Chain's cashiers give most consistent greetings, says CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. & ALTOONA, Pa. -- That friendly hello. It's a simple gesture, but getting cashiers to do it on a consistent basis is a tough task for any c-store retailer. So hat's off to Sheetz Inc., which ranked No. 1 in that department in this year's CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop survey.
For the question, "Did the cashier provide a proper greeting?" Sheetz scored an average of 99%, with second place going to Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's General Stores at 98.1%.
It starts at the bottom, which is hiring," said Travis Sheetz, vice president of operations for the Sheetz chain. "You can't necessarily make people be personable and friendly--you've got to look for that kind of personality up front when you're hiring. The personality--the character, the friendliness--is more important than anything else in many ways. We can teach them the job, but we can't change the personality."
For the fourth time in five years, Kwik Trip Inc., La Crosse, Wis., took the No. 1 overall spot in this year's study for chains with 150 or more stores. The chain also took the top spot in three subcategories: exterior cleanliness, customer service and employee appearance.
The survey--this year expanded to include seven chains of less than 150 stores (with those results to come this fall)--reviewed eight large regional and national chains, analyzing exterior and interior cleanliness, customer service, merchandising and employee appearance.
This year, the Fort Mill, S.C.-based Service Intelligence sent shoppers to the following chains: Casey's General Stores; Circle K Great Lakes, Akron, Ohio; E-Z Mart Stores, Texarkana, Texas; Kwik Trip; MAPCO, Brentwood, Tenn.; QuikTrip, Tulsa, Okla.; RaceTrac Petroleum, Atlanta; and Sheetz. Shoppers completed 80 to 110 visits per chain during eight weeks this past spring.
[Editor's Note: For more extensive coverage of the study, look to the August issue of CSP magazine. And don't forget the second part of the survey, which reviews seven chains with less than 150 stores. CSP Daily News will count down the top chains and CSP magazine will delve into the results in September.]