Three Levels of Certified

Retailer rolls out customer loyalty program

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Certified Oil Co., which operates gas stations and convenience stores in Ohio, has announced the launch of Certified Savings, a new, three-level customer loyalty program. The program was unveiled in late 2008 at four Certified Oil locations in Granville, Hebron and Newark, Ohio, and an additional three Certified stores in Chillicothe, Ohio, will be added later this month.

According to Greg Ehrlich, Certified Oil's chief operating officer, the overarching goal of the program is "to develop and maintain loyalty among current and future customers while rewarding [image-nocss] them for their continued patronage," he told The Chillocothe Gazzette.

Level 1 of the program for cardholders includes product discounts and automatic entry into club programs, in which customers buy a designated quantity of a product--cups of coffee, for instance--with the next one being free. At this level, members also are rewarded with points on their purchases and redemption options that include gasoline discounts and free merchandise.

At level 2, which also incorporates Level 1 benefits, cardholders are provided the option of receiving two cents off per gallon of gasoline for enrolling their card for Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment. The ACH debit payment plan allows the cardholder to transfer funds by authorizing Certified Oil to electronically withdraw funds from the cardholder's checking account. Basically, this converts the loyalty card into a payment vehicle similar to a debit card.

At level 3, which also includes Level 1 benefits, cardholders are offered three cents off per gallon of gasoline for paying cash.

"This program offers great flexibility," said Tom Bell, Certified's vice president of Information Technology, according to the newspaper. "It will permit us to modify our benefits by store, customer, product and even by the day of the week. The possibilities and combinations for customization are endless."

Certified Oil's customer loyalty program will include a merchant coalition program, said the report. Through this program, noncompetitive merchants such as restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, quick oil-change services and various retail outlets will allow Certified Savings cardholders to purchase services and products at reduced prices.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company recently announces a new image program with an emphasis on foodservice.Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage.