Many c-store owners focus on finding new customers, but maintaining the store’s current client base is just as important. Loyal customers generate a great deal of profit and encourage new customers to visit your store.
Your regular customers will definitely appreciate the following improvements to your c-store.
1) Update your loyalty program
Loyalty programs are fantastic. They encourage new customers to come back, and they also reward your current client base. If you don’t have one yet, consider starting one.
If you already have a loyalty program, switch it up a little. Offer a few different choices in terms of rewards. You might currently give your customers a free coffee after every nine coffees they buy; perhaps you can offer a donut with every coffee purchase for members of your loyalty program for a limited time as well. Loyal c-store customers will be delighted to have another way to gain rewards. Advertise your updated loyalty program with signage, and tell every customer about it at the check-out. This is also a great way to gain new loyal customers.
2) Improve your existing facilities
Do you need to wash the welcome mat in the entrance of your store? Could your shelves use a wash? Do you need to fix the hinges of your bathroom door? Should you deep-clean your food facilities area?
Your loyal customers use your existing facilities regularly. By improving these facilities, you’re telling them that you care. This makes shopping at your store even more pleasant for your regular customers.
3) Have an in-store contest
In-store competitions are a great way to ensure that your customers keep coming back. Host a competition where you give away special prizes like gift cards or a gift basket. A great idea for a contest is to have each receipt from your store count as an entry and have one or a few drawings at specific times. This way, you can bring customers back into the store more often to increase their odds of winning.
Advertise your contest through social media and signage as much as possible. Make sure you and your staff are enthusiastic about the contest and always encouraging people to enter to win.
4) Give some items away
On certain days, like your store’s anniversary or a significant holiday, you might want to give items away to your customers. These items could include t-shirts, coupons for free items, or even just a special or new product you want your customers to try. Giveaways show your consumers that you truly appreciate their business and you care about making them happy, not just taking their money. You may be surprised at how far a simple sticker or lollipop can mean to the mother of a small child.
5) Get to know your customers
Great service helps you build relationships with your loyal customers, ensuring they feel comfortable and appreciated in your store. Make an effort to remember your loyal customers’ faces or names, and strike up a conversation if a customer seems like they’re in the mood to talk.
You can also get to know your customers and their needs by installing a suggestion box in a visible area of your store and allowing them to have some input on what goes on in your c-store.
6) Update your products
Add new, interesting products to your store to excite your loyal customers. This could include offering new, fresh, delicious convenience food and beverages, as well as popular niche items. Ask your regular customers if there’s anything they think you should stock. It’s a great way to show your customers you care while finding new items to stock.
By investing a little time into improving your store, you’ll improve your relationship with your existing client base. In turn, these loyal customers will patronize your store more often and encourage others to do the same.