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Five More Tips for a Successful Loyalty Program at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

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When done right, loyalty programs can create a win/win situation for customers and the businesses they frequent. For truckstop and travel plaza operators, the programs can be used to create or enhance the location experience and encourage the driver to come inside, but before launching a program, operators need to know how their needs match up with their customers’ needs.

NATSO members joined together this month during an operational exchange conference call* to share their experiences with loyalty programs and what makes a program work.

I've already shared five key loyaty program ideas from the call. Here are five more.

Offer immediate gratification. Today’s customers want something that makes them feel valued right now. Offering a discount on an item during the current visit can be more powerful than offering savings on a return visit.

Considering joining forces. If you aren’t up for drafting your own program from the ground up, considering tapping into another program that can allow customers to bundle points and rewards from purchases made at several locations, such as the “Plenti Card Program” that allows loyalty at ExxonMobil, CVS and other establishments.

Keep it simple. The less complicated a program is, the easier it is to execute. Specific promotions can even be started with a simple punch card.

Give points an expiration date. Points should stay active if a driver is adding points to his or her account, but after an extended period of inactivity—six to nine months, for example—it is wise to let the points expire. Make sure expiration dates are clearly identified to ensure they meet local, state and federal guidelines.

Mine the data. Once operators start receiving data from a loyalty program, it is important to sift through it. The information can help them better understand customer behavior and determine which customers are the most profitable.

Extra tip! NATSO allied member Points to Partners, Inc. has over 25 years of experience in the design and implementation of successful loyalty programs. They offer low-cost, success-driven programs to any size company. Learn more about their offering at www.pointstopartners.comKickBack Rewards Systems develops business solutions that make retail operators smarter, more profitable and helps to elevate their entire organization to learn how to anticipate the growing needs of their customers. Learn more about their offering at www.kickbacksystems.com

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*Open to all NATSO truckstop and travel plaza members, NATSO Operational Exchange monthly calls provide a forum for operators to discuss operational questions and connect with peers on a single topic.

Limited to 15 operators, next month's call will take place on Thursday, August 13 at 11:00 a.m. EDT10:00 a.m. CDT9:00 a.m. MDT and 8:00 a.m. PDT. Operators will discuss holiday merchandising including how operators plan to capitalize on holiday sales and additional traffic, what has worked well before and what has not worked.

You can register online at www.natso.com/operationalcalls or by emailing membership@natso.com.

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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