Stagnant Sales? It's Time You Got a
Custom Propane App for Your Business
Propane Canada Magazine
The propane business is not what it used to be. You can no longer place an ad in the local directories, sit back, and wait for customers to call you up for a new tank of propane. Gone are the days when customers had a choice of a few companies to fulfill their energy needs. Today, there are thousands of suppliers competing in a stagnant market. You'll have to pull out all the stops, put in more hours than your competitor, and even lower your prices a bit to get the attention of the typical customer. Only the most innovative and forward-thinking companies survive in the fuel industry. It is no secret that these are also the most successful companies in the market. If you want your business to join the ranks of successful fuel companies, it’s time you got a custom order fuel app for your business. An app might not sound like the next revolutionary idea to take your business to the next level, but hold on a minute. Remember the taxi business a few years before Uber? Well, you can bet every taxi business back then did not think a smartphone application would kick them out of business. Airbnb is causing a similar stir in the tourism industry. The app lets small entrepreneurs and homeowners compete with corporations. Today, more than 60 million people have used Airbnb to find accommodations while on vacation. This is startling news in an industry where 1.4 billion people seek luxury accommodations every year. The story repeats itself in almost every industry. Netflix is changing the movie industry, Duolingo changed the way we learn a foreign language, and Square changed how we pay for things. Isn't it time that an app came along and changed the propane delivery business?
“Why an app?” you ask. “Why an app and not any other thing, like a self-driving gas delivery truck?” Slow down, buckaroo. For starters, you'll probably have a fleet of self-driving cars in the next couple of years. If your business survives the next couple of years, you can bet most cars will be autonomous. But the trick here is surviving. Like the chameleon, you'll have to adapt to your environment to survive. You'll have to make use of every resource available to remain relevant to your customers. It's because of your customers that you'll need a custom propane app for your business. If you don't believe it, let's step into the shoes of your typical propane gas customer. Your customer wakes up, turns on her gas oven, and prepares breakfast. She may also use propane to keep her house warm on those chilly winter mornings. When she runs out of propane, she doesn't pick up the Yellow Pages to search for a propane supplier close to her. She takes out her smartphone and after a short online search, a full propane tank is on its way. That's the convenience your customers want. They want a gas supplier they can get to easily, one who meets their needs, and one with the foresight to solve their problems even before they realize they have them. In short, your propane customers want a supplier with a magic crystal ball. An app does all this and more. Let’s explore exactly how…
1. Keep Tabs on What Customers Need
Folks are leaving their usual gas companies every day for new ones for simple reasons. Maybe they were not happy with the service, pricing, or even how the fuel conversion was done. How do you ensure you don't lose customers because of such avoidable issues? By keeping tabs on what they might need. With an order propane app, for example, you can keep track of when a customer's tank is due for a refill and alert them well before they run out. In fact, with a custom order fuel app, you get instant notifications any time a client needs anything. This will greatly enhance the level of customer service your company is able to provide while minimizing complaints. Your clients will show their appreciation by buying from you every time.
2. Enhance Marketing Efforts
More and more players are getting into the fuel supply business, making it harder to get market share. Almost everyone else is doing the same kind of marketing you are. Advertising in the local newspaper? You'll probably find half a dozen ads from different gas suppliers in the same paper. Thinking of attending a local event to network with clients? You'll find every other gas supplier in the state there. Get a custom app with your business logo? Grab your seat at the front of the pack, because not a lot of businesses have mobile apps. The beauty of having a custom application for your business is, once it's downloaded, you have a direct communication channel with the customer. A custom application increases the success of your marketing campaign because you're certain all promotional messages are sent to existing consumers. Alerting existing consumers about a sale through your custom propane app is a whole lot more effective than an untargeted mail campaign. If you don't believe it, Apple reported recently that the average conversion rate on their App
Store was 25%. That means that out of every 100 people who install an app, 25 will make a purchase. In the propane market, a conversion rate of 25% can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
3. Receive Real Time Feedback
A lot of the time, consumers have something to say. It pays to listen to them; otherwise, you end up in the ever-growing heap of failed businesses. Not long ago, getting feedback from consumers wasn't the easiest of tasks. Businesses often had to scrape together information from different sources to get a sense of what their clients were saying. Not anymore. With a custom app, you collect feedback in real time. If a person has a review, suggestion, or even a complaint, they can let you know about it through the app. Real time feedback is crucial to your gas supply business, because it helps you make adjustments to meet demand on the fly.
4. Step Out of the Shadows
An app gives you an opportunity to make a name for your business. Once consumers associate your business with an app in their phone, you're well on your way to creating brand awareness. Think of a mobile app as a blank billboard sign. It's an empty canvas you can use to promote your products, entertain customers, or even inform them, making it easy to relate to your brand and its ideals.
5. Improve Customer Engagement
Buyer-seller relationships shouldn't end at the conclusion of a sale. Cultivating a lasting relationship with a buyer turns them into a lifetime source of revenue. How do you cultivate such a relationship? Simple, by keeping the conversation going. Reaching out to previous customers is an excellent way of keeping them engaged. An app gives you the perfect opportunity to keep your customers engaged, even when they're not purchasing from you. You can send them the news, reports, and even promotional materials through the app to keep engaged. That way, the name of your business will be at the back of their mind the next time they want to buy propane.
6. Streamline Your Sales Funnel
An app is the best tool to streamline your sales funnel. Rather than having prospective clients read your website and decide whether or not to order from you, have them download your mobile application. Once they have it on their phone, the battle is half won. A custom application makes it easier to convert a prospective buyer into a customer. It is much easier to place an order through an app compared to calling a number on a website to place an order. Those are some of the benefits you get by having a custom order fuel app for your propane business. A mobile app is your ticket to the big boy's league, but only if you have it done the right way. Just like you had a professional do the signs on your delivery trucks, get a competent developer to make an app for your propane business. You don't want to end up with one of those hybrid apps that are nothing more than website imitations. Make sure you get a native custom fuel app for your business. If you want consumers to use your application, even when they don't have an internet connection, get a hybrid app. If you don't, then expect complaints regarding the app's poor user experience and limited capabilities. With the right app for your fuel business, you minimize errors, improve customer experience, reduce service times, increase efficiency and capacity, and most importantly, you'll future-proof your propane delivery business in an increasingly interconnected world.
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Bill Stomp author of Propane Tech Insider, Founder of TankSpotter.com, DigitalSoftwareServices.co and PropaneQuarterback.com to help companies grow profits, improve safety and automate for reduced costs. He can be reached at [email protected]