Priscilla Liu (July 8, 2015)
Being in the competitive gas station industry means that you should have a holistic approach to customer service. It is important that your strategies revolve entirely around customers if you expect them to keep coming back to you. For example, your attendants should politely greet your clients, fill up their gas tanks, clean their windshields, usher them out of the filling station, request repeat visits and say a warm goodbye to them. By ensuring that a high-quality service is delivered at every point of customers’ contact with your business, you can positively influence consumers’ decision to visit your gas station every time they are in the area.
Taking these aspects into account, here are some tips on how you can make customers happier by improving your gas station’s customer service.
Ask your customers to keep a check on the fuel dispenser’s meter while filling up their vehicles’ gas tanks. It assures them that they are getting the exact amount of fuel they paid for. Offer a free windshield cleaning service to customers even if they do not need it. They will appreciate you all the more for asking them. In case of cash payments, count the correct change that has to be given to customers after they have paid. Sometimes, customers may take too long to drive away once your attendants have served them. Whatever the reason, politely request them to move forward so that the next client can get his/her turn. Facilitating your clients properly in every possible way makes for a first-class customer service.
In order to prevent customers from getting harmed in any way, ensure that your gas station is well-lit especially during evening, night and early morning hours. It makes clients feel safer and they will be more confident in visiting your station. Repair your grounds immediately if needed and halt your business operations during the repairing process to prevent clients from getting into any accidents. Make sure that every necessary step is taken to prioritize your customers’ well-being.
Maintenance of equipment is an essential. Keep the dispenser nozzles and handles in good condition by making sure that they are not dented or damaged. Examine your fuel dispensers to see if they are working properly and adjust them if they are pumping at a slow or fast rate. Set their flow rate to normal so that customers do not feel suspicious about your business cheating them.
There can be customers who are unfamiliar with how the fueling process works. Ensure that you are always there to guide them and you can also use instructional signs to highlight the steps involved in completing the fueling procedure. Remember that your clients’ safety always comes first. Put up warning labels to bring important safety rules and regulations to their attention. For example, use ‘no smoking’ and ‘do not use cell phone’ stickers to caution customers against dangerous practices in gas stations. Talk respectfully to clients who do not take the signs seriously. Start by telling them that the instructions have to be followed for their own safety and for the greater good of everyone who visits your gas station. Follow up by stating that their co-operation will be appreciated.
Do you have basic food, snacks and drinks in your store? If so, is everything fully stocked? Attach price tags to all your supplies and when putting them on display, make sure that their front faces the customer. Check to see if all your products are fresh and have not reached their expiry dates. Unsanitary store conditions will drive your customers away and this can negatively affect your business. Hence, it is important to clean your floors, shelves and windows regularly so that they remain spotless every time clients enter your shop. Stock up on toiletries and replace them whenever required if you have a restroom. A neat and tidy environment will attract customers to your store and encourage them to make repeat visits.
Your gas station’s training should cover more than just the fueling process. Do your offer drive-through car wash and tire repair and services? If so, do they come up to your clients’ standards? Are their cars washed spotlessly? Does your staff know how much air should be put in car tires and do they keep a check on the tire pressure gauge? Remember that customers can always get a car wash from other stations if your service is not up to the mark. Also, clients who have flat or low air tires usually tend to stop at the nearest station. Therefore, your attendants should do a good job in handling any problem that they may have with their tires. Training your attendants to follow proper and honest work practices would always make happy customers return to your gas station.
Do not overprice your services and convenience store products. Remember that customers will not hesitate to take their business to your competitors if you charge them too much money. Your prices should either be slightly below or equal to your competitors’ rates. By setting fair prices and providing remarkable customer service, your gas station will build customer loyalty and clients would be more than happy to do repeat business with you in the future.
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