The way to a man’s customer’s heart is through his stomach. The girls also love a cup tasty coffee, and the long journey makes everybody equal. The role of the café at gas station is to provide a tasty meal!

Gas is the same and let’s say it is equally good or even great everywhere, but we brew some gourmet coffee and will treat our customer with tasty buns, and now he’s here to stay with us. Real life experts are rubbing their hands as if they were saying “Wait ‘till we’ll tell you”. And indeed they do tell a never-ending story about customer service.

Recently I have found on the Internet one such story.

It happens that two experts are looking at the same situation from different angles. It does not change the components of the situation – poor customer service is still being that way. But an expert on corporate culture sees a way out in the education of adults, which is a hard task. From where I stand it seems to be as one more validation of propriety of non-fuel business automated straight-line organization. I swear, half of the dialogue between the well-known business coach Konstantin Kharsky and an unknown employee of the gas station would not have happened even if only the business process was organized properly.

This is an audio recording of this story. >> 

I do not know the cost of a liter of gasoline

Drivers often choose the gas station not because of the cost of a liter of gasoline – over the last few years the prices in most gas chains have been almost identical. Chains are competing via related services.

If the driver can fill a full tank or refuel it at 1000 rubles – this is a good and profitable customer. This man before this whole story had no particular preference, but chose this particular chain as it  guaranteed the quality of fuel and related services. Pretty ordinary course of conduct of our time.

Fresh donuts and cold ones

The first question: “Do you have fresh donuts?”

A normal person expects “yes” or “no” answer.  The operator says: “Donuts are still fresh for 4 hours”. Obviously, customer expectations are deceived. It is possible to work with the situation at the level of clichés. Just teach the employee to answer a question about the freshness of baking with a “yes” for 4 hours after it was pulled from the refrigerator.

Who caught the trick? The trick is that at the gas stations they don’t bake donuts. Modern technologies create the effect of fresh pastries. In fact, most of the product is thawed and then placed in a special showcase where these poor donuts will be “fresh and cold” for the next 4 hours. If the showcase is equipped with a special heating, the donuts will be “fresh and warm”, but never they will be hot.

Next logical question that comes to mind – is it not possible to bake donuts on the spot? Well, you can, but you’d better not. At the gas station more often than not you only have a small cafe area, there are restrictions on the load on power supply system and difficulty with ventilation. You bake the donuts – and all the station gets characteristic odor of saturated frying oil. It is best to comply with the technology of defrosting and not to save on showcase that keeps the right temperature and humidity.

The straw is included

Author is upset. Café’s staff for a long time could not find a straw for cappuccino. An unexpected turn – 999 out of a thousand drink this beverage just like that, straight out of the cup. Employees must be prepared for such surprises. Straw may not be found at the gas station. The product range of cafés at the station is usually limited. You managed to find one – well done, but still it would have been impossible to sell it because it never held a separate position in the list of goods. By the way, you also can’t buy a paper cup separately. Solution is to prevent emergency situations and not trying to save a penny on details. Let’s remember that the driver has already paid about 1,000 rubles for the gas and cafe bill for one person should amount to some 200-300 rubles.

How coffee machine’s settings affect the quality of the coffee?

Too hot coffee is an interesting situation. The author was already exhausted by unfriendly service, he was not interested to find out why this happened. And now the readers will have to learn the message about how the coffee machine’s configuration affect the quality of coffee?

According to the story, this gas station at the same time uses pottery and paper cups. This is a fundamental error in the organization process. Now I tell you why.

Many people know that the ideal temperature for espresso is 93 degrees, and it must be poured into the heated cup. Did you know that a special rack for heating utensils for coffee costs about 2,000 euros?

When you present a set of equipment for café area to a customer it is the first item of expenditure which he write off. What a mischief – warming the cups! By the way, coffee shops and restaurants know that it is necessary and do not refuse it. But at the gas station they usually decide not to buy it –  2,000 euros is a great saving.

If the coffee machine is adjusted to pour coffee to ceramic ware, the temperature of the drink is set to be hot. That’s right, 7th grade physics. The cup has its own heat capacity and if it is cold (as they didn’t buy the heating rack) the temperature of the beverage is poured should be higher, otherwise the visitors will complain of cold coffee.

Now, if that coffee is poured into a paper cup, the drink will be too hot, because the heat capacity of the paper cup is much less than the heat capacity of a thick-walled ceramic cup. Again, this situation can be avoided by using double-layer cups designed for hot drinks. But usually, when the people start to save they do not stop at one article. Saving on the cups is a trifle thing, but on the scale of the chain you may achieve some exciting figures. Usually single-layer cups are used, which are much cheaper. Can they pour coffee in them? Yes, they can. But we remember that the temperature of the drink was specifically raised for a ceramic mug. As a result of this it hurts to hold such a cup in hands.

By the way, at the gas station which purposefully develop non-fuel business and give due attention to the café, all the coffee is poured into two-layer paper cups and not into ceramic tableware. Thread-process model also takes such details into account. As a result, we see that half of gas station operators’ discussions with the customers is not even taking place. The second part is removed by right training of staff so that all issues are resolved, the main thing is to want to solve them.

As a result, the customer has left being not just upset. Firstly, he made a firm decision never to use that chain’s stations. To break these prejudices is very difficult, much more difficult than teaching staff proper communication with customers. Secondly, it is believed that a satisfied customer will tell about his experience to one person, an upset one will tell about it to at least ten. Is it a coincidence that in place of an average customer was the famous business coach. But nobody is insured from such “fate’s gifts”. There are cases of unfinished customer service at the gas station, but the negative situations have to be handled properly Now those who are able to draw conclusions, twice received feedback from two experts and for free. It remains to process lemons into lemonade.

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