Take a lesson from Kwik Trip:  What you do matters.

I think we can all agree that working at Kwik Trip is not exactly like being a Hollywood Movie Star or being in a 80's Hair Band. That being said, it probably ranks at the same level as the jobs the rest of us go to on a day to day basis. It's honest work, they provide a needed service and they do it all for a fair price, 24-7, 365; including Holidays!

Here is what always surprises me though, the staff at Kwik Trip hits the ball out of the park on a daily basis. Honestly, make your way to any Kwik Trip in the area, at any time and on any day of the week and I guarantee you will find someone who is OUTSTANDING at their job. I don't say that lightly and I honestly mean it.

At the Kwik Trip by my house, the night clerk greets me enthusiastically. It doesn't matter if it is 11:30 pm or 6:30 am, he greets me like I made his day and and I feel like I am the most important person who will come through his door.

By my daycare is the morning clerk who my wife and I affectionately call the “up sell lady.” If it's 7:15 am and I just dropped my child off, she wants to make sure I don't forget that rib sandwiches are on special. When I mention to her that it seems strange to be reminded of a special on rib sandwiches so early in the morning, she smiles and says she wants to make sure I don't forget to grab one for my lunch or dinner. Wow! She is good. She also won't forget to remind me that I can get a discounted car wash since I got gas. The best part? She remembers my name. She remembers the names of children and adults. Color me impressed! As Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Dale Carnegie would bow to her.

Last on my list is a CWS favorite. The sweet lady who dishes out samples at the Kwik Trip by our office. She always has multiple samples and always has a little something for everyone. Not interested in the Rib Sandwich? How about an Angus Cheeseburger? They're 75 cents off today!

Why this lengthy dissertation about Kwik Trip? Because it's not really about Kwik Trip at all. True, Kwik Trip clearly is doing something right with their employee training program because they always have such quality individuals working for them. To use a sports analogy, they are consistently putting out an All Star team and it makes everyone else seem like they are playing in the minor leagues.

What can the rest of us learn from Kwik Trip?

  1. Treat everyone like they are important. I am sure you're thinking that's the most obvious thing I have ever heard. You're right. People do such a horrible job with this simple fact every single day. Don't treat customers like expendables. If you do, you will quickly learn that they are not replaceable.
  2. Believe in your product! You know you are the best in the world at what you do, make sure everyone you come in contact with knows too! The folks at Kwik Trip believe they have a great product for a great price. They make sure everyone coming through their door gets infected with that same enthusiasm.
  3. Know your product line. Not everything you have is for everybody. Folks may not want a “Rib Sandwich” but that doesn't mean they won't want a “Bratwurst.” Don't assume you know what your customer wants. Provide options. Ultimately, what your customer wants is to believe in what they purchased.

Bottom line: treat your job like it matters. Because it does. You might think that selling that next bag of dog food, changing that next tire or doing that next tax return doesn't matter, but it does. That dog food may be going to the only companion of a widower. That tire could mean the difference between someone getting home safely or ending up in the ER. That tax refund could help someone keep the lights on at their house. If you don't think what you do matters, think again. If you need a real life example, just stop by Kwik Trip.