At the end of this crazy year, we decided to hold a meeting and discuss the different ways we could provide greater value to our current customers and any new customers we take on. What we have come to understand is that there are a variety of motivating factors present when deciding which propane company to patronize. Some of these factors vary in importance depending on the specific customer but most, if not all, have some part to play when making the final decision. We’ve narrowed it down to these 6 factors:
- Customer service quality
- Security of supply
- Business to customer transparency
- How easy is it to switch?
Upon completion of this customer decision matrix, we then worked to structure a program that would satisfy all of these factors while providing a sustainable business model to ideally achieve long-term value for both our customers and our business. The end result from this was the development of the Superior Shield Program.
Who you speak with, how long you have to wait to speak with them, and your experience while speaking with them are important dynamics in the relationship between you and your propane supplier. We take pride in our ability to answer phones quickly, provide a pleasant experience while on the phone and communicate effectively to not take up as much of our customers’ time (unless they’d like to chat!). Our pride is exemplified not only from conversations held within our local customer service department everyday but also through our reviews on Google. In 2020, we received over 175 five-star Google reviews from happy customers, with a good percentage of them mentioning one of our Customer Service Representatives within the review. Not many propane companies are local in our area anymore, and it shows when you attempt to give them a call. If you attempted to call us in 2020, you would’ve waited under 30 seconds before reaching a member of our customer service department. Our aim is to be on the forefront of modernity in the propane industry, but we also value the personal touch that can be found when talking to a fellow Minnesotan or Wisconsinite on the phone.
Security of supply is another major decision making factor when a propane consumer considers which company to patronize. Making sure the business they choose has the ability to keep their tank filled throughout the cold winter months is obviously important, especially with growing supply chain concerns. Since 2006, we have always been able to get our customers the propane they need, when they need it most. We’ve now decided that to better ensure a steady supply of propane for our customers through delivery reduction, as well as reduce our own carbon footprint, it would be worthwhile to invest into our those who’ve invested in us by providing 1,000 gallon tanks. We as a company are able to operate more efficiently, you as the customer are able to gain peace of mind that comes from the additional on-hand storage. Together, we can work towards creating a relationship, centered around green energy, that is both better for the environment as well as ourselves.
Price per gallon is inevitably on the forefront of a large quantity of phone calls we take from inquiring customers, and for good reason. You wouldn’t stop to fill up your vehicle at a gas station for $2.199/gallon when there’s a gas station down the road selling it for $2.099/gallon, would you? Now what if I told you the gas station down the road is run down, has no food or drink inside and is in a sketchy part of town while the first gas station is brand new with all sorts of other snacks and drinks inside. You could think to yourself that the 16 gallons you’re about to pump in your car at 10 cents cheaper for a total savings of $1.60 doesn’t justify the substandard experience. The good news is we are neither of these gas stations in this analogy. We are the 3rd gas station that offers gas at $2.099 while having a plethora of food and drink items offered in a nice setting. The Superior Shield Program gives you the benefit of long-term savings without a reduction in the benefits you receive.
It is important for us to mention that there may be instances where a different company offers you a lower rate than we do. They are able to offer low initial rates because they are simultaneously raising prices for existing customers to offset the profit loss from taking on new customers at low rates.
These same companies aren’t able to offer great customer service, additional value-added benefits and empathy for customers experiencing problems. This old-school philosophy of how to conduct business as a propane company is outdated and will not work in the future. We want to remain on the forefront of what it means to be a propane supplier in the modern propane market. We believe there are two ways to do this related to price. First, we drive down our costs the right way by increasing efficiencies and not cutting corners. Second, we honor the prices we promise to our customers. No matter what, you will pay the price per gallon you signed for on your contract with us and we will make sure you get the propane you need.
Ensuring our customers are safely set up is our top priority. We choose to go above and beyond the state requirements for propane system connections. When you’re a Superior Fuel customer, you gain the peace of mind knowing we provide industry-leading safety inspections free of charge. Many systems we inspect have code violations, leaks or other safety issues. We also provide tank monitoring systems for all of our Shield customers that allow us to track your tank level in real time to ensure you’ll have the propane you need, when you need it. This new technology allows you to monitor your tank from your smartphone anywhere, anytime. You no longer have to worry about running out once you have a tank monitor installed, backed by our $250 no run-out guarantee.
If you’ve been heating your home or cabin with propane for awhile, chances are you’ve had a run in with a company that did not communicate the anticipated costs you’d incur while doing business with them, either by choice or lack of ability. Propane is not something that is “fun” to shop for nor is it something most people would want to spend money on, but it gets cold in the winter and you’ve got to heat your home or cabin. The nature of this product/service has driven many consumers to focus heavily on price per gallon, leaving a window of opportunity for some companies to acquire the customer with a low “bait-rate” price per gallon and make their margin by astronomically raising prices for long-term customers as the months/years go by. This is exactly why our competitors want you to be a Market Rate customer – where you have have no idea what you’ll pay per gallon until after the delivery occurs. We are not one of those companies and we want to build long-term relationships through trust with our customers which is why we are the only company that offers 3-year pricing plans.
How Easy is it to Switch?
When compared to other propane companies in this area, our customers have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make the Superior Fuel Switch. We can get you signed up and send out the paperwork to sign electronically within minutes. After you sign the paperwork emailed to you, you’ll have a short phone call with our service department to schedule the service work within a couple of business days and you’re done! We don’t require you to keep track of your tank level, we will pull your monthly payment on whichever day of the month you choose and we will reach out to you when your contract is expiring to renew. When you sign up with us, we set the tank, you set the temp. That’s it.
Summary of Benefits
When you’re a Superior Shield customer, we provide more value to you than any other program offered by any other company. Here’s 10 reasons why we’re able to say that.
First, we allow you to avoid large bills during the winter months by spreading your heating costs into small monthly payments.
Second, we provide you the ability to track your tank level anytime, anywhere with our mobile app.
Third, we monitor your tank on your behalf so you don’t need to worry about running out (we back this with a $250 no run-out guarantee).
Fourth, we provide you with a 1,000 gallon tank for increased storage and reduction in deliveries.
Fifth, we provide you with an industry-leading customer service department that has an average wait time of under 30 seconds before you reach one of our customer service representatives.
Sixth, we are available to you by phone 24/7/365 in case you experience any issues.
Seventh, we are the only company that offers 3-year contracts that allow you to know exactly what you’ll pay for 3 years.
Eighth, we provide you with a free, 20-point safety inspection for all gas checks. We find that 75% of the new customers we take on have some defect in their system.
Ninth, we thank our current customers for their loyalty by providing them with the same rates as our new customers. We don’t bait ‘n switch like the other guys.
Tenth, and perhaps the most important value we provide to you, is savings. We structured this program to allow us to operate more efficiently. When we operate more efficiently, we save money. We are only able to operate efficiently because of your enrollment, which is why we pass the savings onto you. Our Shield customers are saving hundreds annually compared to what they were paying with their previous supplier and they have gained peace of mind from the additional benefits listed above.
That is what it means to be a Superior Shield customer. We work hard every day to be as efficient as possible and to provide the best propane program for our customers. We don’t cut corners, we don’t charge our loyal customers the highest prices and we don’t stop working towards making it better each day. If you’ve read this far and want to reach out to sign up or learn more, click here to be directed to our contact page. If this program doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, that’s okay. Please feel free to leave us any feedback by phone or email and we will gladly take your input into consideration moving forward.