irving keeps the promise

Irving Oil developed the ’Irving Promise’ as a guide to reinforce the importance of doing whatever it takes to simplify the lives of its customers throughout its network, including its newly reimaged Bluecanoe stores (see Making Over Mainway, p. 18).

Irving Oil developed the “Irving Promise” as a guide to reinforce theimportance of doing whatever it takes to simplify the lives of its customersthroughout its network, including its newly reimaged Bluecanoe stores (see MakingOver Mainway, p. 18).

As part of that promise, the Portsmouth, NH-based company implemented Motorola headsets that team members use to facilitate on-site communication. An average-size store might have three employees per shift wearing headsets. Larger stores, such as a travel center-sized store in New England, could have as many as eight employees donning the tech-heavy headgear.

“It might save three seconds here or there, but those seconds add up,” says Ben Bolen, an area manager for Irving Oil. “When customers see we’re doing everything in our power to address their needs and make them happy, they’re more likely to come back and visit us again.”

Never satisfied with its performance, Irving Oil is using other technologies to facilitate its policy of continuous improvement. For example, the company has launched an initiative called “Voice of the Customer,” which is a customerdriven mechanism that gathers constant, site-specific feedback and feeds the information directly to the stores.

“This feedback mechanism is built around random customer invitations on oursales receipts,” says Irving Oil Senior Brand Manager Tim Guen. “Every X numberof receipts has a statement on the back telling the customer that we’d loveto get their feedback and asks them to please call a toll-free number. It takesthe customer through series of prompts; we have a core of standard questions,and sometimes we add a few depending on what’s going on in the stores. It takesfive minutes for the customer to complete, and it earns them a coupon for theirnext purchase at an Irving store.”

Store-specific feedback gets played back verbatim for the corresponding store manager. Managers learn of customer satisfaction and gather ideas on how to improve everything from the freshness of sandwiches in the merchandisers to the cleanliness of the washrooms.

“Voice of the Customer helped us go to larger airpots for the coffee bar—and that’s just one example,” says Guen. “[The larger airpots from FETCO] cameabout through a combination of employee feedback and customers expressing thatas a want. If customers could get fresh coffee more often and employees didn’thave to brew coffee as often while lifting our sales, there are definitely someadvantages there.”
Bill Donahue, Editor

DecisionMakers

  • Last month marked the end of an era as Ford Ralph retiredfrom Petro-Canada (Mississauga, Ontario). Ralph spent more than42 years serving the industry. After 23 years with Gulf Canada, he joinedPetro-Canada in 1985 as vice president, marketing and development. Heretired from CSD‘s 2002 Chain of the Year Award winner—thefirst and only non-American chain to have ever won the award—as vice president, wholesale/retail.
  • NOCO Energy Corp. (Tonawanda, NY) has promoted Rick Klyczekfrom NOCO Express director of operations to dealer business manager.In his new position, Klyczek will be responsible for all facets of NOCO’sbranded dealer program. NOCO has also appointed Christie Tribuzzias its human resources manager. A graduate of State University of NewYork at Oswego, Tribuzzi brings to her new position several years ofhuman resource experience in both the retail and healthcare industries.
  • Pricing solutions provider KSS has named Bob Johnsonan executive advisor. Prior to joining KSS, Johnson served 7-ElevenInc. for 32 years, most recently as general manager, gasoline and environmentalservices. As an executive advisor to KSS, he will provide input intocompany strategy, product direction and sales & marketing activities.
  • Adams & Brooks Inc. has appointed Stephen R. Meisingeras its vice president, sales. Meisinger will direct sales for all Adams& Brooks product lines through all trade channels. Before joiningAdams & Brooks, Meisinger served Storck USA for the past seven years,most recently as vice president, sales.
  • FireStream WorldWide Inc. has named Doug Brown directorof sales and marketing. Brown brings to FireStream 30 years of leadershipexperience in the construction, financial and automotive industries.He’s tasked with increasing the company’s sales and leading its “majorpursuit efforts.”
  • Payments industry innovator Pay By Touch has appointed JohnMorris president and chief operating officer. Morris will manageoperations and lead the company’s vision to “transform the way the worldtransacts.” Morris joins Pay By Touch following a 23-year career withIBM.
7ads6x98ycss.php