirming my sizing supported by a link to the site with additional information and pictures.

Pictures are always key to doing a good job of measuring for any apparel or footwear purchase.

12:52pm

I responded to the sizing questions via email.

1:01pm

rollergirl.ca confirmed their recommendations via email with a detailed listing of suggested sizes by item description and a list of validations for each change to my original order

1:04pm

I confirmed via email that they should go ahead as suggested.

1:07pm

rollergirl.ca let me know that I would recieve a shipping notification from Canada Post shortly.

1:09pm

I received the first of three notices from Canada Post with my tracking information on behalf of Roller Girl

Monday there was a notice for pick up from Canada Post.

Monday night I had my skates and accessories in my hands complete with the addition some instructions on care, a cheeky rollergirl.ca sticker-I am still five years old and love stickers-and some Double Bubble Gum (comic and all).

This is the example of surprise and delight.  I had gone to rollergirl.ca because they had a richer assortment than my local Toronto store.  I really wasn’t expecting to get anymore out of the experience than the particular size and model of skates that I wanted.  Instead what I received was the definition of customer service and I will  continue to shop there because I was blown away by the speed and quality of my service over and above getting my product of choice.

Now let’s be honest, not every scenario plays out quite this quickly.  I really wanted my skates and was refreshing my email like crazy while waiting for the feedback from Roller Girl, BUT… that is what makes it even more special… they responded pretty much right away every time.

Hmm.. you say that there was a couple of hours between my order and them confirming sizing… not really.  The store is Vancouver based and they weren’t even awake yet when I created my order.  Formally the store doesn’t even open until 10:00am PST time (1:00pm EST) and I really wasn’t expecting to see a response before store hours.

This is what fills a customer with surprise and delight.  I was surprised at the service on Friday.  I am delighted with the perfect sizing today and will continue to shop and be an ambassador for the store forever based on this experience.

Well done rollergirl.ca!