Fastest Pumps in Town

Customer satisfaction key to Thornton promotion

Published in CSP Daily News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One year after putting an extra emphasis on gasoline pump maintenance, Thornton Oil Co. is getting some extra mileage out of the effort through a marketing campaign at the pump. Signs posted on all pumps read: Go with the flow! Here at Thorntons, we strive to have the fastest pump flow in town.

It's marketing in its purest form, Mike Parker, senior director of sales and marketing for Thornton Oil, Louisville, Ky., told CSP Daily News. One of the most annoying things in the world from a consumer standpoint is to pull into a gas station [image-nocss] and it takes forever to pump that gas. So we had a huge initiative last year to change some of the things that we did. We really put an emphasis on making sure that our maintenance programs are being adhered to [and] that we can pump our gas as fast as we can legally.

Realizing that laws limiting pump flow leave only so much a retailer can do to speed up the gas-pumping process, Parker said putting the sign on the pumps serves a dual purpose. The first is to plant the idea in customers' heads that they're getting their gas quickly. The second is to encourage store managers to live up to the standard of having the fastest pump flow in town.

It keeps us in check, said Parker, because if we're going to put a statement like that on our pumps, we need to make sure that we're staying on our game.

That means keeping to regular maintenance schedules and making sure problem are corrected as soon as possible. And while Parker can't quantify whether the company has seen increased gasoline sales as a result of the maintenance and marketing program, he said it's really more a matter of pride than dollars and cents.

From a customer-service standpoint, there's no better way to keep the customers happy than keeping the pumps flowing within the legal limit, he said. It's something that we're proud of and that we are spending more time and money on.