Doing it right with customer focus

Doing it right.
I love seeing companies that are “doing it right” and reaping the rewards of success. By doing it right, I mean providing value driven products or services customers want and respect. Companies like Chick-fil-A, Disney, and QuickTrip (QT) come to mind. Wait a minute. Isn’t QT a gas station?

This week I read about QT, as an example of a customer focused business.  I live in the metro Atlanta area where QT stations and stores are booming with customers and business.  The description of brightly lit stations that are clean and well-staffed is accurate and to the point. While, the lower prices on gasoline are the hook to get customers to the store, it’s the facilities, food selection and customer service that keep many of them coming back.

It’s not just the inside of the stores that are kept clean. It’s the pumping area as well. Customers can expect to find the pump area concrete clear of oil, trash, and any other stuff that may find it’s way to the ground.  Windshield washing fluid and paper towels are fully stocked.  Those are the little things that customers notice. It’s value beyond low price gasoline.

Let’s get personal for a moment.
Companies are ultimately driven by profits and returns to shareholders. “For profit” is a game changing phrase that drives boardroom, executive suite, and marketing plan decisions.  What’s unfortunate is when profits become more important than the original mission and intent of company founders. Customers don’t do business with profits. Customers do business with service and value.

It’s impressive to see a gas station/convenience store chain like QT sticking to the original plan of clean stores and great customer service. They are rewarded with profits and growth because they are taking care of their customer. A simple formula, yet so elusive for many.

There’s a lesson in QTs success for everyone.
Courteous employees, clean facilities, and value driven prices are a winning combination. Those things drive repeat business, a good reputation, and most of all profits. So let’s make those principals more than just business school text book material. Let’s make them reality. It’s good business. Just ask QT.

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