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How Can My Gas Station Benefit from a Mystery Shopper?

With the recent rise in gas prices comes a general sense of resentment towards the act of filling up our tanks. We pull up to the pumps and sigh as we watch the digital numbers climb to new heights. As a gas station owner, you know that there has never been a better time for going over and beyond to give your customers the best service possible during this frustrating time.

Your competitors are thinking along the same lines — gas station retail competition can no longer be won by mere gas quality, pricing, or market coverage alone. Another factor comes into play: quality customer service. If your customer is going to pay a hefty price for gasoline, they want to fill up in a place that is tidy, precise, friendly and polite. In order to keep customer service up to consumer expectations, it is necessary to incorporate a monitoring tool.

That tool is Mystery Shopping.

Service station

Image via Wikipedia

For a mystery shopper, an assignment at a gas station typically involves checking the cleanliness and maintenance of the property on the interior and exterior.

The secret stopper will enter the gas station and interact with the attendant working the cash register. He or she might also enter the restroom and make a note its cleanliness. In addition, many gas station assignments will have the secret shopper take photos of the property from various angles, such as the water and air filling area, the fuel pumps, and the car wash area.

So what can you find out by launching your own mystery shopping campaign? At your gas pumps: How fast are your gas pumps? Do all of the pumps work?

In your convenience store: How clean are the restrooms? Is the correct signage being used? Are your locations featuring the correct products? Is the floor clean, navigable and clear of boxes and product?

In your competitor’s store: Mystery shoppers can evaluate the customer service, products, pricing, and cleanliness of your competitors’ convenience stores. How does your pricing and customer service compare to the competition?

Age Compliance: Because age compliance is a closely monitored program within convenience stores which sell tobacco and alcoholic products, it’s of utmost importance that your staff follows guidelines. With a mystery shop, you can determine if employees are requesting ID, and following procedures.

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