Convenient Functionality: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Website - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Convenient Functionality: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Website

Posted on April 17, 2019

Convenient FunctionalityThanks to what has been deemed, “The Amazon Effect,” today’s consumers are increasingly valuing convenience. They’ve come to expect a smooth, seamless sales process – regardless of the industry. And while you may not be able to deliver household items and essentials by drone in a matter of minutes, there are several ways to apply this same model of convenience to your propane delivery, heating oil, or HVAC-related service business.

Online Payments
They say that ‘money makes the world go round,’ – but what happens when your invoices go unreturned, and even unpaid? Chasing down overdue payments interfere with daily operations, disrupt your cash flow, and ultimately – consume valuable time that could be better spent on actually running your business. But the truth of the matter is that (most) customers are not trying to get out of paying you – you may just need to make it easier for them to do so. With this in mind, it is no surprise that people are increasingly choosing to pay bills online. In fact, according to Credit Union Times, 56% of bills are now paid online in the United States alone1. Online payment portals enable customers to log on and make a payment 24/7 from their desktops, laptops or mobile devices. All it takes it a click a few buttons, without any need to reach for a checkbook, go to the post office or even pick up a phone. And while this functionality is especially convenient for your customers, its convenient for your business as well. With customer accounts and billing information all stored in one central location, you have all the data you need to track down payments right at your fingertips.

Service Call Scheduling
With 70% of people preferring to book appointments online compared to just 20% who still choose to book over the phone2, the days of calling to schedule appointments and service calls are numbered. Traditional phone systems are no match for today’s modern digital booking systems, which allow businesses to take several bookings and reservations simultaneously – all synchronized, calendared and scheduled. As a result, your CSRs spend less time on the phone booking and managing appointments, freeing up their schedules for more important tasks. Better yet, the information your customer provides when booking – such as names, physical address, contact details, and email address – can be used to follow up, offer promotions or even just send a thank you message.

Online Fuel Ordering
From clothing and home items to food and even basic grocery essentials, just about anything these days can be ordered online. Why not fuel? With 1.92 billion people projected to make an online purchase this year alone3, you can bet some of these include your customers and ideal prospects. Today’s consumers like to be in control – and with online ordering functionality they get exactly that. Online account access allows customers to order the amount of fuel they want, when they want it from the comfort of home – or anywhere, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Contact Page
In just 15 seconds, 55% of visitors leave websites4. Neglecting to have contact information prominently placed on your website or easy to find within the site not only costs you vital seconds, but most likely the customer as well. This is why it’s essential to provide the most fundamental information you need your prospects to see in the most efficient way possible. That’s where the “Contact us” page comes in. The hub for sharing important information and getting in touch with your company, contact pages typically provide numerous ways to connect – email address, phone number, social media links, a map, or even a form for prospects to complete and submit. In fact, the contact page is often one of the most visited pages on any website. And with search engines and ‘Google My Business’ profiles serving up this same contact information, it’s a great way to direct local search traffic to your site.

Today’s consumers value convenience – and retail energy companies must consider how they can make the scheduling, delivery, payment, and overall servicing process as convenient as possible.
Warm Thoughts has managed over 150 websites and digital campaigns for propane, heating oil, and HVAC-related businesses across the country. Data guides us to create impactful “websites that work” and keep your customers coming back time and time again.


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