On any given day, millions of customers enter any one of many convenient stores. For travelers and people just passing through, a stop in your store may be a one-time event. In the case of customers living or working nearby, the customer service they receive could, over time, represent thousands of dollars ending up in your cash register. Customers whose antennae pick up the wrong “vibes” from the people who wait on them could very well decide to take their business elsewhere. An astute store owner or manager is one who urges his employees to consider the messages they send to those entering the establishment.
Is Your Convenient Store — “Convenient?”
MSA and Paradigm Sample have teamed up with Convenience Store Decisions to better understand today’s c-store customers. Panel research has determined that customers cite “convenient location” and “ease in getting in and out quickly” as ranking at the top of their list of reasons to shop at any one particular store. With this in mind, are your employees helping customers accomplish their goal or being way too slow, if not ignoring them altogether, in getting them out the door?
All too many convenience store employees hold up customers by:
- Talking with other store employees, often finishing their personal conversations before finally acknowledging the customer;
- Electing to finish mopping the floor, putting up stock, or performing any of a number of tasks before returning to the register to wait on the customer. The message the customer perceives is, what’s convenient for the employee is more important that what is convenient for the one with the dollars.
- Ignoring the customer while talking on the cell phone. Customers feel that they are inconveniencing the clerk and may decide that, from now on, the nearby full-service grocery store checkout line might prove more expedient & friendly than your convenience store.
As you try to maintain and grow your business, remember that your store’s health is only as healthy as the messages, subtle or otherwise, your employees send out to regular customers.