So you may have heard that we are experiencing a gas shortage here in Atlanta. Yesterday, my husband and I went to about twelve stations in the area and none of them had gas. There is a QT (Quik Trip) nearby that had gas the other day, and a long line, but it was very orderly. They had an employee directing traffic and everyone waited their turn.

That got me thinking. That QT is across the street from another station, and a block away from several others. When the gas crisis is over, people will fall back into old habits and pull in to which ever station has the cheapest gas and is on the right side of the road. But does it have to be? That QT has an opportunity to capture me as a customer right now. They have a captive audience waiting in line for 15-30 minutes at a time. Why not take advantage of that? What if they had an employee bringing bottled water out to the cars (complimentary, or heck, go ahead and offer it for sale). Or samples of the food they would like to sell inside? What about passing out coupons to get us to come back when the shortage is over?

Can you imagine the buzz this would create if, in addition to being the orderly station with gas in the neighborhood, they were also the station that was handing out free food, drinks, and coupons? That would engender enormous good will and word-of-mouth, and create new customers for that station.

What do you think? What else could the station do?