March 2019


A Speedway gas station in my neighborhood is a wonderful place to find expressions of kindness before embarking on your morning commute. If you are feeling the Monday morning blues after getting up out of bed and is hesitate to go to work, you may be in need of some early morning Speedway kindness.

How Customer Service Used to Be

I remember back in the mid-seventies when southern store owners where exceptionally kind toward customers. The moment you walked into the store, before you can even smile, you were greeted with a big, “How are you today, Stevie”, or whatever your name was. You enjoyed going to the store as much as you loved going fishing or bird hunting.

The Cold Interaction

How things have changed? When you walk into stores today, you are basically a numbered customers who is met by a robotic “Hello” or 9 times out of ten, no “Hello” at all. You are simply another, seemingly dehumanized customer.

In some gas stations, you are simply ignored or met by a cold interaction, and then rushed from the checkout counter so that the customer behind them can receive the same indifferent treatment.  In other words, outstanding customer service has gone into oblivion.

A Key Reason for Change

Part of the reason for such poor customer service, I believe, is that the obsession with technology has made people robotic in their approach to customer interaction.  People, especially the millennium generation has abandoned the concept of good customer service in exchange for automated approach to dealing with the people who are responsible for sustenance of their jobs and businesses.

In general, the obsession with smartphones keep people too occupied to even interact with others while standing at the checkout line.  Instead of carrying on small talk, as in the day of old, people are busy texting or playing games. The opportune time to meet friends and influence people is wasted forever.

Refocusing on Outstanding Customer Service

However, the key to returning to outstanding customer service lies in the recognition that treating customer well is the key to winning loyalty and increasing customer base.  The genuine expression of kindness is medicine for the soul and spirit.

I go into Speed way each morning and many times in the afternoon, because of the kindness that is given and shared. The power of kindness can make you feel like you are a part of a whole big family of customers.  That is the way every customer wants to feel.

For me, my local Speedway gas station and outstanding customer service go hand in hand. It is my favorite destination for coffee, gas and other store items daily.






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