Empower Your Customers

Online Portals – Move Beyond Payments

Propane dealers are increasingly aware that online customer tools are the key to staying in touch with digital trends. Utilize a portal to give your customers another way to engage you and to empower them. 

Online Portals Provide a Place to Centralize Information and Tools

When your customers need information about your company, you want them to come to YOU to find answers. Examples include your business overview, critical documents such as invoices and statements, product descriptions, and policies.

Your online customer portal can centralize information so that customers will the power to participate in their relationship with your business. By combining everything customers need into a single online portal, you will see an increase in ongoing customer engagement and satisfaction by improving their customer experience.

Online Portals Create a Competitive Advantage for Your Company

Offering new products and services to your customers differentiates you from the competition.  Sounds simple, but in the fuel industry, every dealer is selling essentially the exact same things. So how do you stand above the rest?  Customer service technology!

We all experience the value of customer portals first-hand in other areas of our lives. Fuel customers now expect the same from you and will appreciate it.  Fuel dealers with great online tools are quickly becoming market leaders.  Don’t get left behind!

Online Portals Must Handle the Basics in an Extraordinary Way

Of course, the essentials are still important.  If you view your online portal as Virtual CSR, then it should handle everything a customer needs like a human on a phone call.  This requires the portal to be capable of enhanced functions such as online new customer setup, auto-pay, behavior-specific marketing, and service scheduling.

The Essential Portal Checklist

Portals are not just about transactions. Outdated portals do nothing more than take payments and fuel orders. Customers view a portal as an extension of your business and expect valuable information, answers, knowledge, and total self-service.

Portals should be very easy to navigate. No customer should have to scratch their head wondering how to perform a task. To keep users from getting “lost”, organize content and links so that it is easy for them to easily and quickly do what they need to do.

Make the portal interactive. Allow customers to opt in and or out of various programs, such as price protection, budgets, newsletters, etc. Let them compliment or complain in a blog or some other forum.  Consider letting customers interact with one another to share experiences. Monitor these discussions but they could help build goodwill and clue you into trends about the future.

The portal must be entertaining. Have fun, use videos, interject humor. Maybe have contests or raffles.  Humanize your business to better connect with your customers.

Promote the portal. Display the link EVERYWHERE you can.  Place it on documents, marketing campaigns, mailers, etc. Remember that a portal is your best way to promote goodwill and build your brand.