Some of my coworkers frequent QuikTrip (QT) convenience stores regularly because, as they say, the service is so much better than the competitors. I have also experienced a higher level of employee engagement every time I walk into a QT, specifically at the location that is discussed by my coworkers. When you walk in, you don't get the bland "Welcome to ..." that is an obvious attempt to make the customer feel appreciated even though you can tell at other establishments that the employee does not really "welcome" you. QT employees seem to have a genuine appreciation for the customer being there. They also are one of the fastest in the industry and getting you checked out and on your way! Late last week I noticed this sign as I was exiting QT and it all clicked! While many companies are looking to pay minimum wage (currently $5.15/hour), QT is willing to pay almost twice as much to their front-line clerks. So why would they be willing to do that?
Let's take a look at this as a trickle-down effect. Obviously from my coworkers experiences, QT trains their employees on the importance of customer service and holds them accountable for maintaining that level. So do other companies "train" on the importance of customer service and hold its employees accountable? Probably so. But here is where QT displays the difference. By paying the employees almost twice what the market is paying, the employees feel valued by the company. As a result of them feeling valued, that internal satisfaction is directly transmitted to the customer in face-to-face interactions. While an employee at another company may simply say "You don't pay me enough to care" and just quit when they are reprimanded for not maintaining the company standards, QT employees feel valued and therefore it is easy to value the customer.
Our store employees are held to very high standards. As the face of QT, store employees are expected to take advantage of their opportunity to make our customers smile and provide them with service that exceeds expectations. Serving our customers is the most important job in the company, and our focus is on taking care of our store teams. That caring shows as QuikTrip has placed high on Fortune Magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For for the past fourteen years.
So to all the entrepreneurs out there, take a lesson from QuikTrip and pay your employees extremely well so that they feel valued enough to actually take care of the customers that are responsible for paying everyone from the owner on down!