Customer service – not OSH – to blame

Customer service – not OSH – to blame for BP’s failure to check car’s water levels

The failure of BP staff to check the water level of a woman’s car is not so much OSH’s fault as it is a failure to treat a customer with simple courtesy – all the attendant had to do was explain the reason for not checking the water.

Managing Director of leading customer service training provider KiwiHost New Zealand, Jared Brixton, said today that instead of an abrupt “we don’t do water” – which is hardly an appropriate response to a customer – the attendant should have explained that BP’s rules didn’t allow it.

“The main problem appears to be with how the customer was treated. When you explain your reasons, people are far more accepting. >From the reaction of other petroleum companies – which allow these common courtesies – it appears that BP has gone overboard and lost some common sense; and their attempt to blame OSH regulations is backfiring on them,” he said.

Mr Brixton said petroleum companies are selling a commodity – at no small change – and the only way they could possibly differentiate themselves was through customer service or, at the very least, common courtesy and respect.

“When margins are narrow, companies are looking at the best way to increase turnover through volume of sales and add-ons, like groceries, inside the service station. But they seem more inclined to think about getting more people inside than in teaching their staff to value the customer.

“There has to be common sense involved. If the water cap is steaming and hissing, then don’t open it. The quality of staff is not a factor either, because anybody can treat people like people and not numbers,” he said.