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Drive on any major interstate in Texas and you’ll see a billboard with a cartoon beaver, stating, “Fabulous Restrooms! Buc-ee’s 150 Miles.” This message guarantees most travelers will pass all gas stations and drive 150 miles to their next restroom break. Travelers are rewarded for their patience with signs every few miles: “Got porcelain? 100 miles,” and “Almost there. You can hold it! 50 miles.”

Passengers arrive to 50 gasoline pumps, immaculate restrooms, and unlimited snacks. The smiling beaver thanks departing travelers and informs them the next Buc-ee’s is 200 miles away.

How do organizations attract new customers and gain the same loyalty as the beloved Buc-ee’s? The most successful companies use the following techniques:

Excel in One Area

It is unusual for a company to deliver the best products in a market across all of its product offerings. However, successful companies must excel in at least one area to draw in customers the way Buc-ee’s does. Buc-ee’s promises immaculate restrooms. They excel in providing an exceedingly clean environment where other gas stations generally don’t. These companies then focus on expanding the customer’s footprint by making it easy and cost effective to buy other items and services.

Deliver Superior Service

Providing the lowest price or highest quality product is not enough to create the same level of loyalty as Buc-ee’s. Bad customer service will lead to low customer retention and the best companies focus on providing better service than the competition. Better customer service not only guarantees more loyalty but studies have shown that people will often spend more if they receive higher levels of customer service.

Manage Add-on Products and Services

Buc-ee’s is great at getting travelers to part with their money as they walk out of the bathroom. Travelers invariably purchase more than needed based on the product offerings, store layout, etc. Managing add-on products and services is a bit more difficult for most companies. Sales teams are not properly informed and mismanage the opportunities to sell add-on services. To successfully sell add-on products an organization’s salesforce must be knowledgeable and continuously updated about add-on products.

Follow Up After the Sale

Buc-ee’s provides first-class service from the time customers walk in the door and thanks customers after leaving with billboards saying, “Aren’t you glad you stopped? See y’all soon.” In addition to attracting new customers and providing great service, an industry leader must retain existing customers to keep its competitive edge. Most companies do a poor job of training the sales force to follow up after products or services are delivered. A simple email or hand written note will often result in loyalty and another sale.

Increasing sales by just five percent will have an immediate impact on a company’s bottom line and must start with aligning the organization to focus on its core competencies. Getting in the door with core products, providing the best customer service, effectively selling add-on products, and following up after the sale are all keys to success.

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