NACS Show 2019 Kicks Off in Atlanta

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NACS Show 2019 Kicks Off in Atlanta

By Linda Lisanti - 10/01/2019

ATLANTA — Convenience store operators are in the retail business, but they also need to be in the "memory-making business," according to training and development veteran Jim Knight, who delivered a fast-talking, high-energy keynote presentation on Tuesday to kick off NACS Show 2019.

"People crave differentiation. Let's find a way to give it to them," said Knight, who ran global training for Hard Rock International for two decades. Fittingly, his presentation was titled "Service That Rocks."

A self-described "experiential starved consumer," Knight said he is always on the lookout in his daily life for examples of differentiated service, which he defines as personalized and customized attention given to each and every customer. Differentiated service, he says, creates an emotional attachment for customers. 

He offered several tips for how to achieve differentiated service, including:

  • Be Like U2: Get Everyone Singing Off the Same Sheet of Music — The most successful companies have a shared mindset, where everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goal. A shared mindset produces aligned actions.
  • Strive to Hire Associates With the 3Cs — The three Cs are solid competence, strong character and culture fit. Although culture fit is hard to put into words, Knight drove home its importance. "You know when someone fits your culture or doesn't," he said.
  • Treat Each Person First Date Special — Remember the first date you ever went on, and put that same effort and attention to detail into your customer service every day.

In the end, Knight said service trumps all. Always has and always will. By authentically creating unforgettable moments and delivering a personalized experience to each and every customer, c-store operators can create lifelong, raving fans, he concluded. 

The 2019 NACS Show is taking place Oct. 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.