Over the past decade, customer experience has been at the heart of revenue growth strategies in just about every industry. From fast-moving sectors such as technology and retail to more conservative industries such as banking and healthcare – customer experience excellence has been shown as a critical factor in why customers choose one brand over another.
One retail segment that hasn’t fared as well is retail fuel and convenience stores. Despite their struggle to provide exceptional customer experience, the opportunity for revenue growth for those gas stations is substantial. A 2017 study by GasBuddy and Cuebig revealed 121 million consumer trips to gas stations that year.
In its December 2018 article entitled “Fueling the Customer Experience,” CSP Daily News makes the case that convenience stores must become a destination. They note: “Gas stations and convenience stores can be unsanitary, inefficient, and years behind in technology. The stations with slow customer service, slim selections in food and beverage, and unhygienic facades won’t last because these stations do not empower the customer. The future gas station should be a destination instead of an inconvenient pit stop. A clean, tech-forward environment will help streamline in-store processes, encourage additional spending by adding new services, and keep customers coming back for more. Gas stations and convenience stores must innovate and digitize to best meet the customer’s needs, leading to increased sales, a transformed reputation, and operational efficiency .”
As gas station owners/operators look beyond clean facilities and digital payment options to improve customer experience, what happens inside their convenience store could make or break their profitability.