It’s safe to say that I had never stepped foot into a Harley Davidson showroom and repair shop. For one, I don’t own, nor have I ever ridden, a Harley Davidson.  Yet, when one of my best friends came for a visit from distant lands riding his “bike”, I was compelled to tag along as he had his machine checked out by the experts for his upcoming long-distance charity ride.

I’d never seen so many tattoos and piercings in one location. Every employee seemed covered in both. Everyone’s hairstyles were…well, let’s say, imaginative. 

And every employee was friendlier than any I’ve ever experienced in a place that sells and repairs things.  My friend’s check-and-repair needs were complicated, so I had plenty of time to hang around, look at merchandise, watch what the employees were doing with other customers and, well, have a donut. Yep. They had donuts for people who were waiting around. They also had some of the cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever used.

My friend’s clerk joked with him as he filled out the order.  The two compared biking stories and their wish lists for which machines they’d get next. A nearby clerk offered me coffee and when they didn’t have the decaf I required, he offered to go find me some in the back room.  We left the bike with them and went off to lunch.  Upon our return, the staff reported they had fixed and adjusted many things, including one tiny but very important part that was missing.  They had polished the bike as well and told my friend they admired his accessories (bags, flags, decals, etc.).

I remarked on all this friendly chattiness to my friend once we left the place.  This is New England, I told him. I don’t find the people to be all that friendly, I confessed.

“It’s Harley Davidson,” my friend said. “They’re always like that, no matter where you go.”

It’s clear to me that Harley Davidson has baked excellent customer service right into their corporate culture, and everyone who rides a Harley–and their companions–know it!