BONUS CONTENT: Conversation Starters on Customer Service

NATIONAL REPORT — Frictionless transactions may be the way of the future, but that doesn’t mean good customer service is ever going to go out of style.

For convenience store retailers today, making it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, treating them well, and going out of your way to anticipate their needs remain must-dos.

Convenience Store News recently picked the brains of various industry thought-leaders to get their take on convenience store customer service today, from both the retailer perspective and the customer perspective. Here’s what they had to say:

The Best Thing About Customer Service Today From a Retailer Perspective Is…

“It increases loyalty, sales and profitability for my business.”
Don Stuart, managing director of Cadent Consulting Group

“That the customer is telling the retailer what they expect, hence allowing for planning and customization.”
Jean-Eric Penicaud, co-founder of, which measures product introductions and brands at c-stores

“In-store digital technology, which is becoming better: more intuitive, ‘smarter’ and less expensive. Customers are savvier. If we meet them where they are today, it’s actually easier to connect them to the products they seek and start conversations that can be continued on mobile, online, in their homes, and activated completely on their terms. This virtuous circle drives meaningful shopper connections and deeper brand loyalty.”
Jonathan Rosen, senior vice president of PRN, a provider of in-store shopper marketing solutions

“When you provide customers with a ‘wow’ experience that gives them the desire to share with a friend or colleague. Especially with social media and the ability for customers to communicate about their experience, a great experience can go far beyond that single experience.”
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of, a small business itself, which helps small businesses incorporate and legally file as a LLC

The Best Thing About Customer Service Today From a Customer Perspective Is…

“There is an aisle, a section, a store that can satisfy my needs, always within one mile or with one click.”
Penicaud of

“I’ve got so many choices — price competition has never been stronger, and retailers need to provide a consistent superior experience to maintain my loyalty.”
Rosen of PRN

“Feeling as though you’ve been treated special. In a world that is often quite commoditized, it feels awesome to have a great, personalized service that exceeds your expectations.”
Sweeney of

“It is something I don’t need to think about because it doesn’t demand anything of me.”
Stuart of Cadent Consulting Group

Look in the November issue of Convenience Store News for more on the topic of customer service.