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Truckstop Training: Customer Service Tips for Cashiers and Beyond

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

Welcome to our newest blog series, Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training. Training is an essential element in the success of any operation. Truckstops and travel plaza that train their staff well are able to improve their sales, profits, customer service, effectiveness and safety. As a result, their company’s overall operations also improve.

NATSO also offers a Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training Manual. The manual is designed to help operators create their own store- and company-specific operations training manual. NATSO members can purchase the manual for $175 and nonmembers can purchase it for $675 here.

Truckstop Training: Customer Service Tips for Cashiers and Beyond

Cashiers are often the first people customers talk with at your truckstop and are the face of the company. Customer service is the most influential aspect in creating a loyal customer and is crucial in the cashier position. Not only are cashiers often the first point of contact for customers, they are also typically the last, so customer service must be outstanding.

Cashiers’ personality and helpfulness helps shape customers’ overall opinion of the location. Customer service is more than just being friendly to customers though. Cashiers should take care of the customer to the best of their ability and according to the location’s standard operating procedures.

Specifically, cashiers should:

  • Greet customers upon them entering the store.
  • Ask customers if they need help finding something.
  • Suggestive sell to the customer and alert them to potential saving opportunities.
  • Ring up the products that the customer is buying and then tell them the total cost.
  • Place the items in a bag if needed and give the customers their receipt.
  • Thank them for their visit.
  • Invite them back again.

Beyond the Cashier
Here are some more good customer service tips that extend past the cashier borrowed from smart truckstop operators:

Put a Premium on Good Landscaping
"We are about a half mile off the interstate, so we mow the medians from the time you exit until about a quarter mile past our facility. We also use landscaping with flowers, shrubs and trees. We want to ensure that customers entering or leaving Lee Hi have the best experience possible." 
- Corey Berkstresser, in What Small Things Add to Your Overall Customer Experience?, May/June 2012 Stop Watch magazine

Know the Little Extras
“We have done business with several of our customers for the 30-plus years that we have been in business. We can honestly say that we know just about everything that goes on with a majority of our customer base. We are very old school and we just speak to our customers face to face. Through these relationships we know what little ‘extras’ each of these customer like. Each individual customer is different and we like to treat them that way."
- Nick Wollenman, in Get To Know Your Fuel Customers, January February 2013 Stop Watch magazine

Take Pride in Your Location’s Cleanliness
"I make it a non-negotiable practice in our location for everyone to always pick up things that are on the ground inside and outside that belong in the trash. We habitually pick up anything that we wouldn’t leave in our own space. As a result, customers and other employees see us doing this and they “pay it forward” by helping out, too. We take pride in the cleanliness of our facility; we want our customers to understand that our pride in the facility and its surroundings, make it a better environment for them."
- Deanne Schatz-Eisenschenk, in What Are the Little Things You Do to Improve the Appearance of Your Location?, March/April 2012 Stop Watchmagazine

Know What Your Customer Wants
“Make sure you know what your customer wants. With that knowledge, you can push the envelope in the right direction and produce new value that your customers really want.”
- Manish Sthanki, in Pleased to Meet You, July/August 2012 Stop Watch magazine

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Join the conversation! How do you train your cashiers on customer service? What are your small things that you do to improve your overall customer service? If you put a priority on customer service at your location, share your best ideas for boosting customer service in the comments below. 

 

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.