‘Mahzun’ is a Shell service station in Turkey. But Mahzun isn’t where it's located. It’s named after the baby boy delivered there two months after Shell ran its global ‘Service Champions’ training programme. It’s a more memorable example of the welcome Shell provides to 25 million customers in 43,000 locations across 60 countries every day thanks to our ‘Welcome to Shell’ strategy.
Shell is the world’s largest retailer by number of outlets. Yet, its retail strategy was to simply ‘win with fuels’. Trouble was, customers weren’t stopping for the quality of the fuel, but for the quality of the experience they found there – from the customer service to the taste of the coffee.
Treated like a guest
Through research, we discovered that being ‘treated like a guest’ was the main reason why customers return to a service station. We reframed the challenge from ‘winning at the pump’ to ‘winning as a retailer'. Working with a steering committee and stakeholder teams across the globe, we crafted an initiative that became known as ‘Welcome To Shell’.
Welcome to Shell
At the launch event, we divided the room into two. Half of the attendees received outstanding customer service (a concierge showed them to their seats, tables were beautifully set, drinks brought to them by friendly waiting staff). The other half were treated terribly, ignored by staff, and found themselves at tables with spilt coffee and strewed with rubbish. It was a memorable welcome to the ‘Welcome to Shell’ strategy.
The service in service station
‘Welcome to Shell’ has become the guiding principle for improving the service station experience – inspiring more welcoming service, products and sites around the world. It’s interpreted locally in each market, meaning you might get a free cup of tea in Turkey, or a hand-on-heart greeting in Malaysia.
It’s a culture that’s reinforced through employee competitions, incentives and awards. Our initiative has managed to put the service back into service stations, and means people might drive that little bit further for a truly Shell experience.