Understanding Full Service

Lessons from the Service Station.

A number of years ago, while attending college, I worked at a full serve gas station.  Full serve gas stations don’t exist in very many places anymore, unless you live in Oregon.  There was one regular customer who drove a shiny new corvette.  He would come in every week or so and always ask for the same thing.  Ten dollars of premium unleaded.  The other guys I worked with hated him.  After they finished pumping the gas he would always ask them to check the air pressure in the tires.  Which, if he had asked before they finished pumping the fuel could have been done while the gas pump was running, but instead he waited until it was finished.

The next time Mr Corvette came in I told the other guy I was working with that I would be look after it.  I ran out to the pump, asked Mr. Corvette what he would like and I got the usual response “$10 premium”  I started the pump and went back and asked if I could check the tires. “No thanks” was the reply.  I then asked if I could check the oil.  “No thanks”  So I asked if I could get him any snack or a drink to go.  “No thanks”  The pump finished and the customer paid the $10 for the fuel and that was it.  Okay, I thought to my self, that wasn’t so bad.  I went back inside and explained what happened to my co-worker and he was shocked that he didn’t wait to ask me to check the tires after the pump finished.

About a week later, when I was starting my shift, the owner of the station asked me to come into his office.  There he presented me with a check for $100 and a gold watch.  Evidently, Mr. Corvette was a mystery shopper who gave me the highest score possible on customer service and this was my reward.

The Moral of the Story

So let me ask you a question.  Who is your Mr. Corvette?  What can you do differently to change things around?  Sometimes the worst situations can be made better by looking at them from a different perspective.