Converting Brand Loyals with Customer Service: A Shell Experience

By on September 13, 2012

Before the internet in this part of the world gets filled with news of another fuel hike hitting consumers at midnight, I would like to write about a pleasant fuelling experience that I had this evening. It is a really pleasant experience that I had, which has made me a think of a switch of petrol brands tonight. I generally fuel only at Bharat Petroleum Stations, and avoid other fuel stations, even if I have to push my car.

Shell however has always been an exception(Given my love for motorsports, and the fact that Shell closely works with my favourite team, Ferrari). Lucky enough before the news of the hike hit the media, I was at one of Shell’s petrol stations here in Chennai. Upon arrival, I was greeted by an attendant, who politely asked me which fuel I wanted, and tried to upsell the premium petrol, and cross sell fresheners and other accessories. Upon insisting that I wanted to tank up with only the normal fuel, He began after briefing me of the day’s price, and asked me to check the reading for a zero.

While the tank was being brimmed, I was offerd to have my windscreen cleaned. Now,  it was a clearly rainy evening, and whatever cleaning that would be done, would be a total waste within seconds after driving out. This again surprised me, because despite being a glaringly obvious fact, the attendant(Shell Standard Operating Procedures, maybe) offered to clean the windscreen, which I again politely turned down.

As is the case with Shell, immediately after the tank up, I was given an invoice, which is not the case with most fuel outlets (which is why I prefer Bharat more than others), upon paying for it, I was adviced to have the tyre pressure checked, and as I got into the car, and fastened my seatbelt, the attendant again knocked on the window, and gave me a bar of chocolate for having used my seatbelt!

Dear Shell, I have always liked the way you treat your customers, and not try fooling them, and the honesty which your employees have displayed, by handing out an invoice at the end of the transaction (Not very common in most other petrol stations). I also like the fact that only at your petrol stations, is free air(for the tyres), actually free! Though your fuel has been most expensive in the past, I am pleasantly surprised  that your current prices are lower than those of other brands (despite continuous hikes by the government over the years).

The first time I fuelled at one of your stations was around 6 years ago, and all the above mentioned procedures were still in place then. These might be commonplace in other countries, but seeing this happen in  India, it is nothing less than awesome! I also like the fact that you are taking an effort by incentivising the road users to follow safety measures like belting up! Today, you have made me, and also people like me, strong brand loyals when it comes to fuel, think about a brand switch! Keep doing this, and we are sure to switch!

About Arvind R

Arvind believes that “Marketing is a function, inherent in every human being. A post graduate in Retail Management, he has worked with retail companies like Shoppers Stop and Spar, before venturing out on his own, and now is a successful entrepreneur running a manufacturing business. Click here to know more about him.