The eight edition of the Fuel Day

Customers the day after tomorrow

A report by Tankpro

How do you, as a service station operator, respond to the wishes of the customer of the future? That question was central during the Benzinedag which was organized by BigBrother for the eighth time this year. In a well-filled room of CineMec in Ede, chairman of the day Steven Van Belleghem took the visitors to the day of tomorrow and especially those of the day after tomorrow.


The kick-off of the 2018 Fuel Day was given by director Aart van Rooijen of BigBrother, the Dutch company that focuses on the development of security solutions for the petrol and retail sectors. "When we had this idea nine years ago, we could not imagine what the Fuelday would look like nine years later. And if it would still exist at all. After all, you can not look into the future. But that is what we are going to do today. It's about the day after tomorrow. "According to Van Rooijen, the customer changes very quickly. "We know one thing for sure: it changes and it changes rapidly. That requires us to know what the customer wants. We have to look into the future. Fortunately, we have people there today who think along with us. "


Chairman of the day Steven van Belleghem recently published his latest book entitled 'Customers the Day After Tomorrow'. He guides companies to adapt to the modern consumer and knows like no other how great the influence of the internet and digitization is on the world. "We are currently in a huge shift. Life becomes more complex for entrepreneurs and easier for the customer, "he says. According to Van Belleghem, an optimal experience is of great importance to retain the customer in the future. The smartest possible use of data and the handling of digital resources are a must to ensure that the customer continues to visit in the future.


Surprising the customer

If experience plays a major role somewhere, it is in De Efteling, a Dutch theme park. Although the theme park has existed for more than 65 years, it has lost little of its appeal. Mijke Broeders from the park in Kaatsheuvel tells the room about the course that De Efteling has set out to keep visitors onboard. Constantly surprising the guest and offering quality are two main themes to keep attracting visitors. "You constantly have to be up-to-date. We want to tell stories and use the technology that is at our disposal today. "

One of the ways to be prepared for the future is to look at the park through the eyes of the guest. In addition, the park is constantly trying to innovate, making use of the technology that is at our disposal today. And very important according to Broeders: try to involve your entire workplace in the plans. "This is where the best ideas often arise. It must in our eyes really be something of us all. "

A changing world

The KBC Bank is also working hard on the changing world. "They have won a prize for the best-transformed bank in the world. It is a perfect example of a world that is heavily regulated, which has also experienced a crisis and despite of that is still able to innovate. And that is rewarded by the customer ", says Van Belleghem.

Kristof Huysecom and Ingrid Creten from the Belgian bank talk about the way in which they, together with their colleagues, try to respond to the changing behavior and changing expectations of customers. The emergence of new technologies and digitization also play a major role. "It's all about customer experience. We want to be the reference in bank and insurance, not only today but also the day after tomorrow. "

According to Creten, customer experience is by far the most important. The bank wants to be as close to the customer as possible and offer solutions that are made available to the customer as optimally as possible. This is an omnichannel approach, in which customers can come into contact with their bank in numerous ways. "Be instant, be personal and proactive and be all in one. It is about giving a total experience to the customer.

Applying technology in the sector

After the break Frodi Hammer from A2i systems (developer of PriceCast Fuel), Thomas Brinkman from MyOrder (refueling and parking with the On The Go app) and Aart van Rooijen from BigBrother enter the stage. The Danish A2i systems use artificial intelligence to approach customers and to learn from customers. According to Hammer, gas station operators must embrace this technology in order to reach new customers and actually approach them personally. "We have developed a complete fuel pricing system that has been specially built for the fuel industry. We collect and analyze data and thus create a model, especially for each client. The customer is central. We try to anticipate the customer's behavior and thereby serve it even more. He or she will receive a unique prize and a special discount on certain days, "says Hammer. The developer can also use external sources to build a model. "Think of images of number plates that are registered by BigBrother systems, for example, or traffic data."


Openening your eyes

According to Van Rooijen, it is mainly about how different technologies can be combined. "How do we go a step further? This also applies to us as BigBrother. In the past we were primarily a security company. Of course we want to protect people and things. But that is only the beginning. Safety is not just about keeping an eye on things, but especially about opening your eyes. All that data can help gas stations and provide insight into the customer. What else can we do? You have to use innovation and technology to change things. "


According to Van Rooijen, secuiryt is increasingly more about the use of knowledge and data. This concerns real time data, a personalized customer approach and the application of new interfaces. "We think of new ways to use technology. What can we all do? That is very exciting. We think that our user is becoming less and less human. In the future it will no longer be someone looking at images behind a screen, but a machine. I am convinced that our technology will also make a step in that direction. "


A party that also responds to the use of current technology is MyOrder. With the On The Go app, six hundred of the almost four thousand filling stations in the Netherlands can be paid at the moment. In two years there must be two thousand, says Thomas Brinkman. The innovation makes it possible to pay refueling afterwards. Parking can also be settled with the app. According to the founder of MyOrder, many customers want to refuel quickly and get back on track, without having to join a queue. The app is a great tool for that. "


Entrepreneurs talk

The final piece of the Fuelday is in the hands of three entrepreneurs: Ger Loogman, Jan-Harmen Akkerman and Peter Etman. That you have to shape the future yourself is a fact for Loogman. With its Comfort Lane at the station in Aalsmeer, the entrepreneur wants to put a unique way of refueling on the market. The fuel pumps are placed at the end of a 14.5 meter long conveyor belt. By means of a system of moving tank hoses, the car can be supplied with petrol or diesel, while the vehicle slowly moves forward over the conveyor belt. There are staff present to supervise refueling. Moreover, it is possible at the station to pay via Comfort Pay. This allows customers to pay with their registration number. The license plate is scanned and checked, after which the amount is automatically debited.


By chance, IT employee Jan-Harmen Akkerman came into contact with the sector. At a piece of land in Franeker that he owns, a permit for a gas station also belonged. "Why do not I put a location down there myself?" He thought. That is how TanQyou was born. The brand now has six unmanned petrol stations, each of which recognizes their guests. The stations are rest with pumps which are equipped with touch screens, sensors under the cannopy and a loyalty system. "With these techniques we can recognize the customer contactlessly and greet them personally." The company makes use of personal pricing, among which the liter prices per person may differ. The customer also has the chance to win prizes and the fuel administration is automatically updated.


Discount via App

Tamoil the Netherlands and energiedirect.nl jointly developed the Tankey loyalty program. By using an app, customers of the energy supplier receive a discount on their fuel, says Peter Etman, who worked for years as a director at Tamoil. Tankey is available for free from the App Store or Google Play Store. In the app, customers can see which price the nearest petrol station charges and how much benefit it generates. When you arrive at a participating petrol station, the app automatically recognizes the location. The customer then selects the pump number in the app, after which he immediately allocates the discount and settles it with the payment.


Finally, what is the advice for the entrepreneurs in the room? "You really have to be open-minded and dare to innovate. Try to surprise your customer and move him or her. Do not forget that it is also about experience, completely in the car wash ", says Loogman. According to TanQyou founder Akkerman, the number of unmanned locations will increase in the coming years. With his concept he anticipates the future. "Further differentiation will occur. The trick is to add experience and a personal touch to unmanned refueling. "Etman also endorses the opinion of both his colleagues. "Some of the customers do not want to go inside to pay. You also need to indent on that. Make sure they do want to come in because they are perfectly received by a host or hostess. Do not leave your visitor to his or her fate, but offer an extra service. For that matter, there are really big opportunities. Take advantage of that! "