Nov 19, 2021
Your Customers Are Driving Away. DX Monitor™ Can Help.
As the Senior Manager of Product Marketing for Solutions here at DFS, I like to think that I have a unique perspective on the industry. But I’m also a consumer and use gas stations to top off my car on a weekly basis like the folks that we serve.
Earlier this year, while on a trip with my father, I stopped for gas at a popular retailer in South Texas. When I saw a “Please Pay Inside” error message on the fuel dispenser – and then saw that 17 of the 20 fuel points in this station were displaying the same message – I realized it was a unique opportunity to observe how an inconvenient forecourt experience directly impacts overall sales. So, I decided to conduct an impromptu experiment!
Can You Afford To Lose 47% Of Your Sales?
How many times have you pulled up to a gas dispenser just to see a similar error message? What is your first reaction when you see that message?
I’ve come to believe there are three types of people in this world: those who automatically walk into the store to pay when the card reader is down, those who check to see if other dispensers at that location are working before driving off, and those who leave immediately to find another station to fuel up where they can pay by card at the dispenser. To that store owner, that’s business lost.
I decided to park and observe how many customers drove off to a competitor close by to fill their gas tanks instead of going inside to pay for gas. In the 30 minutes I was parked in front of the retail store, I counted 18 vehicles whose drivers walked into the store to pay for gas, and 16 vehicles whose drivers simply drove off to the next c-store, which was at least a mile away in either direction.
Because of the card reader error, this c-store lost 47% of the gas purchases these customers were planning to make. They also lost the possible sales from inside the store. In fact, I heard one customer walking out of the store tell someone else, “Don’t bother going inside to pay, the line is really long!”
Protect Your Customer Experience With Remote Monitoring Software
Will the same percentage of drive-offs happen to other retail fuel sites if their card readers are down? Possibly. How many people drive off — as opposed to going into the store to pay — depends on many variables, including how busy the fuel site is, how many card readers are not working, the time of day and other factors. And if your dispensers are down on a regular basis, customers will simply begin assuming they’re down all the time and will stop coming to you for fuel.
However, if the owner/operator had a remote monitoring software in place, like DX Monitor, they would have received real-time updates on the health of their fueling points and proactively realized something was wrong with their card readers. If a card reader is failing, the site operator receives a real-time alert so action can be taken to resolve the issue.
DX Monitor can help facilitate troubleshooting and analysis without maintenance personnel being physically present at the site. In addition to alerts, personnel can securely retrieve data logs, view the dispenser screen, initiate a reboot and inventory equipment.
Gain Control With DX Monitor
With DX Monitor, site owners/operators can keep their payment modules up-to-date and secure by:
• Enabling dispenser and payment-related software updates through centralized and remote software upgrades
• Minimizing the need for site visits to perform software upgrades to save both time and money
• Maximizing profitability with remote pricing and alarms
DX Monitor allows management of assets across one or many forecourts, so whether you have five, 50 or 100 sites, you can always know that your dispensers are up and running as they should be 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. For the merchant that I sat and observed that day, DX Monitor would have prevented a substantial loss of business that might have extended out over days. Next time I’m passing through, I think I’ll drop off a brochure!
DX Monitor is part of the DFS DX connected solutions platform.