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Should we Bring the Forecourt Assistant Back to the Petrol Station?

Should we Bring the Forecourt Assistant Back to the Petrol Station?

Posted On 06 Jan, 2015

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Forecourt assistants have largely disappeared from most UK petrol stations.

However, many petrol stations now offer a ‘Pay at Pump’ facility, saving you time by using your debit or loyalty card. But as more and more shops switch to self-operated payment systems, a move in the opposite direction could entice shoppers seeking a more personal touch.

In 2012, Shell announced it was trialling out a free assistant service across 300 of its UK stations. The Daily Mail called Shell’s move a return to the 70s, but ironically a 74 year old became 2014′s Best Forecourt Assistant in the SuperStation 2014 Awards.

The Superstation Awards recognise outstanding customer service within their Gulf and Pace network, including about 1,200 independent stations across the UK.

Certainly, a return to higher levels of customer care is likely to go down well with today’s motorists. Shell says its attendants are there to offer advice on fuels and fuel efficiency. They will also give drivers some safety tips. In addition, they can carry out basic car care on oil levels, tyres and de-icers, plus offering tips on good driving behaviour.

Perhaps more service stations, recognising the competitive advantage, will mimic the return of the forecourt assistant. Mirroring places like Italy, which have for years retained assistants.

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