FUELSTREAM Newsletter Nr 46 - 5+1 things you must get right in your convenience store (PART 2)
5+1 Critical things you must get right in your convenience store (PART 2)
(apologies for providing only 4 items in the previous newsletter, the 5th one found it's way into this edition :-) )
Whenever we do Dealer training we always remind Dealers to get "back to basics". You can invest, market, advertise, rebuild, revamp all you like but if the basics are not in place, you won't see much change in your volumes and turnovers.
Here are 5+1 basics: (continued from the previous Newsletter)
Treat customers and staff with respect - Loyal customers go where they are treated with respect. Staff will treat customers with respect if, in turn, they're treated with respect. Create a culture that drives these values in every interaction and you can earn a reputation of making customers feel like rock stars.
Note: Lead by example is a phrase we all know, but often forget in practice. Make it part of your daily discussions with staff and managers to ensure everyone keeps it top of mind.
Invest in maintaining your store - Things get old, they break, they are worn down. It's critical to maintain the standards in your store. Don't allow items that are below standard or temporary fixes. Remember customers don't know the back story, they make up their minds based on what they see and experience.
Note: Don't allow faded and torn price labels. Don't allow handwritten signs. Don't allow notices and posters that aren't laminated or in poster frames. Don't use damaged shelving or faulty equipment.
At the tills - The cashiers area is the one place in your store that has the most traffic. You should make sure that every inch is optimized for sales, promotion, up selling, convenience and impressing customers.
Note: Stand in front of your cashier area and make a list of every small detail that can be improved. Keep in mind every single customer sees this area and the experience must be the best in the store. From greeting to payment to farewell.
Drive traffic from the pumps - Many customers are looking at their cell phones while filling up at the forecourt. So your job is even harder to get them into the shop. Consider how they view your shop when at the pumps. What's the impression it makes and is there anything that draws them inside e.g. signage, displays, etc.
Note: Make sure you test the different ways that Forecourt Attendants can "invite" customers to visit the shop. Test and retest the best script and then make sure your Attendants use the script with every customer.
Stay on top of trends - Make sure you know what's happening in the industry. You can do this by visiting other stores, reading trade magazines or setting up Google Alerts for relevant articles and news. Keep in mind that reps will tell you that every new product "is a best seller and is taking over the market". You need to make up your own mind.
Note: You should be visiting your competitors at least once a month and specifically look at what's new or changed. New products can create valuable novelty and interest from customers, but it's temporary. You still need to deliver on the basic brands and products that have driven sales for decades.
If it's not convenient, they won't bother - Remember that it's a "convenience" store. That's your main competitive advantage. If you have a process, procedure or policy that makes it inconvenient for the customer to shop at your store, you're ultimately going to lose that customer forever. Nowadays, loyalty is just "the absence of a better offer".
Note: Review your store step-by-step and identify any and all customer obstructions. Anything that slows the process down, creates a question without an answer or fails to provide the customer with what they want is an obstruction. Every obstruction you remove brings you a tiny step closer to the most convenient convenience store
We've already created a few WhatsApp groups for Dealers. We separate them based on brand which allows everyone to discuss current issues and ask relevant questions.
If you want to be part of the existing group for your network or help us start up a group for your brand you can do the following:
If you haven't given us your comments about the new Microlearning service, please click below. Thank you to everyone who's responded so far. You are helping to build an amazing new service for the benefit of all Dealers.
Workplace Skills Plans and the impact on your BEE scorecard
The Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) / Annual Training Report (ATR) submission deadline has been extended for some companies only to 31 May 2017. If you need help to submit or have questions about your WSP or ATR, contact Cornelia Fechter at 012 804 5066 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Our service fees for 2017 remain unchanged from 2016
Should you wish to obtain a BEE certificate on the amended codes, you will need to submit your WSP / ATR documents to the relevant SETA. If not submitted your company cannot be rated on the Skills Development element on your BEE scorecard. Your company will lose points and will be discounted by 1 BEE level.