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LPG Spotlight: Stephens Propane

September 28, 2021 By    
Photo courtesy of Stephens Propane Co., LLC

Stephens Propane has expanded its service area in recent years to include six counties in southern Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Stephens Propane Co., LLC

Stephens Propane, an Arkansas retailer, has reaped the benefits of forming earnest relationships with its customers.

Husband-and-wife duo Joshua and Kim Lucas purchased the retailer in February 2019 and operate it together as co-owners. Since the acquisition, they have expanded Stephens Propane’s service area from four to six counties in southern Arkansas, serving residential and commercial customers.

One unique customer of Stephens Propane is Proctor Cremation Services, a crematorium that has turned to propane to power its cremation furnaces.

The crematorium has been operating for about a year now, says Richard Mosley, owner of Proctor Cremation Services. Mosley also owns Proctor Funeral Home, which has served the Camden, Arkansas, community for about 150 years.

When establishing the crematorium, Mosley weighed the various energy options for powering its furnaces. While natural gas and propane were similar in cost for the required application, the crematorium’s furnace manufacturer explained that propane was cleaner and more efficient than the alternative.

After some contemplation, Mosley opted to utilize propane for the crematorium furnaces, and Proctor Cremation Services became just the second crematorium in the state to use the fuel. But when it came to selecting a propane provider, he says Stephens Propane was a no-brainer. The retailer was already servicing Mosley’s vacation home, and the relationship he had built with Josh and Kim was more than enough reason to seal the deal for his business as well, he explains.

“They meet our needs perfectly,” Mosley says. “Because of the greater efficiency of the burning, we can cremate in a little bit of a shorter time, I believe, for very similar costs and way better customer service.”

Stephens Propane installed monitors on Proctor Cremation Services’ tanks to oversee their levels and fill up when necessary, bringing Mosley peace of mind that his furnaces will never run out of the fuel needed to keep business moving.

“We’ll never have to make a phone call,” Mosley says. “They’re always there to fill the tank up ahead of time.”

In addition, Stephens Propane worked hand in hand with the crematorium through its building process. In fact, according to Mosley, Josh even assisted the plumber in installing the necessary pipes. That service is hard to come by regardless of industry, he says.

“In any industry, we’d be proud to have that kind of service,” Mosley explains. “They care about their customers, and they work hard.”

While the Lucases use social media, yard signage and the local shopper’s guide to promote Stephens Propane to potential customers, Kim says most of the marketing work is achieved via word of mouth. And ultimately, word-of-mouth marketing is accelerated by positively impacting customers. In the crematorium’s case, that impact landed Stephens Propane commercial business and showcased propane’s diverse range of applications.

Kim says strong customer-retailer relationships are built by earning the customer’s trust over time.

“Being prompt, efficient and reliable is imperative not only to running a successful business, but to gain the trust, respect and repeatability of our customer base,” she says.

Company Profile: Stephens Propane

Year founded // 1989
Current owners // Joshua and Kimberly Lucas
Headquarters // Stephens, Arkansas
Employees // 5

About the Author:

Carly McFadden is associate editor at LP Gas Magazine. She is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. McFadden can be reached at cmcfadden@northcoastmedia.net.

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