Talk is cheap; C-Store loyalty programs are the real deal.

Sales and motivational guru Zig Ziglar once said, “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

Hard to argue with that, especially the last two. You’re in a relationship with your customers, and if you’re lucky it will last as long as a successful marriage. Love and loyalty are the glue that hold a fruitful partnership together.

You always hear retailers say, “We LOVE our customers!” and though it may be true, talk is cheap. You have to prove your love (“prove it all night,” if you’re open 24/7) or at least provide a tangible representation of it—like a ring or in the case of our industry, a loyalty program. These can take many forms—a simple coffee punch card; mix-and-match promotions; grocery rewards initiatives; extending discounts to customers based on dollars purchased within a time frame—there’s a lot of options out there.

Not that offering such programs is a magnanimous gesture—the C-Store receives some real gains in return, one of which is elaborated upon in this thoughtful article authored by SSCS’s technology partner, Gilbarco. The key is having the proper solution in place that can leverage all the customer data that such programs make available.

Fundamental to this process is having an efficient, easy-to-use interface between the point-of-sale system which collects a record of the customer’s activity at the register and a back office system that can aggregate and collate that data over time to help provide marketing insights about the makeup of your customer base and what their purchasing trends may be, providing the potential to make each and every customer feel loved in a singular, special way. As a result, you become a “smooth operator” in more ways than one!

In this competitive era, you can’t take your customers for granted. Prove your appreciation for them and increase your profitability by implementing well-reasoned loyalty programs backed by technology that complements your efforts. Next week’s blog post will go into a little more detail about this subject, describing some of the more innovative ideas that have circulated around the industry. See you then!