What are you going to do to maintain this first place?
We want to continue to make sustainable mobility and now also green energy accessible. So we want to inspire and facilitate customers to adopt a greener, more sustainable alternative. This includes workshops, webinars and, for example, sharing our expertise at third-party events. We also do this very explicitly, which makes it genuine and real for the customer.
“We have remained as close as ever to our customers and their needs.”
The Best Brands study is based on two types of parameters: rational (market share) and emotional (brand perception). Which parameter do you think is the most important?
The two parameters are mutually reinforcing. A positive brand perception leads to a higher share of wallet. It is remarkable that in a commodity market we are able to differentiate ourselves with our brand. How we define the brand and how we establish the right connection between the brand and the customer via our touchpoints, via physical and increasingly digital services. We also actively work on our brand value with our brand equity. People are key to this: employees and customers alike. The combination of this aspect with clean, green petrol stations and a strong proposition of low prices, always and everywhere, ensures our success.
You get the highest score for quality/price ratio. How do you maintain this balance?
This is really our core business. We started as a retailer service in 1972. Quality, price and service have been cornerstones in our business ever since. The family name ‘Colruyt Group’ is of course a gold mine. At the same time, I think that we can rightly carry that family name with pride. If you look at what customers appreciate with us, it is our low prices as well as our proximity, simplicity and focus on quality service.
DATS 24 scores highest in terms of innovation. What innovations have you introduced recently?
DATS 24 started out in Belgium with the unmanned formula. You can still read this in our name today: Discount Automatic Tanking Service 24/7. We also issued a fuel card even before Mister Cash appeared. DATS 24 was the first to launch a CNG network and opened the first integrated hydrogen filling station in Europe in 2018. In 2019, DATS 24 was the first mobile refuelling service in Belgium, using the XTRA app. And finally, in 2020, we were the first to install pumps with hand sanitiser at our gas stations. Our history really is punctuated with innovations.
The research shows that you offer an excellent customer experience. How did you continue to offer a great experience even in times of lockdown?
We have remained as close as ever to our customers and their needs. The ultimate example is the installation of pumps with hand sanitiser at our petrol stations. And despite the fact that people have been refuelling less, we have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at our stations. The ‘DATS people’, as we call our station technicians, also paid extra attention to all contact surfaces. And the customer appreciates that.