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Why Your Auto Service Station Needs a Mystery Shopper

Did you know that in New Jersey and Oregon, customers can only opt for full service or mini service at the gas station? They can’t even pump their own gas — and in many cases, they’ll be fined if they so much as try.

These two states have a lot of reasons for the self-service ban, including safety and job preservation. But I say it gives their employees maximum opportunities to shine: In a consumer culture where people do so many things for themselves, from ATMs to grocery store self-checkouts, providing an old-fashioned service station customer experience might feel like a rare treat that could even soothe the sting of those sky-high gas prices.

(If it’s done right, that is.)

Throughout the rest of the country, customers’ interaction with service station employees vary, from the occasional full service and car washes to mechanic services and convenience store purchases. So no matter what “state” you find your service station in, and regardless of how often your employees actually have contact with your customers, it’s important to provide the best service possible and leave them with a good impression of your business.

Consider hiring mystery shoppers to visit your station and check up on how well you’re serving your customers. These specially trained shoppers will simulate a person’s ordinary experience and report back on their findings. You’ll receive all their comments in a report that will help you get a handle on what you’re doing well in your service station — and what you could improve on.

Here are a few things mystery shoppers could be looking for:

– Are all your pumps operational?

– Is the payment process smooth and error free?

– Is full service an option, and if so, is an attendant promptly ready for service?

– Are trash cans emptied regularly, and are windshield washing stations stocked and clean?

– Are employees friendly and helpful?

– Is your convenience store well stocked? Coffee and soda stations dry and trash free?

– If you offer restrooms, are they clean and accessible?

The list goes on. Though auto service stations aren’t necessarily known as bastions of customer care, there’s always room for surprising customers with a little extra love during their busy day. Let mystery shoppers help you do that better and more efficiently.