You May ♥ Cars But You Don’t ♥ People


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Article after article, book after book and expert speaker after expert speaker consistently state that great customer service can only be provided by friendly and sincere efforts from the service provider.

you may love cars but you don't love people

But how can that be done when the “service provider” never utters a word!

Today I pulled into a local Lukoil gas station on my way to visit some friends.  As the station attendant walked toward my car I already had my credit card in hand and said “fill it up regular please”.  No response from attendant.

A few moments go by, the tank is filled.  I rolled down my window again to receive my card from the attendant and was handed the card, wrapped in the paper receipt.  I said “thank you”.  No response.

I couldn’t believe it.  The entire transaction took about 4 minutes and the attendant never said a single word!

No attempt to say hello, or to welcome me to the station.  No offer to confirm my “selection” or to wish me farewell when done.

Is this what is to masquerade as service in our society?

And, know what the best part was?  All over the station’s large property were sign after sign that had their catch phrase…

We Cars.

I saw a we cars sign on the office door, saw a we cars sign on the building wall, saw a we cars sign on a lamppost and saw a we cars sign on a pole right in front of me as I waited for the tank to be filled.

I was so surprised by the lack of any attempt to interact with a customer (me) that I took the above photo just to prove a point –

Lukoil may cars but they apparently don’t people! 

At least not enough to expect their employees to utter a mere morsel of a word when a customer enters their place of business.

Look, this is not to point out a specific business and their failings of personalized service.  But it is to point out that we mustn’t accept it.

Here’s a previous post that describes how a gas station really CAN make a difference.

Take your business to those that appreciate you.  Support those businesses that provide tangible proof that they wish to keep you as a customer.  Drop those that seem to not care if you walked in their doors or not.  They don’t deserve your hard-earned money.

Get the point?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


  1. Great post. And, an amazing commentary on the state of play today with too many service providers. You have to admit, their actions are congruent with their vision. Perhaps they are getting ready for a future when cars will be able to drive themselves. Once that happens, your car will be able to text you, “I am going to the gas station for a fill-up.” Cars don’t need to have an emotional connection with a service provider, only people need that. The problem is, unless you work out an arrangement to give your car an allowance or travel expense money, you will be stuck with the fuel bill. And, as the famous line goes, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

  2. This is not service, in any form or fashion. It’s a commoditized transaction, and not much else. In most states filling your car’s gas tank is DIY. Here in NJ, there is pump service, but that’s service with a lower case ‘s’. Lukoil is not much different than any of its competitors in this regard. Some years back, Exxon Mobil experimented with proactive service at its stations, but abandoned the idea. Whether it’s Chevron, Texaco, BP, Hess, Sunoco, Shell, or any of the other retailers, there’s little to differentiate them beyond price.

  3. I think you are correct Chip, too many businesses already operate as if we are robots and not in need of personalized service. Isn’t it time we change that?

  4. Michael, I guess that’s what happens when there is a quasi-monopoly. Service is secondary. Thanks for your comment.


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