Let’s face it; being a cashier in the convenience and petroleum retailing industry is not the easiest job. It takes a special person to endure the unusual hours and long lines of occasionally disrespectful customers, and quite often, cashiers make little more than minimum wage. Along with all this comes the responsibility of managing high-volume purchases of alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets. To top it off, cashiers handle large amounts of cash and put their safety at risk every day. It’s a challenging occupation to say the least.
Retailers often overlook one more important responsibility typically delegated to cashiers: loyalty. As retail competition continues to soar, convenience store operators must continue to rely on their cashiers to encourage and increase customer loyalty to the maximum level. Convenience stores all over the country engage in customer loyalty and rewards programs and rely on their cashiers to do the heavy lifting and bulk of enrollment. As a result, cashiers become a wealth of knowledge about customers.
Cashiers Build Loyalty
For best results, loyalty should be created at the transaction level. Five basic steps can ensure a successful interaction between the cashier and the customer:
– Bonus Opportunities
Most companies believe training comes first. Although training is crucial (and an art in and of itself), management must initially educate their cashiers about the products being sold and the importance of customer interaction before even tendering a transaction. We have all walked into a convenience store where the cashier barely spoke two words to us. What a delight it is when you approach the counter and the cashier offers insight about a new product. Take the time to educate cashiers first, then train. It’s never too late.
Incentives and bonuses are always a stimulus for employees. Come up with innovative ideas that motivate the cashier. Provide a weekend getaway for the cashier who has the most customer surveys filled out. Give an incremental monetary bonus or another type of incentive for each completed rewards program enrollment form. Small perks will lead to bigger profits.
Although it sounds trivial, recognition is perhaps the most cost-effective tool where managers can gain the greatest results. If you show gratitude to your cashiers, they will deliver tremendous return.
Once management provides a roadmap, cashiers should adopt their own daily checklist:
- Be friendly and courteous
- Have a tidy appearance
- Be helpful and informative
- Get to know repeat customers by name
- Have fun
Adopting these practices will aid cashiers in the overall objective to increase and encourage customer loyalty.
Convenience store operators must be willing to attempt unconventional methods to teach and prepare cashiers to become their internal customer loyalty magnets. If you’re looking to increase customer loyalty, you don’t need to look far. Start with gathering information from your most valuable asset: your cashiers.