I had one of the most amazing retail experiences on Friday morning.

I noticed on my cycle commute to work that I needed a new back tire, so I swerved into a new cycle store in town with the intention of picking one up and fitting it on my lunch break.

I wasn’t sure what size of tire I needed since I couldn’t quite make out the marking on the old one, so the sales associate stepped outside to take a look.

The store had a suitable replacement in stock and because they weren’t busy, asked if I wanted it fitted straight away (no charge), saving me from a pair of oily hands and, quite possibly, bruised knuckles as I fought the old tire from the rim.

While the tire was speedily fitted, we chatted about the challenges of opening a new store, local cycle routes and the perils of cycling in London (where you really do take your own life in your hands at times).

As I paid for the tire, the sales associate took my name and postal address and I set off on my way to work, arriving on time despite the excursion to the bike store.

As I cycled away, was I thinking about the great service, the friendly staff or the price (which was competitive)? Nope, none of them.

I was thinking, why didn’t they ask me for my email address?

They fell at the last hurdle, which is a real shame. As a new business, they clearly had a passion for what they were doing, had a lot of great stories to tell, and could probably have enticed me back to their store more often, outside of the occasional service and tire change, had they taken my email address.

Are you missing out on more repeat business because you are not being proactive enough in collecting email data?

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.