It’s day one of the coastal trip so lets see how things appear in the service industry today for the Ozanne family as we make out way from Eaglehawk to Lorne, then onto Apollo Bay- our base for the next three nights.
Things start off badly with the very first fuel stop in Bendigo to feed the beast with the fuel it needed. Given the level of competitiveness in the fuel sector you sometimes foolishly expect good service but rarely does it occur. I do make a normal attempt to go to an independent operator vs multinational supermarket chains for fuel for the probably incorrect assumption that they will serve me better and I’m helping a fellow small business owner! Anyway I do he same this morning.
Full up, clean the windows and all that stuff and head off to pay and ready to cruise the Calder hwy….hmmm no one to pay. But I can see the two attendants in the back area looking at me as they drink their coffee and eat some sort of pastry! They must be discussing something really important surely? So I wait, wait, wait a bit more….exchange eye contact and a strange look with hose behind me as we wait for ‘smoko’ to finish. Finally they come out, no apology no nothing jut take my card and lead me with a ‘next’….must be the tough economy in the fuel sector if they are negative in sales !!!
So I don’t get concerned just a quiet chuckle as I now have something to write about today, and head off on he journey. But hang on, I need a coffee- so it’s off to a drive thru coffee shop in Bendigo ( a cool concept in itself which is one thing i miss about not living in W.A). Greater with a friendly voice from the box place my order and drive around to the window and wait. Within seconds I am bombarded by “hi’s” and “hellos” by everyone from within, told it won’t be long, do I want sugar, where am I off to today etc. a massive contrast to the fuel experience.
So it’s chalk and cheese for my fuel and coffee!! Would I go back to the fuel place or the coffee place next time? Tough choice hey!
Rather than bore you all with every consumer experience I had today, and I did have some interesting and very ‘casual holiday coastal’ servers serve me in Lorne, just a couple of additional observations from my 2 this morning.
While the coffee experience wow’ed me with friendliness they probably did miss opportunities to upswell or increase my share of spend with them. While I personally don’t mind not being pestered to when buying, I am probably an easy target to suggest extra things to. Perhaps it could have been an extra shot, larger size, paper, cake etc etc. with a low ticket item such as coffee, every dollar must surely help. I know most people would be more inclined to take an additional spend from a friendly person who makes them feel special for those brief few seconds or minutes the transaction takes.
Anyway, apart from the technical and potential typo issues I face typing this on my phone- I will leave it at this for today and see what tomorrow brings!
Really enjoying reading your mobile economic research posts. Maybe you can keep track of how many of the people servig you on your trip are absorbed in their smartphones doing other stuff instead of focusing on teh customer..
Sure Don can keep an eye out for that, but one thing from today is a sudden lack in the ability for shops to take credit or debit cards!
Two places including the tourism centre cafe at the twelve apostles don’t take plastic only cold hard cash!! Who carries cash these days! Had to dig deep to find some to buy lunch here in Port Campbell!
That is surprising. I know at country craft stalls that is often the case, but even at the markets in Kingston (ACT), most of the traders have mobile payments platforms. Looks like my plan of ditching the wallet and going fully electronic may have to wait a while.