As a small business owner, particularly a food truck owner, you always have to ask yourself “do I engage with my customers the best possible way?” or “who are they, really?”

In the past 10 years, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has taken on a huge new role in marketing departments of all business sizes.  It used to be the department where “direct marketing” was handled.  Do you remember getting a current year auto brochure when your lease was close to being due?  It basically said, “Hey, we know you’re ready to turn in your car.  Let’s put you into this current model.”  Or a competitor would buy your name and you’d get something that said, “You’d look a lot better in this competitive model” Whatever the case, the way in which you were contacted and spoken to was very basic.

CRM has evolved into complete understanding of your customers.  Who they are, how they found you, what they like about your product, their purchasing habits with you product and your competitors and so much more.  It’s not just a list of demographics or psychographics anymore.

To aid in this process, Mobile Cuisine has partnered with the GiveNetwork to promote Fighting Hunger In America.  While this campaign is designed to enable your customers to donate funds to two great organizations, Meals On Wheels Association of America and Convoy of Hope, it’s also a very unique CRM tool.  And if you register to Fighting Hunger In America, you’ll be entered to win a $500 gas card.

Many of you have repeat customers.  They are the “bread and butter” of your business, your brand ambassadors and enthusiasts.  They feel connected to you.  Do you speak to them any differently than your other clientele?  How do you engage with them?

The Fighting Hunger In America initiative allows you the unique opportunity to engage with those customers in a more meaningful way than slipping them a bottle of water or public thank you via Twitter.

Once your truck is registered, you’ll receive signage that includes a unique QR code in which your customers can use to scan and easily donate.  The CRM side of this initiative is what you do with the list of customers that you’ll receive at the close of every month.  These customers demonstrated that they’re willing to interact with your brand, share in something you believe in and deserving of special attention.  Once they donate, they will receive a customized ‘thank you’ note from your truck.  In this note, you’ll be able to personally thank them and encourage repeat donation and sales behavior.  You’ll find out who is donating on a regular basis, engage with them and reward them.

Unlike many fundraising initiatives that tie “donations” to the purchase of products, this initiative consciously engages the customer in making a donation. Most fundraising campaigns that will ultimately raise money for a worthy cause requires the donations by the retailer regardless of any action taken by their customers.  In reality, customers are passively, at best, deciding to participate by buying something that they may have already planned to purchase.  The Fighting Hunger In America initiative allows you to engage and identify your customers that elect to participate by donating, independent of a purchase.   If you sign your truck up by the end of this month, you’ll be entered to win a $500 gas card.

The objective of Fighting Hunger In America is to fund organizations that work to feed our nation’s hungry and to promote and grow citizen philanthropy – one truck at a time, one city at a time.