As a customer preference survey by 4Service Mystery Shopping agency has shown, more than 30% of customers choose gas stations based on their service quality. Additionally, 5% of drivers are ready to reject a station if they feel the station demonstrates disrespect for customers.

Despite customers traditionally choosing companies for quality and price, service is now given the top priority. According to a 4Service study among gas station customers in three CIS countries, these expectations are satisfied: 85% of all drivers choose gas stations for high quality fuel and 66.2% for the price of fuel. Apart from this, though, almost a third of customers were found to choose gas stations based on service quality (30.5%).

Thanks to the survey, 4Service experts identified what can make customers reject a gas station. That’s the case when service is first and foremost in customer expectations, while poor service can discourage people from visiting certain stations.

The most irritating thing for customers is a long wait and queues (almost half of the customers said that a queue was the worst irritant at gas stations). Other answers include slow speed of service and a lack of gas station staff within sight on arrival. Therefore, the most important thing for customers is time. Typically, they are not ready to waste it on queues or waiting for the station staff to show up. In such a scenario, customers are likely to choose a station with more expensive, lower quality fuel than a queue at a station with a better price and quality.

Moreover, 5% of gas station customers are annoyed by disrespect toward customers and lack of cleanliness and order at the station.

Thus, a conclusion can be made that in the search for the least annoying station, the best option will be the one offering the best service, regardless of price and fuel quality. For example, if a driver decides not to waste any precious time but fill up the car quickly or decides to visit the gas station offering respect for customers, the best match will be the gas station where the driver’s subjective service expectations will be best satisfied.

This 4Service survey was conducted in March 2014 among 661 drivers in Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan and weighted by age and sex.

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