In the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, characters are judged by their outward appearance. The Beast has a heart of gold, but the villagers aren’t willing to get to know him because of his hideous exterior. The same can be said of how customers interact with your c-store. If the exterior of your store is dirty and poorly maintained, customers will likely choose to shop at a competitor store with a clean exterior. It’s all about first impressions. Your fuel islands are the first thing your customers see when they enter the parking lot. This is where they begin to evaluate your brand. You can serve the best food and drinks inside your store, but customers won’t want to come in if the forecourt is grimy and dirty
1. Concrete and Asphalt
Your exterior concrete is the first thing customers touch when they step out of their car. Nobody wants to step on dirty or oil stained concrete or asphalt. This is indicative of poor maintenance and poses a potential safety hazard.
2. Fuel Dispensers
This is where customers begin to shake your hand and identify with your brand. If your dispensers are dirty with oil stains, grime and germs, your customers’ experience drops significantly.
3. Trash Receptacles
Trash bins sit right next to your customers as they pump their gas. If they are over flowing with garbage, and emanating strong odors, this might deter your fuel customers from venturing inside your store.
4. Squeegee Buckets
We take for granted that squeegee buckets are a low maintenance feature of the gas station. However, if not regularly maintained, they can quickly grow bacteria and produce a strong odor. Customers don’t want to use dirty, smelly squeegees on their vehicles.
Customers often plan to use the bathroom after they gas up. They will equate the cleanliness of your bathrooms with the cleanliness of your entire business. Dirty bathrooms can drive customers away from shopping inside your store — especially if they are interested in purchasing prepared foods. Customers want to feel assured that their food is prepared with clean hands on clean food prep surfaces. A dirty bathroom creates the perception of dirty surfaces throughout the store.
Maintaining c-store forecourts is a lot more involved than simply emptying the trash and wiping down surfaces. Identifying the proper products and tools to clean your forecourts is just the first piece of the puzzle. A successful cleaning program also requires proper training, employee engagement, and a plan to monitor and manage results. A clean store will improve the customer experience, create brand loyalty and increase your profits…Clean Stores Sell More!
In order for you to meet the demands of the customer experience and to improve your sales, you must find real solutions to these real challenges listed above. A CAF representative is available to help you increase your customer experience. Contact us today!