Summer 2018. It’s a scorcher.
After years of paltry weather and miserable kids during the school holidays, we should be embracing this sunshine.
Not everyone likes it, though.
I know several people who complain as to how fed up they are of the heat.
Of course, we would all feel less as though we are melting if British homes were equipped for the hot weather.
You know… fans, air conditioning and the like.
Unfortunately, we’re not.
Let’s face it, we haven’t had to be prepared for a long time.
Not for over 30 years, to be precise!
And it’s set to continue.
Infact, the Met Office has said that soaring temperatures will last through to the end of August.
That will blow 1976 – the hottest summer on record – out of the water. And 2018 will become the hottest we’ve had since sometime in the 1600’s.
So it’s fair to say that it’s no real surprise that not even new houses are equipped with things to help alleviate the melting temperatures!
Of course, it’s great news for those looking to holiday in Great Britiain with the kids this summer.
The sweltering heat doesn’t seem quite so bad if you’re at the seaside, as opposed to stuck in an office.
So bring on the bikinis, burmuda shorts and beach balls…. The staycation is here!
(For those of you that have been hiding under a rock, a staycation means holidaying in your own country or staying at home and having day trips.)
Thanks to the uncertainty of Brexit and performance of the pound, more people than ever are likely to be holidaying on home turf this year.
So, really, this hot weather couldn’t have come at a better time.
The only downside, of course, is that you have to get there. And that means British motorways and the joy that is the British service station.
Let’s face it…. British motorways and their service stations are not up there on the list of things we Brits like.
It’s not like it is across the pond. I’ve had friends tell me you can drive for miles (on a straight, wide freeway) and barely see half a dozen cars in six hours.
So it’s easy to see why the Yanks don’t have an issue with a 14 hour drive for a week’s holiday in Florida.
No such luck in the UK though.
Yes, it’s more like Wacky Races as opposed to Driving Miss Daisy on our motorways.
So it’s really no wonder that British Service Stations are so well patronised.
Manic motorways, kamikaze car driving are one thing.
But add in the cries, of ‘are we nearly there yet Mum?’ (which normally starts five miles from home) and ‘Daddy, I need a wee’ , and you have people heading towards the nearest services in droves.
So why are they the pits as opposed to being a pleasant pit stop?!
Seriously, motorway services are probably one of the things that customer service management teams have nightmares about.
You only need to read the recent news report from the BBC which names the best and worst services in Britain.
Our Survey Says…
The one that came out top was Norton Canes services on the M6 toll road, with 100% customer satisfaction.
Though to be honest, that 100% was probably all of six people, as no one can afford to drive on the M6 toll!
The lowest of the low was Thurrock on the M25, with only 68% of customers complaining they were satisfied with the services.
Surprisingly, to me at least, a whopping 66% of all those surveyed thought that food and drink avaiable at services was good value!
Seriously?! These places serve the most overpriced junk there is.
I was shocked that Tebay services on the M6 approaching Scotland wasn’t on the list.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is anything special.
But at least it’s a pretty spot overlooking a lake to have a picnic. Which is much more preferable than having to donate an organ before you can head inside to feed the family.
I mean, talk about an emotive end-user experience.
You want a pit stop to alleviate the stress of the journey.
But often, you can end up being just as stressed by the time you leave.
There’s the depressing sight of a shabby building. The over-priced, non-too pallatable food. And then, to top it all, you have to squat over a rather dubious looking loo because it looks as though the last consumer in the stall peed on the seat.
Granted, they are apparently not all as bad. You can read the full list of the best and worst five on the BBC.
Let’s face it, not many people are loyal to motorway service stations.
Only regular commuters and truck drivers will pass the same place on a frequent basis. And the latter tend to known a little great value, full plates joint they can stop at to feed their face and take a little break.
But even if you’re the sort of buiness that isn’t going to get end-users through the door time and time again, it doesn’t give you the right to be shit and disappoint people!
Ok, customer feedback probably doesn’t pour in to the Motos, Welcome Breaks and Roadchefs out there… most people probably want to forget about their empty wallet and sticky buttocks and get back on the road to their holiday destination.
But that doesn’t mean that they won’t spread the word!
‘Oooh, you’re going to Devon too Mary? Well, the X service station on Y road was excellent/shocking!’ (delete as appropriate)
Underdelivering, when you have a captive audience through necessity, is consumer exploitation at its best.
And, just like Thurrock Services on the M25, it’s the pits!
So, please, make sure you know what your customers want.
(Remember, if you’re in a fog, we can help you out with our end-user experience monitoring.)
And when they come through your door, whether it be through consumer loyalty or just because you happen to be in the right place at the right time, make sure it’s a memorable experience for them for all the right reasons.