This week we have been busy preparing to exhibit at the NACS show starting tomorrow. The upcoming show is full of educational sessions regarding every aspect of the c-store industry. I always look forward to hearing about the business from the food trends to the new technologies to the fuel trends. Now that all of our boxes have arrived at the show site and the travel arrangements are booked and ready I took a minute to finish reading the most recent NACS magazine.
One of the articles I really enjoyed is titled 5 Fundamentals of Loyalty by Roger L. Brooks from the company FIS. The point of his article is to give businesses with existing loyalty programs or creating new loyalty programs tips to “improve the customer experience and keep them coming back for more.” Mr. Brooks is spot on with his ideas which apply to businesses in all industries not just the c-store space. To summarize his 5 points:
1. Utilize the “Hess Test” to evaluate your store
Following the principles of Leon Hess keep your store clean, bright and green. Who doesn’t like stopping at the well-lit c-store with the shiny clean bathrooms? The green refers to Hess’ branding and reiterates the importance of branding throughout your business.
2. Hire the right people to represent your company
Friendly and warm customer service is important in any business to make your customers feel special. Mr. Brooks recommends having a unique greeting for your customers but also stresses the importance of not irritating customers.
3. Communicate with your customers
Mr. Brooks highlights the many ways that are available for businesses to communicate these days. From social to email to text to at the pumps the possibilities are endless. You just need to decide what is right for your business and your customers.
Utilize new technologies to innovate your business. The NACS show is the perfect place to attend educational sessions and visit booths to learn more about what is new. If you can’t attend the show the industry magazines like NACS and CSP do a great job of reporting on what is new and exciting.
5. Reward your customers for their loyalty
The article encourages each business to take time to research their loyalty options and figure out what makes sense for them individually. In the c-store space there are gas discounts, club programs, punch cards and points based programs. Not every loyalty program makes sense for every business and that is okay. We always recommend that businesses start simple and enhance their loyalty programs. Mr. Brooks also mentions the importance of adding new features to your program every 6-12 months which helps keep your customers engaged.
Be sure to read the entire article for more insights on customer loyalty in the c-store space (you have to be a member to get access). We look forward to exhibiting with companies like FIS at the NACS Show and talking with businesses that are looking to reward their customers.
If you are going to be at the show and are interested in learning more about Tecmark’s loyalty and marketing tools be sure to stop by Booth 3854! We will be demoing our new iPad app and you can enter to win some cool stuff just for stopping by. Otherwise we look forward to sharing our insights after we return.