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August 2019
11 Min read

How employees’ passivity influences Petrol Stations incomes?

Derkach Anastasiya

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Today we want to invite you to consider the unique customer experience of one of the most famous gas stations in Europe – the market leader in Austria, Switzerland, as well as one of the most famous business players in the Nordic countries. And this experience will be based on the analysis of the portrait of the gas station customers, their needs and expectations.

Why do customers choose this particular gas station and not another? What are the main factors driving them to refuel their cars with this particular gasoline, visit a cafe near a gas station, and also receive any other additional services?

As a result of reading this article, you will receive answers to burning questions:

What do drivers really want? 

How does the cleanliness of a location impact on a company’s reputation?

What are the main problem areas and development points presented in the common petrol station market?

How can the type of service at the gas station become a critical factor when choosing one company over another?

On which day of the week does the driver receive the worst customer service?


What problems does each and every gas station face?

Unfortunately, unlike the hero of the film “What Women Want”, companies do not always have the opportunity to hear the thoughts and desires of their customers simply by observing their behavior.

We analyzed the portrait of a typical driver who regularly faces the need to choose a gas station.

If you have a look at the consumer: the selection is rather vague, but it can be said with certainty, that men, 30-45 years old, residents of large European cities, and, obviously, drivers, are more actively involved in the project of evaluating the quality of petrol stations

What is really important to the customer?

Why does he choose to refuel at petrol station X and not Y?

  • Pricing benefits. This factor is important for the driver, but not the highest priority.
  • Convenient location. The key reason why customers opted for X gas station is its convenient location and wide coverage of stations throughout the country. No need to go somewhere out of town to refuel a car. If you look at the map of big cities, there can be about three gas stations on one street. There are plenty of them and they are always at hand.
  • Ability to choose the type of service: Full Service and Self-service. Petrol station X has two types of service at gas stations – those that provide full service, and those that are automated for self-service.
  • High-speed service. Among other important advantages that gas station customers pay attention to, is the speed of service. This factor is particularly pertinent in big cities where the pace of life is so much faster.
  • Cleanliness of the location (stations, shops, and toilets). Non-compliance with a high standard of cleanliness negates other positive aspects of good service. One of the most common complaints of our mystery shoppers is associated with unclean toilets, and the feeling of discomfort when shopping at stores near gas stations.

The following are factors that annoy all customers, in priority order:

If we analyze the general situation in the gas station sector, we can distinguish the following potential development points:

Focus: on improving additions service and sales. It is the key factor of development for the whole petrol stations sector.

Distribute to all locations: high-speed service and good quality petrol

Monitor: availability of promotional items, bonus and discount systems, a full range of products.

Subjective patterns

We discovered an interesting dependence of NPS (Net Promotional Score) and a subjective assessment of service criteria on the type of service at the gas station.

We may observe the following pattern in European countries such as Austria and Switzerland:

  • Manned petrol stations (With people and full assistance) – rank higher
  • Unmanned ones (with self-service) – show lower NPS

There is a great difference in customers’ attitudes between visiting manned and unmanned stations. In Austria and Switzerland customers prefer a more personal approach and the ability to turn for assistance if needed, rather than self-service.

It may depend on the clients’ expectations from the company – to provide the full range of service, and it confirms the customer readiness to pay more for more complete and qualitative service.

On the graph below you can see that unmanned stations are mainly those which prevent the general Total Index from getting higher.

Attitude to the service and extra products or “How Petrol Stations may lose hundreds of thousands of EUR because of their employees’ passivity?”  

In the Nordic countries, the issue of additional sales, and in general, “Sales Aiming Activity” at the petrol station, is a very weak link. According to Service standards, people who work in a store at a gas station (not refuelers, but sales consultants) should actively participate in the sales process and create additional sales – a service or product, or at least offer.

If we compare the Nordic countries with Austria and Switzerland, we can see a slight difference and a better situation in Norway, Sweden, Denmark than in other countries. At the same time, even in those cases where additional products or services are offered (such as making coffee), in the subjective block, there is a low rating of Sales Aiming Activity. This means that even with the implementation of this standard, the employee makes an additional offer in such a way that the buyer does not like it.

Would you like to know how the day of the week affects the quality of service, provided by your petrol station?
The data was analyzed for the whole of 2018 and half of 2019. It is clearly seen that the lowest scores are received during the weekends, meaning that either resource provided is not sufficient for the workload or that the staff are not motivated enough to maintain the same level even on days without extra control. 

We can summarize that weekends are for the customers, not for the staff! People expect high-quality service regardless of the day of the week, a period of the year or the mood of the staff member. 

To see the whole variety of problems confronting all petrol stations, let’s consider examples of other client cases from our experience:

X-Client Case 


  1. Low sales of motor oils at its own gas stations and distributors
  2. Theft of fuel coupons and suspicions of fraud with loyalty cards


  1. Launch the motivational program of the Mystery Shopper
  2. Regular assessment scenario with provocation

Value :

  1. The program was launched and the first recommendation of the product was measured, the best promoters of the brand were awarded. At the points with the presence of this program, the sales of the target product increased by 17%.
  2. Significantly reduced theft and abuse revealed dozens of schemes

Y-Client case

Problem: Underperformance of ambitious sales plans for windshield washers.

Decision: Launching of a motivational program for a mystery shopper on the Sinoil gas station network.

Value: For the first month of the project, the entire two-month sales rate of the product was implemented.

Z-Client case

Project: Comprehensive assessment of satisfaction, loyalty, and involvement of company employees. Measurement and management of the e-NPS index.

Value: A full-fledged personnel assessment system and methodology have been developed within the framework of which:

  1. Defined overall indicators of satisfaction, involvement, the loyalty of employees and NPS.
  2. The main trends of dissatisfaction were revealed.
  3. Identify the most vulnerable categories of employees.
  4. Provided recommendations for the further development of employees.

Still, have questions about the subject of this article?

Write or call us right now and get a free consultation of our expert in the Petrol Stations Sector.

We will analyze and prepare a personalized solution for your business needs.

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