Think of your last great customer service experience. The employees likely treated you with respect, made an effort to understand your needs and provided their services quickly and efficiently. It’s possible that the customer experience made more of an impact on you than the product or service itself, and helped you remember to do business with that company again. This is the kind of service that you want to provide to your customers, especially if you’re introducing a more comprehensive food service program in your c-store.
Related: 85% of shoppers say they like the idea of ordering foodservice at the pump. Download our ebook for more forecourt insights & strategies.
Despite customer demand for quick, on-demand meals, good service is one of the most important factors for customer retention. Despite customer demand for quick, on-demand meals, good service is one of the most important factors for customer retention. In fact, as a convenience stores, your positive relationships with customers are one of your most important assets.
Fast-food restaurants have a solid edge when it comes to serving meals to customers on tight schedules. Quick service restaurants are designed with this specifically in mind, which makes for fierce competition in the foodservice industry, especially during a worldwide pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that your c-store isn’t in the running.
Think of it this way: as people move through the fast-food line, there isn’t much time to develop personal connections between employees and customers. In c-stores, however, customer service can be the difference between a drive-thru stop and a quick visit to a local store. Using your service strengths—such as the friendly, neighborhood greeting when a customer enters, a secure and speedy checkout process and a bright, clean shopping environment—can make an impression on your regulars and recruit new ones.
Simple touches, such as training your employees on more personal customer service interactions, can also show your value as a local brand that appreciates your patrons. For a customer, being treated with respect can be more of a draw than cheap prices, so the next time someone enters your store, make an attempt at a personal connection. Even the small gestures, such as remembering a customer’s name or regular foodservice order, can make all the difference.
If you’re considering bulking up food service in your c-store, think of ways to further improve your customer service. This may involve updated cleaning and disinfecting standards, employee training or addressing past customer complaints. All of these low-cost options can help a customer distinguish you from other foodservice sellers and keep them coming back for more.