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Fall 2018, Vol. 4

CUSTOMER SERVICE: 5 Steps to Leverage Your CSR To Make Your Company More Money


Customer Service Representatives (CSR) are vital to your operation, but do you really know why? At first, you may have needed a dedicated trained professional to handle your customer calls, but as the world trends towards building an “experience” with brands, the CSR’s responsibility has evolved. They now troubleshoot service calls, handle those panicked customers and so much more…they are an essential supplement to your sales and service department.

Finding the best tips and tricks to train your CSR’s can be daunting, overwhelming and sadly, low on your priority list. But why? Your CSR’s, along with your sales team and technicians are your company’s front-line to your customers – making what they say and do extremely important. Developing a training program is key to maximizing the power of your CSR’s and utilizing them to create more business for your company.

As you create or modify your CSR training program, here are some tips to keep in mind along the way

1. Communication is key (upstream and downstream)

We tend to leave our CSR’s out of the sales chain. For example, you’ve decided to market tank monitors to your automatic customers. Great! Next, you communicate your new offering to the sales manager, who communicates the plan to the sales team who then communicates the sales pitch to the customer. Most of the time you don’t think to include the CSR’s in this stream of communication, but what happens when a customer asks about this new tank monitoring program and your CSR has no idea that it is being offered? Let your CSR team know what your marketing so that they are armed with the proper information to route and possibly even upsell your customers. The CSR’s are part of the sales funnel, so a kink in the chain at this point could be detrimental to the sale or upsell.

2. Train your CSR’s like you would train your sales & service team

Your CSR’s are part of your “front line”, meaning that they represent your brand and its offerings to homeowners. Whether it’s training your sales team on the inner workings of the product offering or explaining how to install a new product to your technician – include your CSR’s in the process! This way, whether it’s a sales call or a service call, they can handle and hand off the call properly. While it may seem like overkill (at first), the time spent properly training your CSR’s will continue to build their knowledge of the company’s offerings – creating an opportunity to cross-sell to all of your customers.

3. Develop “frequently asked questions”

Some of you may already have a version of this created, but how often do you use it? Better yet, how often do you updateit? Leverage the customer-facing resources that you have (CSR’s, technicians, sales team) and create a list of frequently asked questions with answers and a routing guide. For example, if a homeowner calls about their house not getting warm enough, does your CSR know the 10/70 rule? While FAQ’s are important for your core offerings, they can be a great tool for your CSR team when marketing new offerings as well. Did you know that 20% of service calls can be answered on your website? These would also be a great addition to your website!

4. Role playing

Yes, CSR are uncomfortable with it when first introduced but it is essential for you to see how they handle calls and for them to grow comfortable and confident in their position. You will be surprised how much the CSR can learn from management, how much management can learn from the CSR, and how much CSR’s learn from each other during this exercise

5. Incentivize with strategy in mind

All incentives are not created equally. Structure your incentives programs so that it drives the offerings that you want to sell. For example, if your incentive program was $5 for any type of new customer, what would motivate a CSR to enroll a will-call vs. an automatic customer? Now, how about an incentive program that offers $5 for will-call and $10 for an automatic customer…which one do you think they would push?

Taking the time to apply some of these tactics into your CSR training program will really amp up all operation efforts and essentially make your company more efficient and more prosperous.

Need a little help to get started? Contact us to see how we can help or watch our 30-minute webinar on CSR training



Our attendees loved this webinar! Take 45-minutes and learn some simple CSR training tactics that can have a huge affect on your company this season.

Click Here To Watch The Webinar Replay



Eastern Fuel, Hamden, CT
Corey Oil, North Lake, WI
Purple Fuels, Branford, CT
Coyne Oil, Mount Pleasant, MI
OSI Comfort, Oceanside, NY
Taylor Oil, Broad Brook, NY
Sharp Energy, Georgetown, DE
Flynn Energy & Propane, Towanda, PA
Augusta Fuel, Augusta, ME
New England Oil, Greenwich, CT
Guys Oil, Niantic, CT
Akins Propane, Quitman, GA

If you are interested in any of our solutions to make your business run more efficiently, effectively, and profitably contact us today.

*Blue represents the states of our new clients. Green represents the states of our existing clients.

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Where do you find new, qualified fuel drivers to hire? You don’t…

Sounds crazy, but the reality is that finding qualified fuel drivers (with all the proper licensing) is getting harder to do each year. Sure, the changes in efficiency to heating oil, propane, and heating equipment have made it so you are delivering fewer gallons but let’s face it – in the middle of the heating season, you need more drivers to get the product out.

Or do you…

Implementing tank monitors into your business can save you approximately 20% of your deliveries per customer per year which eliminates the need for so many drivers. Fewer drivers equal less frustration and overhead, especially when it’s hard to find them in the first place.

It’s time to invest in delivery efficiency technology and watch the savings add up.




Preparing Your Company To Prosper With Fewer Drivers

America is facing an increasing labor shortage in the trucking industry with 63,000 open positions in 2018. While some fuel marketers are feeling the effects of this shortage, others are not or are pretending that this will pass. The reality is that while companies try to attract more drivers with higher pay and bonuses, the number of open positions is expected to double in the next few years (source: The Washington Post).

Thankfully, the heating fuel industry has solutions that can help fuel marketers survive this driver shortage and set them up for success in the coming years. Tank monitors have been around for years but have recently made their way onto nearly every fuel dealer’s radar. Most fuel marketers understand the benefits of tank monitors; daily tank readings, decreased run-outs, optimized operations, etc., and are proactively deploying them for next season, especially after the very unpredictable Northeast Winter in early 2018. However, some may underestimate the power of tank monitors to minimize the need for more drivers.

When you acquire more customers, it creates more deliveries and the need for more drivers. So, while the country is expected to double open drivers positions and attracting new customers will continue to be every fuel marketers’ goal, we need to seek a solution that allows fuel marketers to continue to attract more customers and decrease the need for drivers, right?

Tank monitors can give fuel marketers the ability to cut deliveries by an average of 1.5 deliveries per customer per year. Having access to -real-time tank-level data will allow fuel marketers to schedule more efficiently by delivering only to the homes that need a delivery vs. stopping by because they’re in the area. Even in severe weather tank monitors can help manage your deliveries so that you can quickly prioritize the homes that need immediate attention.

Business intelligence software is another tool that can help you cut deliveries by giving you the ability to quickly hone in on your delivery inefficiencies, from driver-related problems to unprofitable small drops. Business intelligence tools generally work by pulling information from your back-office system and translating it into digestible reports that let companies easily seek out potential problems before they become too big. These tools can tell you which driver is spending too much time on the road and making inefficient deliveries. It can also show you which driver is making too many sub-optimal drops. Think of what you could do if you knew that much about your drivers!

As we continue to hear about labor shortages in the trucking industry, take this opportunity to assess your operations and find strategies that will allow your company to grow and remain profitable into the future.

If you have any questions about this article, contact us at


GREMLIN® Tank Monitors:

  • Miscellaneous bug fixes
  • Data transmission speed increased
  • Updated the monitor readings platform to decrease missed reading

BRITE® Business Intelligence Software:

  • Miscellaneous bug fixes
  • Data transmission speed increased
  • The Heating Degree Day widget now displays normal HDD values as a decimal



Gary Sippin, Sippin Energy, shares why he chose GREMLIN Tank Monitors:

“I chose GREMLIN from Angus Monitoring Service because their upfront costs are modest, which make it more feasible to get monitors on more tanks. Stability and longevity matter quite a bit, and Angus has been a fixture in our industry for many years. Finally, the consumer app they provide that is branded for us is very good”.

Click here to read why Gary Sippin has trusted tank monitors for over 15 years. As always, share your feedback, questions, comments, suggestions by emailing us at




Phone: 800.440.0472


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* Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other clients, and they are not guarantees of future performance or success. The testimonials provided herein are unpaid.

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