IRVING, Texas -- “We have to get maniacal about getting customer-focused.”
Dawn Gillis, senior director of IT operations and customer service for Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc., recently went into detail with e-newsletter Retail Customer Experience about the convenience-store chain’s push to become a bigger player in the technology scene to better align with its customers.
Here are three ways the convenience giant is using tech to improve the customer experience …
Post it and they will click
When 7-Eleven debuted the 7Rewards loyalty app and, more recently, its Bill Pay app that lets customers pay bills at 7-Eleven stores, it wasn’t just to give customers more deals and convenience.
These app rollouts are part of a push to learn more about the company’s customers in order to improve its customer experience. According to Gillis, 7-Eleven’s analysis of the data from its apps is already causing changes in how the company interacts with customers. The data collected has spurred 7-Eleven to make its Big Gulp and Slurpee products focal points of the brand.
The right place at the right time
In the digital age of instant customer satisfaction, 7-Eleven aims to be readily available to customers, whether in the digital or physical world. “It’s all about engaging the customer on the right level at the right time,” Gillis said.
On the digital side, this means working to move 7-Eleven and its private products brands into the top tier of online search results. In the physical world, the company plans to expand its presence in airports.
The delivery economy
The retailer’s recent moves into delivery are also a part of its tech turnaround. This is evidenced in the company’s partnership with San Francisco-based Postmates and DoorDash, in addition to Tapingo, a mobile ordering app for college students also based in San Francisco.
While widespread drone delivery is taking a while to get off the ground due to strict U.S. airspace regulations, 7-Eleven’s drone demonstration last year with Reno, Nev.-based Flirtey signals its readiness to explore airborne delivery.