Promoting mobile phone app use among customers

By Nick Quaratiello
Blue Cow Software

America has always been a mobile society. So it is no surprise that the number of mobile device users has surpassed those who stay connected via a desktop or laptop computer. Convenience, speed, accessibility, and a more personalized experience are the leading reasons why your customers are on their phones more and more every day. Reaching them via their small screens offers both a challenge and opportunity for fuel oil and propane dealers.

Customer response to traditional communications methods such as newsletters, postcards, and phone calls has fallen sharply. Which is why staying connected with customers through a mobile app offers multiple opportunities to lock-in customer loyalty, improve customer experience, and cross sell additional products and services. Here are four ways to reach your customers where they spend much of their time – on the phone.

  1. Have Your Own App – If you are relying on the mobile version of your website to stay connected with customers it is time to rethink your approach. Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of their time on mobile websites. The reasons customers prefer using mobile apps include immediacy, easier navigation, personalization, and fewer connectivity issues. Why spend time searching a website when you can get the information you want with a simple click?
  2. Offer the Functions Customers Want – Your customers are busy and in a hurry. A phone app must offer them a fast and convenient way to take care of chores related to their home heating and cooling systems. Make sure your app includes the ability to order fuel deliveries, monitor fuel tank levels, schedule service calls, and make payments. The easier you make a customer’s life, the less likely they are to shop for another dealer.
  3. Personalize Your Communications – There is no excuse to fall back on the impersonal and trite “Dear Valued Customer” message. Technology now gives you the ability to recognize a customer and immediately link them to their own account. Set up personalization as soon as an app is downloaded. Allow customers to set their own preferences in terms of greetings, frequency of communication, and service and payment reminders.
  4. Market Through the App – Phone-based notifications, used sparingly, can help maintain awareness and appreciation for your fuel oil or propane company. Use notifications to send routine communications like reminders of service appointments, payment reminders, and notifications of low fuel levels. But you can also use the phone app to send specific information of value to each customer, such as a reminder to schedule a system tune-up or air conditioner service, or to promote new equipment installation to a homeowner whose furnace is getting old.

Don’t let communicating with customers via a phone app intimidate you. As long as you refrain from blasting out notifications every day you are not being intrusive. You are simply reaching out to customers in a way which, by downloading your phone app, they have already shown they prefer. The app is just the latest channel available to your business for communicating directly with the customers you serve.

Want to find out how Ignite® Phone App can help you catch up to customers? Visit our website or call us at (888) 499-2583.