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Convenience Stores: Three Ways to Provide a Consistent Shopping Experience Across All Stores

What if convenience stores could replicate a great customer experience across every store?

This is the fourth post in a six-part series that addresses the main business challenges convenience store operators face today.

ProAct Service Center

In the previous post, we discussed the need for convenience stores to drive operational consistency across their enterprise. As they enter into foodservice, convenience stores need to not only ensure they are offering high quality food in a comfortable environment, but they need to make sure that same positive experience is replicated in every one of their stores.

Convenience store locations today are islands. If they implement facility management systems across the enterprise, convenience stores can have the visibility and control that will allow them to replicate a great customer shopping experience in every store. This will allow them to:

Remove operational inefficiency, inconsistency and cost.

Through acquisition, expansion and remodeling, one store may have an array of equipment from various manufacturers — each with their own capabilities, maintenance plans and support teams. With a facility management system, like ecoSYS Site Supervisor, operators can easily integrate equipment from multiple refrigeration, HVAC and lighting suppliers on a single platform.

With facility controls in all stores across a network, operators can also leverage enterprise-wide visibility and control to manage operations from a centralized location. With these systems, customers receive the same quality experience so they will keep coming back. And the best part about this approach is that the benefits of energy savings, averted product losses and avoided maintenance costs more than cover the system costs.

Enforce policy from a central location.

Developing corporate standards is necessary. But, whether the policies that the corporate team worked hard to create are implemented in the stores depends on the actions of busy managers and employees. Convenience stores need to remove this level of uncertainty when it comes to their store environment, which can directly impact their customers’ experience.

Replace local control with enterprise management. Refrigeration, HVAC and lighting set points can be controlled from one location, ensuring uniformity across all stores. If a lighting schedule needs to be adjusted for holiday hours or seasonal changes, the convenience store operator will issue that change once and it can be implemented across the enterprise automatically, reducing unnecessary costs and potential errors associated with manual intervention.

Provide uniform problem resolution across the entire network.

It’s difficult to predict when a service issue is going to arise. How quickly and accurately system problems are resolved can vary depending on how noticeable the issue presents itself in the fast-paced environment and the experience level of the staff onsite working to fix it. In today’s world of social media, the last thing an operator wants to hear is that a consumer found a refrigerated case with product for sale at the wrong temperature.

Remote monitoring services, such as Emerson’s ProAct Enterprise Services, can respond to faults before a minor repair becomes a larger system issue — or a public relations nightmare. Enterprise services provide the convenience store with access to centralized and ongoing expertise to diagnose and resolve problems, as well as maintain systems. Because system issues can often be resolved remotely, ProAct helps reduce the need to dispatch a field service technician, reducing costs from excessive service calls. With this support, operators can focus their resources on resolving incidents most likely to impact their customers.

How do you provide consistency across your chain to ensure every customer experience is positive?

Look for the next post in this series to learn about another key challenge convenience stores face.

John Atchley
National Account Executive, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

To read all posts in our series on convenience store challenges, click on the links below:

  1. Building Customer Trust One Experience at a Time
  2. Three Ways to Demonstrate Quality in a Pervasive Convenience Environment
  3. Replicating a Great Customer Experience in Every Store
  4. Three Ways to Provide a Consistent Shopping Experience Across All Stores
  5. Keeping Employees in Front of Your Customers
  6. Two Ways to Follow Best Practices with Limited Store Staff
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