Happy employees make for happy customers
February 19, 2011
I can’t think of a more efficient business than Quick Trip. From the gas pump, to buying a coffee, the entire experience is fast and hassle free.
Consider some of the other convenience store chains (Mesa, AZ area) such as AmPm, or shell. It’s 20 questions at the gas pump and a slow as shit credit card interface. Nine times out of ten, the pump is slow as well.
When you go to buy something, you have to sign for your purchase, show id, or use debit (no credit cards @ AmPm). Some of the mom-and-pop stores a really frustrating because language barriers prevent them from understanding that Billy is short for William and it leads to a three minute conversation about how I need to update my credit cards because of fraud. All of that over a $.99 pack of gum.
At QT, it’s different. As soon as you walk in the door, they greet you. Not in a way that requires small talk, but in a way that says “welcome to this store, we kick ass and you will love it”. QT is ALWAYS crowded in the morning, but there is never a wait. Why? Because they kill it at the register. Cash, credit, debit, it doesn’t matter. They handle your money quickly and get you in and out as fast as possible. They don’t require you to sign for your purchase, they don’t give you a receipt by default. They take your card, swipe it, done!
How do they do it? I think it starts with the people. They remind me of Zappos. They seem to want to be there. They don’t look beat-up. They don’t look like they hate their jobs. They look like they want to be the best. As if the number of happy customers they push through has a direct impact on their salary.
After people, I think the magic is in software. You can see this at the gas pump. No stupid questions, a fast interface, just pump your gas; done. Inside at the cash register, they have big touch screen monitors and what seems to be a killer POS (Point of sale) system. They navigate the POS system like Tom Cruise in Minority Report. It’s speed tapping, fast price lookups, swipe the card, done.
They have to be killing it in sales. QT is packed with no wait. Go anywhere else, they are never packed (unless there isn’t a QT nearby). I’ll drive an extra mile out of my way just for their service. Not to mention, the stores are massive and contain a much wider variety then their competition.
I think we can all learn a lesson from this. What doest it take to do better than your competition? In my opinion, you take care of your employees, make them happy, give them the best tools to be the most efficient, and you have a recipe for success.