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Among the many meanings of the word business, the one that describes it most is “the condition of being busy.” Being busy in making profit is what business is about. There are many kinds of businesses operating to make profit but the one that has the most business men choose to operate is retail business. Retail business sells goods manufactured by different companies. Convenience stores come under the retail business category. I just started managing a convenience store and the major problem that I am facing is low sales. Convenience stores sales, like any other business, depend mostly on customer service. Better customer service will improve the sales and vice versa. Customer service means handling the customers, having the goods that the customer needs, and fare prices on those goods etc.
Solution Alternatives
There are many ways to improve customer service at convenience stores. The first option can be increasing the inventory of the store. The second solution can be treating the customers in good and friendly manners. The third solution can be competing the prices of competitors.
Evaluating of the Alternatives
Convenience stores are for people who are mostly on the run. So, it’s very important to have the goods that the customers want the stores or expect from the store to have. For example there is a convenience store near my house. When I went there the first time looking for ice cream, I found out that they don’t have ice cream for sale. That was a bit of surprise for me. Now, if I need any thing I don’t stop at that store thinking that they might doesn’t have it. So having what the customer is looking for is very important to increase the sales because it will result in return of the customer. But the convenience stores should be careful while increasing their inventory because it may result in investing in products that have little or no sales. Such products do nothing but wasting stores money because of no return.
When a customer walks in the store with a smile, it’s store clerks or managers responsibility to make him/her leave with a smile. They should welcome the customer with a smile and say some thing that makes him/her laugh. The should handle the customer in a nice way that makes him/her feel like its their own store. For example couple of weeks ago I entered a convenient store in order to buy some gas. When I walked in I said “Hello” to the clerk who was busy reading the newspaper. But instead of him leaving the newspaper he kept reading and dint pay attention. I had to say “Hello” again and his response was, “Just a second, Sir!” It made me feel bad waiting for pay for my gas at the counter. And when he came to the register he didn’t even respond my greeting and instead just took my money and said nothing. After I left from that store I promised my self not to stop there again. So treating the customer in good manners is a good way to increase the stores sales as it will result in returning that customer. But, the clerk should be careful in what he/she has to say. Sometimes he/she might say something that is funny for him but not for the customer for example any offensive words.
It is very important for the convenience stores to compete the prices of the competitors especially when there are more stores in the same area. Many customers tend to buy the product that is lower in the price. So convenience stores should be careful in pricing the products. If a convenience store manager wants to stay in the business, he/she must do a routine check of the prices of the competitors. I stopped at a store one day to buy 12 pack of cans of Pepsi. But I was not happy when I saw the price on that product. It was a dollar more than the price of 12 pack in my store. Customers really check the prices of each store and buy the one that is cheaper. So managers should talk to the sale personals of different companies and try to buy products on special offers. Currently, high gas prices are what every body worried about. It’s really important for stores not to let the competitor to lower the gas price then their price. It is very necessary to prevent customers stop at another store. Also, it will result in attracting more customers and more inside sales.
Another way to improve the sales of the store can be proper advertisement. If a store has products on special discounted price, it is very important to advertise for that for that sale. Many customers will not know of that price if there is no advertisement out side the store or even inside the store. Managers should pick a good location for their advertisement. It will result in increasing the sales of the store. But, the store managers should be careful and take that advertisement down soon when the special sale of the product is over. Otherwise, it may result in the customer demanding the product for the advertised price which will make the store loose some money.
In order for the store to improve their sales the best way can be is treating the customer in good manners. This will result in winning customers trust which is very important. Also it will result in good reputation for the store.
Evaluation of the Decision
Treating the customers in good manners is employee’s responsibility. The managers should watch employee’s handling of customers. They should ask their employees routinely to forget about their personal problems when they start working. They should not think about any personal situations while on job. Those employees should not make others have a bad day. The managers should pay closer attention to new employees. They should train them well in handling customers. If the employees handle the customers in nice way the will not worry about the price on the product. Also, it will result in more regular customers which means more sales and profits.
In conclusion, the business of that store will be better if it has good employees, so it is necessary for the managers to hire employees with good manners. Bad handling can be costly for the store. It will result in losing customers and gaining bad reputation.