Best of: Canadian Tire proud of customer service reputation

Canadian Tire receives Best Overall Customer Service in the Best of the South Okanagan awards

Doug MacMillan called it a great honour for Canadian Tire to receive the public’s vote for Best Overall Customer Service in the Best of the South Okanagan awards.

“That shows that we do have a great staff,” said MacMillan, owner of Penticton’s Canadian Tire, whose store won the honour in 2014. “We have lots of people that have been around for many years.”

Related: See all the Best of the South Okanagan award winners here

Canadian Tire has upwards of 40 employees have who have been at the store for the 12 years MacMillan has been there. That longevity also brings product knowledge.

Technology has also played a key role in helping staff provide customers with the best service. Technology has taken big steps over the last couple of years, especially the use of Fast Find. MacMillan said even on the internet, customers can find where an item is even before walking through their doors and know the aisle number.

Canadian Tire also uses a system called Customer Indexing, in which they receive comments, good or bad and publishes them. MacMillan has an in-store contest with employees. Depending on the number of positive comments given to certain employees, they receive a plaque and gift card. It’s a way to motivate employees to always provide the best customer service.

Even though it has been three years since Canadian Tire was voted for Best Overall Customer Service in the South Okanagan, MacMillan feels what they have done has changed drastically.

“We all have walkie talkies on. Staff also have more time to deal with customers, rather than trying to run around the store,” said MacMillan.

The Canadian Tire owner credits technology in how they do retail and couldn’t imagine going back to the old way.

“We probably have less holes in our store than we normally do because of the new system,” he said. “There is one more phase to go that we’re doing in July. We can sell something at 10 a.m. and if the shelf is empty, it (new technology) will print off a list and we will have it backfilled within the hour. Customer service should get better at Canadian Tire as time goes on, as the technology changes.”

MacMillan will reward his staff for the recognition they worked for with a barbecue at the end of this month.

He knows without them they don’t have the success they enjoy now.

“It all comes down to having a great staff. Great staff give great customer service,” he said.

The Best of the South Okanagan awards, as voted by the public, were handed out on June 22 at a special event held by the Penticton Western News for the businesses.