I had an interesting experience this week. Nancy was going to grill lamb burgers and we were out of propane. One of the benefits of our neighborhood has always been the local garage that sold propane. It used to be a British Petroleum Station. It converted to Conoco about 2-years ago.
I show up with my tank and the service attendant (if you can call them that anymore, all they do is collect cash and sell treats) was in deep conversation with a guest talking about kids in school. When I tell her I am here for propane, I could just tell that I have just inconvenienced her. “It will be a few minute, sir.” I’m OK with that.
Five minutes later she comes out and starts to open the gate to get to the propane when she says, “You know… at King Soopers, (local Kroger’s affiliate) they sell the pre-filled tanks for $10.00 less. And Wal-Mart down the road is even cheaper.”
Well I now have about ten minutes invested so I say, “I’ll do that next time.” ( I am giving her a chance to save the deal! this would be at a premium of 58% over the King Soopers price!) She replies, “I don’t mind if you want to go today!” So, off I went.
Now here is the kicker. There are three fuel stations on this corner. Hers is the most convenient based on the way traffic flows. With gas ranging between $20 -35 per week (Lets say $25) she has just lost her station $1,300 a year, in addition to the other assorted snacks, washer fluid etc. And, why?
Are your employees engaged in all that you sell or deliver? Where are you losing business because it is inconvenient for your staff?