Get To Know Your Fuel Customers


Knowing what products to stock and when can boost sales and profits for truckstop and travel plaza operators. Operators take time to get to know the drivers who come into their locations each day, but to foster long-term relationships, they must also get to know the corporate executives at the trucking companies where those drivers work.

"The operator has the direct physical contact with the driver, so it is easier to think of the driver as the customer, and while he is the customer inside the truckstop, the carrier is the customer on the fuel island,” said Ernie Betancourt, president of QuikQ. “Often times, particularly for the independent operator, his connection is with the payment system and not the carrier.”

Sean Flynn, manager of Flynn’s Travel Plaza in Shrewsbury, Mass., said traditionally operators simply watched the fuel lanes to see which carriers were coming through. “That worked, but you couldn’t watch everything all the time. You also can go through your individual third-party billing reports to see which companies are buying what, but that can be a daunting task,” he explained...

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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