In the town where I live there’s a small shop with petrol pumps outside on the footpath. It doesn’t sell bread or milk or chocolate. It sells fuel and electrical stuff and various assorted items. The kind of stuff that you would rarely need but when you’re stuck for it, that’s the place to go.

I can’t remember when I last bought petrol there, or if indeed I ever did. Usually when refuelling I’m also buying one of the aforementioned groceries. Also the location is a bit inconvenient, no spacious forecourt or shelter from the rain.

Today I got it into my head that I should buy some engine oil for the car and made a conscious decision to get it in said shop. Chadwicks it’s called, Fitzie’s it’s known as.

I pulled up outside the shop and Fitzie met me on the footpath. I told him what I was looking for. He went to raise the bonnet, which prompted me to reach into the car to pull the release catch. A tissue was produced from his pocket as he went on to check it for oil. The oil was fine, I didn’t need any. Chatting away he lifted the lid on the windscreen water container, peeped in, reached back over to the footpath and produced a watering can. He filled the container. Lids back on and closed the bonnet.

It was only as I was driving away that I realised how remarkable all this was.

He could have easily just sold me a container of oil and left me off on my merry way. Instead he opted to check it for oil himself and informed me that I didn’t need to buy any from him. He then proceeded to provide another free service that I hadn’t requested but did need. It was all done instinctively and naturally and wasn’t motivated by the need to suck up to a good customer.

On the same day that an airline, whom I shall not name, renowned for it’s lousy customer service, has been in the news again over comments on this blog it was very reassuring to witness true customer service at it’s finest. A rare enough commodity these days especially in most forecourt experiences.

I shall now be more than happy to refuel in Chadwicks (photo coming) and take my chances with the rain. And it’s probably for the best, that they don’t sell chocolate.

Update –

A great idea over at Le Craic for everyone to share their customer stories

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3 Replies

  1. You will go back there again and buy that oil and more, and all the people that hear your story will have to go and see this place for themselves (because someone like Fitzy is so rare) and probably buy something.

    There are some small local businesses like this around Ireland (and many countries of the World), but they are getting further and fewer in between. Hopefully our current economic position will make more people think about what they can do to get more business and realise that good service is one thing that doesn’t have to cost a lot to provide.

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