Earlier this month, students from Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden’s Principles of Marketing honors class filled up gas tanks for customers at three different locations around Abilene. The purpose of the project was to research the question of whether service makes a difference in a commodity driven marketplace, specifically the gas industry. The students collected the research and interacted with consumers at the gas station, focusing on selling techniques and customer service. Using the Texaco Five-Star Service model which includes checking tire pressure, pumping gasoline, washing windows, and friendly service, students conducted a survey to analyze whether or not genuine customer service affects consumer attitudes. After conducting the experiment, Mandy Stratton, a sophomore marketing major, says, “We learned that many people are so focused on quickly getting things done that they have lost interest in the face-to-face interactions and service.” Many customers seemed to be confused by others wanting to offer them full customer service when they are so used to filling up their own tanks. Overall, the marketing survey allowed students to see how customer service goes hand in hand with selling a product or service.
“In this project, I learned how crucial it is to be kind and respectful to everyone you meet, because you never know who you could run into. Our group ended up running into First Financial Bank’s CEO, president, and chairman,” states Tracy Richardson.