Tim Reid is Australia’s most entertaining marketing speaker and host of Australia’s #1 marketing show.
If you haven’t heard of Tim and his podcast Small Business, Big Marketing, then make sure you check it out straight after reading this interview. Tim Reid’s unique style of exploring the topic of marketing provides insights that can be implemented immediately by a business owner.
Timbo is a busy man but I managed to tie him down to talk about how Service Station operators can improve their marketing. Enjoy the interview!
Timbo, no doubt you visit Service Stations regularly. Is there anything that frustrates you or anything you love about visiting a Servo?
I do [visit Servos regularly]. I’ve got to say, buddy, nothing really. It’s a necessary evil – you’ve got to go to them. They offer a service and I think most of them do it pretty well. I did go to one yesterday on the way back from Lorne and it was filthy. The dining area was particularly dirty, which was quite surprising – I haven’t seen one like that before. But, generally speaking, nothing really frustrates me about Service Stations.
I don’t love anything about Service Stations. Again, they provide a service. To me, it’s about getting in and getting out. I don’t hang out to go to a Service Station. I don’t particularly not like going to a Service Station, but it’s a commodity. It’s just one of those things that you have to do.
That doesn’t mean, though, that a Service Station can’t make you love them!
What marketing advice would you offer an Independent Service Station operator?
I’d offer a premium service option. I think if we hark back to the good old days when there was driveway service, there’s an opportunity to do that again, and price it. Providing this service shouldn’t be an expense. It should either break even or make you a bit more dough. Get your fuel topped up, get your windscreen cleaned, get your oil checked. I think that would be really interesting. I haven’t seen that for ages and, again, make sure you charge for the premium service. I think anything that reflects back to years gone by these days is a good thing.
Next thing I’d do is focus on delivering an amazing customer experience. If you want to know more about improving your customer experience, check out this interview I did with Daniel Gibbs. Think about from the moment someone comes into contact with that Independent Service Station right through to driving out – what does that experience look like? How can you make it memorable, shareable, unforgettable in a positive way? I’d map it out. Draw a horizontal line. On the left is the minute someone comes into contact with the brand, on the right is them driving away from the petrol station. What are all those little touch points in between that you can influence in order to create a great customer experience?
Find out what all the little friction points are that frustrate your customers and get rid of them. As a customer entering a Service Station, I want to get in and get out quickly. I’d love to see pumps that pump quicker. I came across some pumps recently and it’s like, “is there some bloke under the ground sort of blowing it up through the nozzle, it’s taking that long?!” Maybe there’s an opportunity for a bit of innovation there around the pump?
Give employees permission to go above and beyond. Get them to deliver happiness. If you haven’t listened to it, have a listen to the episode I did with Jen Limm, all about delivering happiness, and it starts with happy employees. So, I’d give them permission to go above and beyond, and deliver things that only they can do. Whether it’s simply a smile and a thank you or a comment on the person’s car. They could come out from behind the counter and go and open the door for an elderly customer. Things like that are very memorable!