How to train your staff in superior service delivery

Fuel retailers in SA have enough on their plate without having to worry about staying competitive. But it’s a reality that simply cannot be ignored. A simple way of ensuring a competitive edge is making sure that customers receive consistently special treatment. Here are four ways to train your staff to this end.

Smile, greet and acknowledge

Teach your staff to habitually greet and acknowledge each and every customer that enters your establishment. Whether they are purchasing from your shop or having their vehicle re-fuelled, encourage staff to be generally friendly and welcoming. Tell your staff that this creates a customer-friendly environment as well as a happy team of workers at your establishment.

Those little extras

Going the extra mile for customers will ensure their return. A common extra added to many petrol stations in SA is the washing of car windscreens. You can also make sure that you have distilled water nearby for battery maintenance. In your shop, keep a rack for your area’s free newspaper – in case someone didn’t get theirs. These extras add a sense of homeliness to your fuel station and ensure consistency in your clientele.

Close of sale and up-selling

We all know how important it is for a petrol attendant to offer the ever-popular, “Oil, water, tyres?” enquiry. This not only gives the customer a sense that you care, but it also gives you an opportunity to sell another product; i.e. a canister of oil. But now carry this same concept into your shop. Train your till and deli staff to end each transaction with, “Will there be anything else?” This one simple habit will do wonders for your establishment!

Incentivise your staff

Do you have a program that awards staff for good delivery? Here are some simple steps you should consider implementing right now:

  • Hold a ‘staff member of the month’ program and pay the winner a small bonus or give them a free day off. Also put their picture up for bragging rights.
  • Keep a tip jar at your deli area and share tips among the staff at the end of every week/month.
  • Have a team building and training exercise at least once a month. Hand out prizes during these and make them fun for everyone.
  • Touch base with your staff. Ask them if they are happy. Ask them for their opinions and pick their brains about how to improve service or work conditions.
  • Get feedback from your staff about customer interaction. They will notice patterns – and these are important for you to recognise and act upon.

It’s these small things that will put you miles ahead of your competition. Start doing them now and see the difference within a matter of months. Remember, these methods are tried and tested. They will work if carried out correctly.