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Quick Propane App Guide

Propane Canada Magazine - Sept/Oct 2020

THERE ARE ALMOST 4.5 MILLION APPS on the Google and Apple app stores combined, not counting game apps. Over 6,000 apps are added per day to these stores.

Hundreds of millions of Americans and Canadians are using these apps every day to help in their personal and business lives. Now with that many users and apps available, it is no wonder that there are a growing number of apps available in the propane industry. To help clear up some of the confusion, here are tips on the propane apps now available for propane marketers.

Tank Monitor Apps
If you use tank monitors, you may find out your tank monitor company is now offering tank monitor apps (Apple and android) for your customers to use. These apps have some great features and some good-to-know limitations you should be aware of.

First the benefits… The tank monitor apps available today are great at letting your customers (who have tank monitors) know what their tank level is — remotely and easily. They are great for making it incredibly easy and convenient for tank monitor users to feel empowered and know what their tank level is and to be able to find out by a simple click of a button. Some apps allow the user to do a bit more, like request a delivery or service, get quick answers to frequently asked questions, see a history of usage, and obtain some additional information about their propane marketer (phone and email). Some will also allow marketers to put their logo and propane company name inside the app so when users open the app, it will have the propane company logo. Overall, these apps are often free with the purchase of propane tank monitors.

​Challenges… If you use multiple tank monitors from several monitor companies, you will have customers using various tank monitor apps and may find you get calls for assistance on different monitors that you may not be familiar with. These apps usually do not have your company name on them, but rather have the name of your tank monitor company on the app with their logo… it can be a bit confusing as the app in the app stores will have the tank monitor company name and logo, but once your clients log in it may then

(inside the app) display your logo and   colours — but  the app does not belong to you nor is it controlled by you. The app is owned and controlled by the tank monitor company and their name and logo  is on the app icon not yours. It is also important to know that the app is only useable for your customers who have a tank monitor, so if you only have three per cent of your customers on a tank monitor then 97 per cent of your customers do not have an app and will not get all the benefits that come from owning and using an app.

Propane Customer Apps
Regardless if you have tank monitors or not, your customers need an app to keep in touch with you and for you to send instant messages (weather alerts, special instructions, special offers, safety reminders, cross   sell opportunities, etc.) and generally keep in touch, while reducing phone calls and mailed information.

​If you want your customers to have an app with your name and logo, then you should consider getting the latest app from CustomFuelApp.com. This generation of app is a customizable app already created to automate 90 per cent of all the things customers need/want so you and your team can streamline your business, reduce costs, and increase sales per customer.

Now that every propane company has progressed from yellow pages to websites, the next logical step is to get an app for their company so 100 per cent of their customers can receive messages instantly and for free via their own app. Also, this is letting propane companies eliminate inbound calls and clerical costs.

Overall, having an app that makes it easier for customers to order more fuel, so they have no need to shop your competition, will increase your gallons per customer and reduce customer loss (churn).

Propane Delivery Apps
Many propane companies use specialized software running on specialty devices for  fuel delivery and ticket printing automation. You should expect all these

specialty devices to disappear ​​in the next   few years and be replaced by an android and Apple app. Then you can simply download similar software but now do everything right from a smartphone (Apple or android) and/or via a tablet of the same make.

The days of old where devices were windows-based is already in the rear-view mirror. If you have not already done so you should check with your software vendor to see if they have either an android and Apple app you can download for your drivers. This will save you lots of money in hardware costs and will streamline another part of your business.

Propane Apps for Safety, Sales, & Service
While there are many rather expensive software solutions for service techs, there is only one app that does all your safety, service tech, sales rep, delivery tickets, and pro pane training — all in one app and it costs less than anything else in the market. As smartphones/tablets have become ‘little supercomputers,’ having one app for all your employees just makes things simpler and easier than having one software solution for drivers, another for service techs, another for sales reps, another for safety documentation, and yet another solution for tracking safety.

​The ‘propane safety app’ aka TankSpotter.com is the ‘swiss army knife’ of propane apps and can be used on Apple or android devices. Tools like this are designed to pay for themselves many times over and will make you, your team, and your insurance company very happy.

Just five years ago there were almost no viable apps for the propane industry. Now, like most industries, there are many very good options that we can use to automate, eliminate paperwork, streamline and help our businesses thrive. If you have not already you should make a game plan to implement apps in your business. It’s time to take advantage of Apple’s and Google’s app stores to launch your business into a more prosperous and profitable future. Why not give it a try today?

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