The convenience stores, located in the gas stations are a lucrative business. A driver stops for gas and for refreshment and enters the store for a drink, a coffee, a sandwich and more. The convenience store turned into much more than a refreshment opportunity. Today you can find in these stores a wide range of food products, tools and appliances. Some of the products sell for more than 100$.
The quality of service, the shopping experience and the sales skills of the shop personnel will determine if a refreshment break will turn into unplanned purchase of many products. The impact of the service and the customer shopping experience on the store performance is dramatic.
The personnel of the store are mostly young and change frequently. Running the store, taking care of customers in a hurry that stop for a short break, turning a simple purchase in an up sell is challenging even for an experienced salesperson.
The training manager of a convenience stores chain – one of the largest chain in Israel – approached us. The stores located in gas stations are operated by franchisees. The stores are operated by the franchisee’s team. The stores are spread all around the country. The challenge of the training manager is to train the teams in order to create a unified, high quality service customer service experience, and to turn this experience into a successful sell.
The training team is traveling between the stores and is meeting with the stores personnel in the stores on a regular basis. They need an effective method that can in short time improve the service level and the sale skills of the store personnel. They cannot take the store team into a special training facility and cannot rely on having special capabilities such as projector and a screen in the stores.
We proposed to use the Tact version of our Space Quest game. We customized the game and created a unique custom version for the convenience stores chain. The game is a box game and does not require a special infrastructure in order to play.
During the game the players have to choose a leader that will negotiate with aliens that are about to invade planet earth. In order to pick the best leader they have to confront different service and sales scenarios.
We set up our Crowd Source platform. We loaded examples of relevant service scenarios that were selected from our database. The training manager sent the link of the Crowd Source web site to the stores teams. The team members visited the web site at their convenience and documented real cases they have encountered during the activity at the store.
The training team reviewed all the collected cases online. They picked and edited the most important ones.
We prepared the Flip Cards. The Flip Cards contained customer service guidelines, instructions and tips on how to turn a service into sale. Each Flip described a step in the sale process and included guidelines and examples.
The cases selected by the training team were embedded into the game. The games were manufactured especially for the store chain and were branded especially for the chain. The games are made of high quality materials and are packed in metal suitcases that can keep the games in good condition even on tough environment.
The meeting between the training team and the stores personnel turned into an exciting game session. On each such 45 minutes session the store team gathered and played the game. During the game the team members exercised different service and sale scenarios. They used the service Flip Cards in order to analyze the cases and come up with ideas and plan for improvement. The trainer facilitated the game and added additional point of views and focus areas during the game.
The impact and improvement in the store performance and customer’s satisfaction was immediate and was evident in the sales.