In the fall of 2021, NATSO member Thorntons LLC launched a new Pro Driver Refreshing Rewards app exclusively for the professional driving community. The Pro Driver Refreshing Rewards card and app was designed to provide many of the same benefits as Refreshing Rewards but also offers special fuel discounts and exclusive rewards for professional drivers.
Scott Harris, manager of fleet for Thorntons LLC, and Amy Nicholson, senior manager, digital and loyalty marketing at Thorntons LLC, joined NATSO's podcast to share about the new loyalty program.
They covered how drivers are responding to the new program, what loyalty perks they are finding are most important to the driver community and the surprises they learned after launching the program.
Rewards programs can boost customer loyalty, and Thorntons is bringing customers back with its new Pro Driver Refreshing Rewards card and app exclusively for the professional driving community. The Pro Driver program originally launched in March 2021 with the app launching five months later in August, and it has been a huge success with more than 7,000 drivers joining the program.
“The loyalty that drivers have and the relationships that they form with everybody in the stores has been invaluable,” said Amy Nicholson, senior manager, digital and loyalty marketing for Thorntons. “It keeps growing and we’ve heard a ton of positive feedback about the new offerings as well.”
Nicholson joined Thorntons’ Scott Harris, manager of fleet, and me on NATSO’s podcast to talk how drivers are responding to the program, which loyalty perks are the most important to the driver community, and what they learned after the launch.
Professional drivers receive five cents off every gallon and a free drink, which is similar to Thorntons Refreshing Rewards program for locals and traveling public, but drivers also earn points via the app toward free food items. “We wanted really to expand it with the app and make it more interactive. We wanted to meet the guests where they are, and I think everyone knows we always have our phones by us,” Nicholson said.
Harris said a pleasant surprise has been the points redemption rates in Thorntons’ legacy stores. “That tells us drivers are coming in even when they aren’t working. They are coming in and fueling their personal vehicle or bringing the kids in on a Saturday for donuts,” he said.
Nicholson said the top priority was to make the app user friendly. “We wanted to make sure the app made sense and that it was easy to understand,” she said, adding that it took about six months to develop it.
Thortons has plans to add to the app and is currently exploring more offerings through the point process. “We have had good interactions with drivers offering up their own ideas,” Nicholson said. “We want to continue meeting drivers where they are.”
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