How Quik Data Monitors Clean Bathrooms and Keeps Customers Happy

Case History: Star Express, Virginia

Business issue: Bathrooms were not always clean, which could affect overall business.

Background: Star Express is a second-generation company that has grown from a single store to outlets that include C-Stores, fast food and a travel center (currently under construction and scheduled to be completed winter 2018). Their busiest location sits next to an Interstate highway in an affluent area. The large store includes 4 bays, a large store, a Subway, and their fresh food canteen. The store has a beautiful layout with an upscale design.
Problem: The busy and profitable store was operating very well, but the bathrooms were not being kept clean according to spot-check results. Because it was so busy, it was easy to let the upkeep in bathrooms slip. Customers had reported a few issues. Since travelers will frequently choose where to stop based on bathroom cleanliness, it was likely that the store was losing business.
Assessment: Electronic survey devices – a wall-mounted tablet with a single question – were installed next to the restrooms. The Quik Data surveys were taken 40-50 times per day and were showing 60 to 90 percent ‘clean’ feedback, but the results were not consistent. The data from the survey was analyzed to determine the time of day that the non-clean ratings were given, where it was discovered who was generally responsible for bathroom duty at the times the ratings were down.
Solution: By reviewing the results with the staff, the manager was able to explain the expectations and do follow-up. Bathroom ratings went up for a while, but perhaps not surprisingly, fell back again. The same process, analysis followed by coaching, was followed and reminders were put in place. The store manager now discusses any dips below an 80% clean rating.
Lessons learned: Customer feedback is honest – sometimes brutally so – but makes things happen. No one likes bathroom-cleaning duty, so frequent reminders and coaching are going to always be part of C-Store management. Measure what you want to improve. Take time-based information and study the patterns to learn more about the issue so an on-going solution can be applied.


How Training Keeps the Store Manager Pipeline Stocked

Case History: Campbell Oil Co., North Carolina

Business issue: Growing a pool of talent for supervisors and store managers. Kathy, a DM, handles price book responsibilities as well as supervising six stores in her district. Kathy wants to be sure she has the ability to fill in management positions to enable her to keep only those staff that are executing according to company guidelines.

Background: Campbell Oil is a fast-growing petroleum company located mostly in a rural area but near several large metropolitan areas. Retaining enough store managers is a challenge as the nearby cities have a lot of organizations that are continually hiring.
Problem: When store managers leave or cannot perform their duties, there is a need to have capable staff that can quickly take over a store and keep it running well.
Assessment: It’s important to have someone who has worked in the organization and who has the capabilities required ready to promote to prevent a gap in store management. The candidate also must provide a level of confidence and trust necessary to be assigned a high level of responsibilities. For cashiers and other staff who are hired initially in lower paying jobs, the promise of opportunity for good performance is a key benefit and motivator. Kathy, the DM, encouraged her store managers to work with promising staff to take on more responsibility.
Solution: Amber is a strong store manager. She and her assistant manager spend time teaching cashiers and new hires the basic operations, using the Quik Data as a guide. Once the basics are covered, then they offer a supervisor position to those that can start to take on store management work. This ensures that the store has oversight from staff while managers are off-duty.
Lessons learned: Engaging all team members in on-going training builds the ability to perform to meet guidelines. Extending the training to future positions allows a manager to see how a person may perform in a management role and ensures they fully understand their existing job.
By providing hands-on experience before any promotion is offered, the ability has already been proven and so less risk is involved in the promotion. Having a talented staff ready for more responsibility allows the organization to move more quickly to fill a hole and lowers the cost associated with turn-over. Even better, when new stores are added, it is easier to fill the additional management positions needed. The company benefits from having corporate experience and the employees see the value in staying with the company.