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  Service Stars

A gas station attendant who sees service as more than just pumping gas

Satisfactory customer service is seldom memorable. What is memorable is poor service and service that goes the extra mile. Sometimes it only takes a small gesture to change a routine customer service experience into one we will recall months later, we will tell others about and will cause us to become repeat customers. Those who do those little extras are truly Service Stars.

It is a good idea to top up your tank anytime you are passing through Westlock, Alberta, where gas prices are consistently lower than elsewhere.  Recently, the same litre of regular gas cost 89.9¢ in Fort McMurray, 85.9¢ in Edmonton and 84.9¢ in Westlock.

While in other communities you pump the gas yourself, in Westlock people such as Sonja at the ESSO at the intersection of Highways 18 and 44 demonstrate the meaning of “full service” visit after visit.

Typically, as I pull up to the pump island, Sonja is there to fill the tank and engage me in conversation.  She offers to clean the windows and check the oil.  If it is busy when I arrive, and I begin to pump my own gas or clean the windows, Sonja soon appears and offers to take over.

While this efficient, friendly service is in itself noteworthy, it is the little extras that Sonja does that make her stand out.  During one visit, she noticed my wife approaching the car with a hot drink in each hand.  Recognizing that getting into a vehicle would be difficult under these circumstances, Sonja stepped forward to open the car door to allow June to get into the car without having to balance one cup on another or put one cup on the car roof to free a hand to open the door.

Having performed this service, and with no other customers to serve, Sonja busied herself by tidying up litter and emptying garbage cans around the service station.  In doing so, she demonstrated her ability to anticipate what needs to be done, something that is key to providing good service.


Nelson Scott offers several Customer Service Presentations, including Customer Service MAGIC: Changing Complainers into Loyal Customers; What Your Mother Taught You About Customer Service and other Training Resources developed by Service Quality Institute and the Vital Learning Corporation.


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© Nelson Scott.  All rights reserved.

A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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