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David Bustle's Dealer Profit's blog.

Why I'm Furious At Kroger and What It Can Teach You

About Marketing Your Car Dealership.

(Secret: This could be costing your dealership a ton of lost profits every month)

It's 7 AM and I'm pissed off at Kroger's gas station.

Silly right? Well I’m about to vent a bit. Stick with me because there is a huge marketing and sales lesson in this rant that can dramatically help your dealership grow its profit potential. 

So here I am at Kroger’s gas station. My coffee hadn’t fully kicked in yet. I go to pump gas and all of the sudden I realize... I've got one of those broke gas pumps.


You know the ones.

You pull the handle to pump... it flows for two seconds then stops automatically for no reason. The ones that you have to fight with just to get some gas.

F$@- it all! I hate these pumps.

Whoever invented this madness should be tarred and feathered. (Half kidding)

Usually... when I get these... it frustrates me so much I actually leave.

But not today, gas pump handle!

I had a .50 savings per gal credit racked up on the Kroger plus card from all my grilling I've been doing lately. I was going to stick it out.

Pump... then stop.

Pump... then stop.

Pump... then stop.


The lady across of me was giggling at my battle with the pump handle. "Ah you got one of those..." She knew my struggle all too well.

I made it to $37.50 worth before I was pissed and left defeated from this evil draconian foe. I drove off making a personal undying vow to never return again.

So what does this have to do with your dealership? Where's the marketing lesson, David?!

In every business and dealership there are processes and things that piss off your customers without you knowing it. Perhaps it's some policy you have. Perhaps it's part of your sales or fulfillment process. There are things that truly annoy your customers that are affecting your sales in the long run.

The inside secret is... they often won't tell you it angers them. They just stop buying from you and go elsewhere.

It's your job as the one in charge to figure it out. You've got to find the stupid, annoying aspects of your business and fix it. You've got to be your own customer and discover the parts of buying from you that suck miserably.

In the case of Kroger Gas, clearly no one from management actually buys gas there. If they had... they would rip out those pumps and fix them immediately.

So heres my dealership challenge for you: Spend a day buying from yourself looking for problems, hangups and the annoying aspects of your business. Actually sit in your waiting room for once. Call your service department and book an appointment. Secret shop yourself.

See what it is actually like buying from you. Be like a scientist and analyze it all.

Ask yourself:

Where can you make it more convenient, faster, streamlined, easier, better?

Where can you take away the pain points your customers have?

Where can you make it a pleasure to buy from you?

The other day I called a dealership and the receptionist answering their phones sounded just plain angry at life.

This is the front lines to this dealership. The first IMPRESSION it has with customers calling and they get Mrs. Battle Ax Bertha to deal with.

Funny thing is the dealership has no idea it's happening because they aren't their own customer. They've never investigated their own process. So it continues day after day, year after year... turning customers away without them even having a clue its the root cause of major problems.

I see this all the time. Little things like this that annoy your prospects and customers and make it hard to buy from you.

You have to find these and fix them. I promise it's hurting profits.

There is a reason Chick-fil-A is growing like they are and leaving the other fast food chains behind. They are optimizing. They are offering great service. They looked at what annoys them about fast food and flipped the script.

Seriously, go to a Chick-fil-A then go and directly buy from McDonalds. Notice the difference? It's night and day.

Analyze yourself constantly. Optimize. Be better than everyone else. Take away their paint points. Fix the annoying stuff.

And Kroger... fix your damn pumps already. It's ridiculously annoying.

I have spoken. This is the way.

  • DB

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