By Jenn Bloomhuff, Market Development Senior Manager-Grocery, Convenience and Non-Food Retail B2B
Much of a customer’s experience at the pump is out of the hands of retailers like you, a challenging reality, especially in a time of skyrocketing gas prices. Today, people are pulling up already frustrated before ever opening their car door. At the same time, you never have a second chance to make a strong first impression. A customer’s overall experience can lead to becoming a one-time mistake or a go-to stop.
Beyond providing what they need, representing your brand requires a level of cleanliness that makes guests feel comfortable and welcome. It’s essential that sense of trust starts at the pump, giving visitors confidence that it will extend to the counter, aisles, restroom, cart, dining area, or anywhere and everywhere your grounds cover. This means you must build trust at first sight!
So, how can you create a strong first impression that can lead to a lifetime of customer loyalty? These three tips may just be the start to keeping customers coming back again and again:
- Remember that not all hand sanitizers are the same. For many customers, to feel comfortable reaching for the pump they need to know an efficacious hand sanitizer is nearby and waiting. No longer an amenity, it has become essential. In fact, in public spaces, like convenience stores, people are now expecting to find hand sanitizer – and are using it in these settings more than in the past.1 But while the options are many, formulation matters when choosing a hand sanitizer. Especially as it can impact the entire experience, turning a good one bad or a bad one into a disaster – like when the formulation that comes out is sticky, smelly, or otherwise gross. Some even dry out hands! And many hand sanitizers do not meet FDA standards and should not be used at all. Instead, you can create a positive experience by choosing not only an effective solution, which is critical, but preferably one that’s light, refreshing, and low-fragrance, from a trusted, reputable, brand that reflects well on your brand.
- Resolve not to overlook the dispenser difference in the forecourt. It’s generally understood that a well-cared-for forecourt shows the pride that owners, managers, and attendants take in their stores. Everything from ensuring it’s well lit, to making certain that signage is operating, to maintaining shrubbery, to overall cleanliness goes a long way toward making a location a reliable pitstop. But what may be easy to discount is the impact that the right hand hygiene dispensers can have – they can make a big difference. We’ve all put the fuel nozzle down and reached for the sanitizer dispenser, only to find the lever’s not working, it’s otherwise corroded, melted, or vandalized in such a way that it gives us second thoughts about using it, or the dispenser is altogether missing. Look for a brand with a durable design, one that is easy to refill and requires less maintenance for your already busy staff.
- Revamp your loyalty program. Perhaps it has been a while since your loyalty program has been refreshed – what was once a central pillar to your operation has maybe even become somewhat of an afterthought. Now is the time to take another look and consider relaunching (or, it’s never too late to start one for the first time). They’re a great source of customer data and that data can be used to come up with new ways to incentivize people to return again and again. Consider making your program entirely digital – with customers holding up their mobile phone and having that scanned to show they’re registered. This will drive app downloads – a place where you can serve up promos and other information through notifications, giving you deeper access to your customers. Not only that, but doing away with plastic cards or hole punch systems that require customers to hand something to an employee may even be a viable way of cutting down on the spread of germs, which is always a plus.
Another suggestion for an effective way to easily create a positive customer experience is with a PURELL AT THE PUMP™ program – complete with the effective formulations of America’s #1 Hand Sanitizer brand,2 plus hand hygiene dispensers that were created to exceed your needs, including our NEW PURELL® CS4 All-Weather Hand Sanitizer Dispenser, designed for the most challenging environments.
After all, when you choose PURELL products, it shows customers that you’re committed to uncompromising quality and high standards, which makes them feel good about choosing your location. In fact, customers overwhelmingly approve of a PURELL AT THE PUMP Program, with 81% of those surveyed saying they were more likely to pick a retailer with PURELL products over one without, 83% agreeing that providing PURELL products increased their likelihood of buying food and drinks, and 88% saying the availability of PURELL products improved their overall experience.3
While everything else about operating a convenience store seems to only be getting harder and harder these days, we’re making it easier than ever to add the power of the PURELL brand to your store. It’s a simple way to create a positive experience that fuels trust! To learn more about the PURELL AT THE PUMP program and find out if you qualify for a free trial, VISIT HERE.
- GOJO Industries, Inc., Internet survey, Market Research Report 015-096 North American Consumer Heightened Germ Awareness Wave 3, April 2020.
- 52 Week IRI Data ending May 2021; 2020 Internet Brand Survey MR#006-090, GOJO Industries, November 2020.
- Taylor Research, Market Research 009-019, January 2016.
Sponsored content by GOJO