As a trainer, I view service interactions through a critical lens. Did the attendant greet me first? What is their non-verbal communication conveying? Do they need training? The employees of Automotive Art definitely do not. My recent interactions there demonstrated hallmarks of excellent service, from start to finish. Here is how it went.

I was sent to buy coolant – a special type. To ensure I bought the correct one, I entered Automotive Art with a half full bottle. Immediately on entering, an attendant greeted me, looked at the bottle and asked if I had come to buy one. He had been dealing with a customer and after I answered “yes,” he asked the customer for permission to go and get the coolant for me. He was back within 30 seconds. Two points of excellence thus far.

Next, he told the security guard that I had brought in one of the bottles so I would be paying for only one. The guard did not immediately acknowledge him because he too was dealing with a customer. The attendant repeated it to ensure he had heard.

At the cashier, it appeared that a trainee was handling the station, with her trainer close by. Before I could speak, the guard told the trainer that I had to only pay for 1. When the trainee had completed the transaction before mine, she looked and saw that I had 2 bottles and asked the trainer if I was paying for 2. The trainer told her only 1, and that I had brought my own. More brownie points!

While the cashier was dealing with me, the trainer noticed I was wearing a T-shirt with the name of a secondary school on it. She asked me if I had gone to that school. I said yes and she said she also had attended that school. I joked that I was old enough to be her mother. That encounter ended and next, the security guard checked the bill and my purchase. I had paid by credit card and asked him for a stapler to fasten the slip to the receipt. He did not have one, however, he went and got one.

I was in and out in under 10 minutes and I was not the only customer.

What was so good about this experience?

  1. I was greeted first, with a smile and eye contact and offered assistance.
  2. I got served quickly.
  3. The attendant requested permission from another customer first, before he assisted me.
  4. Each attendant passed on information, ensuring I didn’t have to repeat it.
  5. All employees were helpful and pleasant.
  6. The trainer engaged me in conversation.

Delivering excellent service is really not that difficult. Ask Automotive Art how they did it. They certainly don’t need my help.