Raise your hand if you think service and convenience stores are opposing concepts. You can put your hand down now, since this is a blog and I can’t see you.
My general impression has always been that convenience stores sell….well convenience and commodities. But my perception was challenged by a fairly recent strategic course adjustment championed by Kyle Krause, a second generation leader of the brand Kum and Go. Kyle, along with his senior leadership team, is banking on the fact that a refreshed look/feel, energy conscious building design, meaningful social involvement, and compassionate service can go a long way in setting industry standards and delineating Kum and Go from a listless sea of competitors.
The early buzz on Kum and Go’s service-centric approach is extremely positive. In fact, an independent survey shows Kum & Go’s customer satisfaction is among the best in the US, ranking close to Apple and Harley Davidson! Recently, I reviewed “wow stories” from Kum and Go customers who raved about clean bathrooms, managers that personally sought out products at other locations, and front line staff that offered cell phones to people who were frustrated by nearby inoperable pay phones.
Today’s consumer has a vast array of commoditized choices but in the end all business IS personal – even petroleum pumps and Hostess Twinkies. I’ll travel an extra block or two to be served by staff that consistently treats me with dignity, respect, and a caring attitude. You throw in a clean bathroom and I might just be loyal for life – even if you are off my beaten path.
How well is your operational service excellence and your staff compassion lifting you from your herd of competitors?
Good luck Kyle and the Kum and Go team. I am rooting for you and all those who genuinely commit to transforming service levels in their respective business sectors!
Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.
Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli
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