Service Marketing

When was the last time you had really great service or even poor service?  I was thinking about this earlier today when I pulled into a full service gas station which I rarely do.  Anyway, the gentleman was cordial and asked what type of gas and if he should fill it up and the transaction commenced.  In goes the gas, the tank is soon full, and he gives me my receipt and says “Have a nice day.”  Well that’s pretty normal and standard for the most part right?

Now any of you recall the day when you pulled into a full service gas station and they greeted you with a nice smile, asked what type of gas & how much should they fill it, but then they proceeded to wash your windows and even check your oil.  This actually used to be the norm believe it or not.  I kind of wonder what would happen to gas stations like this one if perhaps they incorporated some of these services for their customers.  Now, I doubt I would make the drive all the way back to this gas station since it is about 20 minutes away from where I live, but if I was back in the area I would most likely stop there again.  Also, I have to say that I would most likely tell some of my friends about this experience since it is so uncommon today and these extra services are just nice to have.  So at the end of the day, after this positive experience, maybe I would tell a friend or two in person, over the phone or via social media about this good service.

Now we all know the flip side of the nice experience aforementioned, bad service.  Bad service simply can really hurt businesses in the service industry.  There are many studies that try to quantify the effect of bad service or how an angry customer tainted by a bad experience can damage business or influence others.  As we all know, when we experience bad service which is an inconvenience to our lives, we like to tell others about it as we are venting.

As small businesses owners or managers, we all spend a lot of time trying to minimize the chances of a bad experience occurring and increasing the chances that positive experiences occur.  Hence, we train our employees, coach them, role play, have protocols and try to instill a culture that treats each customer well.  In my experience some of the things that help to reduce the chances of bad service rearing its ugly head are:

  1. Have a clear offer which sets expectations & communicate it effectively.
  2. Treat each customer with respect & treat your employees with respect.
  3. Handle complaints immediately (have a protocol for when things do go wrong because it will happen.)
  4. Be sure to regularly measure your performance.
  5. Train your employees so they completely understand their responsibilities & try to hire service oriented employees that go the extra yard.

Hope this helps,


Service Marketing