[:en]Everyone remembers customer service excellence. You have at least a memory or two of when you were totally blown away by a store’s customer service when you expected to be treated like just another number.
Well, it’s no different with your c-store. Yes, customers come for the delicious-smelling pizza and doughnuts.
The treats are a big factor in their decision.
Use those to get them in the door. And then make them lifetime customers by knocking your relationships with them out of the park!
Here’s how to do just that:
1. Learn from Trucchi’s Supermarkets
Okay…so maybe they’re not a convenience store. But they sure understand the meaning of “convenience.”
They’re actually a small, family-owned chain of grocery stores in Massachusetts. But their customer service keeps their position in the local market safe.
For example, in the era of big chains that try to get you to go through self-checkout, Trucchi’s employees actually take your groceries out to your car.
One employee even helped an elderly couple find their lost car in the rain…and even drove it to them after getting drenched while searching for it!
How’s that for convenience for you?
2. The C-Store with the Top Customer Service: QuikTrip
Not to be confused with the Wisconsin-based KwikTrip, this QuickTrip operates in the Midwest and South.
Both are known for their great customer service. But Tulsa-based QuickTrip took Newsweek’s 2019 award for the top customer service in the convenience store category.
QuickTrip offered free vanilla ice cream to all Halloween trick-or-treaters in 2019 (pre-coronavirus) and began partnering with Uber Eats to deliver food.
Just surviving their training takes a lot of work. Employees, for example, have to be able to count change in their heads without relying on help from the register, and they have to do all of the following every 30 minutes: clean restrooms, stock coolers, fill coffee, and keep hot dogs on the grill.
To make customer service an ingrained part of its culture, QuickTrip sends in secret shoppers to evaluate their employees. Bonuses are then handed out to those who provide the most excellent service.
3. Texas-Based Buc-ee’s
Yes. We in Texas know how to do customer service well too.
In 2018 and 2019, Buc-ee’s was rated to have the cleanest bathrooms of all gas stations in the country.
People who know the chain will literally drive on by others just to stop there.
To make it happen, they use a technology called “Tooshlight.” This simple technology is a light outside the bathroom stall door that tells you whether someone is inside or not.
It’s also known to be highly entertaining. Each location has a giant smiling buck-toothed beaver who greets you as you enter. Families love to take their picture with him.
So, those are some ideas for nailing customer service at your own c-store. Which did you find most inspiring?[:]