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LPG Spotlight: Superior Propane

September 1, 2020 By    
Photo: Superior Propane

Superior Propane runs a customer web portal called mySuperior, enabling customers to request propane deliveries, view tank levels, pay bills and more. Photo courtesy of Superior Propane

Propane retailers interact with customers on a daily basis, working to ensure their propane needs are met.

Focused on retaining more customers, Ontario-based Superior Propane partnered with an analytics platform to ensure high-quality customer service.

Superior Propane, founded in 1951, delivers to more than 10,000 communities across Canada.

With a large number of customers, Superior Propane noticed room for improvement in its customer interactions. The company aimed to reduce the average handle time (AHT) of each interaction, ultimately improving customer retention overall.

The company runs a customer web portal called mySuperior, which enables customers to request propane deliveries, access delivery updates, view tank levels, pay bills and more. Users can also connect with Superior Propane customer service representatives who handle service-related inquiries.

Superior Propane partnered with workforce optimization company Calabrio to utilize advanced desktop and speech analytics to collect insights on frequently used phrases during customer-and-agent conversations.

The program identified key phrases such as “I’m switching suppliers” or “propane prices.” Superior Propane organized those terms and determined possible changes to the customer service interaction process that would enable their agents to positively influence the conversation’s outcome.

When it came to understanding Superior Propane’s AHT, Calabrio’s analytics revealed key areas for improvement.

As a result, Superior Propane enacted a strategy incorporating process improvements and an increase of agent empowerment and training to achieve better customer retention and AHT. It also implemented an updated interactive voice response system, transferring customers who want to cancel to call agents to fulfill specific requests.

Within the first three months, Superior Propane significantly improved first-contact resolution, allowing it to work with more customers using the same number of agents, and AHT for its new hires is meeting its requirement within weeks from their start time.

“Reducing our AHT by just 30 seconds per call means we can take 150 more customer inquiries on a daily basis with the same size team, therefore improving our customer experience,” says Alex Wozniak, director of customer experience at Superior Propane.

It now works with local service teams to enact a long-term solution for each customer, resulting in fewer customer calls regarding the same concern.

The retailer can also now alert customers much earlier in the day if a delivery will be missed. New log templates also enable agents to begin filling them out upon connecting with a customer.

In addition, Superior Propane call agents can work with one another to share tips on quickly fulfilling customer needs to reduce AHT. Existing agents were coached to increase productivity, and new hires now receive training as part of the onboarding process.

Doug Lang, senior vice president of customer success at Calabrio, assisted in gathering information for this article.


SUPERIOR PROPANE

Year founded // 1951
Owner // Superior Plus LP
Headquarters // Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Employees // 1,500+
Customers // 10,000+ residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial communities across Canada

 

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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