Pilot Flying J Grows Loyalty Program

Technology helps pro drivers make stopping and shopping decisions.

January 23, 2020

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Pilot Flying J, the Tennessee-based travel center chain, is increasing mobile loyalty participation and penetration thanks to cloud-based data management, reports Chain Store Age.

With 750 stores in 44 states, the retailer worked with Deloitte Digital and Salesforce to clean up, organize and structure customer data to be usable in any format data. “We made unbelievable strides,” said Tyler Tanaka, senior director of digital, loyalty and brand marketing at Pilot Flying J. “We created real utility for our professional driver customers to use in our mobile app.”

The chain’s mobile app has features that allow professional drivers to reserve shower times and parking spaces before they arrive, and another that lets them turn on a fuel dispenser and connect fuel purchases to their loyalty accounts for near-frictionless purchases at the pump.

Pilot Flying J also connects its customer loyalty data to the Salesforce Service Cloud, which enables customer service representatives to assist shoppers via call or email, with a consistent and holistic view of their interactions. 

The app’s Marketing Cloud platform lets the company directly engage customers via social media and conduct broad social listening campaigns to gather and analyze social chatter for early problem detection and resolution. For example, the customer service team can detect a customer complaint about a dirty bathroom at a specific store location on social media, notify the store and directly communicate back to the customer when the issue has been resolved.

The effort has paid off. Pilot Flying J has had between four and five million downloads of its app since reorganizing its data.

“We have huge numbers of active monthly users,” Tanaka stated. “Our aspirational goal is to have one-to-one personalization…. The driver goes through a decision process at the time they turn off the highway. Whether it’s food, a bathroom or the opportunity to redeem an offer for a cold soda on a hot day or a hot coffee on a cold day, we want to use technology to make that decision possible.”