Bringing them Back with Consistency
Success follows the c-store that builds a good first impression, then delivers it again and again.
When it comes to convenience stores, love at first sight is real. That’s why the national conversation about the industry is so often positioned in terms of initial impact. It’s important; it creates interest at trade shows and in the industry press. Does a store catch your eye? Is the merchandise impressive or off-beat? Is the staff engaging and helpful? Does it have clean toilets?
What happens after the honeymoon is over, though, and what was new and exciting to a customer becomes humdrum? Or when that shiny new c-store with the 20-foot wind dancers opens up down the street and creates a distraction?
It’s essential to keep customers coming back with the same level of enthusiasm; to ensure that what they loved at first is consistently delivered. A traditional approach often works in smaller towns, as we’ve frequently mentioned in posts, where a comfortable environment with freshly prepared breakfast food can turn into a gathering place for locals that come for the neighborhood news and camaraderie. It make for a great returning customer base.
There’s plenty of other examples of the potency of a consistent customer experience, and not necessarily in the industry. Those that feel an intense pull from the Disney parks, for example, know they’re going to get what infatuated them in the first place. People love sports, and even though the rules may be tweaked from time to time, sports leagues understand the essence of their appeal is repeat enjoyment. In that respect, it’s not that different than the positivity that comes with a consistently delivered pizza experience at a c-store.
In addition, consistency builds trust, so that when you begin to make necessary changes and advancements to your operation, the good will you’ve built with your customers will make them willing to come along for the ride. Just because a store is consistent, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t evolve. With a little faith in your business, your customers can get excited about that, too.
It also should be pointed out that the Holiday Season just passed provides a wonderful opportunity to see how well you are doing at creating repeat business. A pool of first-time customers undoubtedly walked through your doors during that period. Will they becoming back because they like what they saw and felt? If so, that means the experience has to hold up the second time…and the third…just the way the consumer imagines it.
Before you repeat your performance, however, you should make sure that your performance is worth repeating.
Not a problem. SSCS has been a leader in harnessing the power of convenience store data, so you can access a detailed look at your sales performance to see if your retention strategies are working. Consistency in this case, should mean revenue growth. We can help you make sure that is exactly what’s happening, and if it’s not, how technology can help.
Want to explore the subject in a little more detail? Just give us a call at 1-800 927-7727.