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Do your stores make these 8 common customer experience mistakes?

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With more than 10 million combined ratings and reviews, GasBuddy users are speaking loud and clear about what does and doesn’t work in convenience stores.

And we listened to their feedback. In The GasBuddy Guide to Avoiding 8 Common Customer Experience Mistakes, we highlight common concerns and discuss what retailers can do to avoid them.

Here’s a brief preview.

8. Slow Wi-Fi

Today’s customers view Wi-Fi as a requirement rather than a perk. Slow or spotty Wi-Fi is often worse than having none at all.

7. Dirty Restrooms

Bad restrooms are bad for business. They’re the number one reason for negative reviews on GasBuddy. Many of today’s leading brands make restroom quality a core component of their business strategy.

6. Ignoring the Forecourt

The experience at the pumps is the “first handshake” that welcomes customers into your stores. When done right, it can enhance your reputation and drive the sale of in-store items. When done poorly, it can push customers away and negatively affect your brand.

5. Not Using Restaurant Best Practices

For convenience stores with foodservice, it’s essential to adopt best practices from the restaurant industry. Failure to do so can lead to customer service issues and missed opportunities for sales.

4. Unengaged Employees

It’s no secret that turnover is a challenge but today’s leading brands understand the value of investing in training and retention. GasBuddy Business Pages provides access to data that can be used to track both high- and low-performing locations.

3. Messy Stores

Convenience stores can’t afford to let a messy environment detract from the customer experience. Since they already face a gas penalty—the perception that their products, especially food, are somehow of a lower quality due to the presence of fuel pumps—they have to be diligent with regard to cleanliness.

2. Failure to Stand Out

When convenience stores fail to differentiate themselves and stand out from their competitors, this also affects their ability to lure business away from coffee shops and quick-service restaurants.

1. Ignoring Online Reviews

Your stores are being rated and reviewed whether you know it or not. Not only do gas GasBuddy ratings and reviews provide unprecedented insight into brand perceptions and customer experiences, but GasBuddy Business Pages partners have access to tools that make it easier to listen and respond. Stores that fail to respond to negative reviews miss an opportunity to win customers back and they also put their brand’s reputation at risk as potential customers encounter those reviews.

The full report (PDF) is part of the GasBuddy Guidebook: a playbook for fuel marketers and convenience store chains. Please contact us to request a copy.

Analyst, Convenience Store and Retail Trends

Frank Beard is a passionate advocate for convenience stores who brings a wide range of experience to the GasBuddy team. His "30 Days of Gas Station Food" experiment has raised awareness of the fact that most — if not all — convenience stores have healthful options available. He's spoken at events like the 2016 NACS Show and the Partnership for a Healthier America's 2017 Summit, and he's a contributor to NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. Having visited more than 1,000 convenience stores in 24 states, Frank helps communicate the fact that convenience stores truly are the perfect pit stop.