MODULE 2. Propane Customer Application and Customer Service. Introduction . In this module, you’ll learn about the different types of customers who use propane. You’ll develop a better understanding of customer needs, and how quality service is a key ingredient to your success.
Propane Customer Application and Customer Service
In this module, you’ll learn about the different types of customers who use propane. You’ll develop a better understanding of customer needs, and how quality service is a key ingredient to your success.
After completing this module, you will be able to:
Residential Customer Applications
This first lesson will introduce you to the largest market of propane gas – residential customers. Residential customers use propane for heating, indoor and outdoor cooking, water heating, clothes drying, lighting, and cooling. This lesson also discusses the types of appliances you may service when working with residential customers.
First, let’s learn about the different types of heating systems that residential customers use in their homes:
Water heating is the second largest residential use of energy. Propane-fueled water heaters are inexpensive to install and operate, are highly efficient, have quick recovery rates, and require small storage spaces.
Types of residential water heaters include:
Residential customers also use propane for:
Propane may also be used to:
Commercial, Industrial, and Agricultural Customers
Commercial customers are businesses such as restaurants, laundromats, and schools who use propane for:
Heating —One of the most common types of commercial heaters is the ceiling unit heater. Installed on or suspended from a ceiling, it’s often used to heat large showrooms, warehouses, or production areas because of its high capacity and location.
Cooking — Restaurants, cafeterias, institutions, and fast food chains all use large, high capacity ranges, cook tops, ovens, griddles, hot plates, and deep fat fryers.
Water heaters: Commercial customers use two types of water heaters: the storage tank water heater and the instantaneous water heater. Commercial water heaters have higher heat ratings and water capacities because they must heat water at higher temperatures to meet sanitary codes.
Clothes dryers: Commercial clothes dryers used by apartment complexes, laundromats, hospitals, hotels, and retail cleaners have a higher heat rating because they hold large amounts of clothes.
Municipal fleets: Propane is popular and safely used to fuel municipal fleets across the nation such as police cars, school buses, and taxis.
Propane continues to gain popularity with industrial users such as manufacturing plants, factories, and warehouses that can use propane for all their major energy needs including:
Agricultural customers that use propane are dairy farmers, produce farmers, and livestock ranchers. Agricultural applications powered by propane include:
Crop dryers: After crops are harvested, they are dried by special propane drying equipment. Crop dryers reduce the water moisture absorption in grains, peanuts, and tobacco preventing spoilage and premature sprouting.
Greenhouses: Propane is used to heat the atmosphere of a greenhouse. Special thermostats maintain the proper temperature. Also, carbon dioxide from the combustion process is helpful to plant growth.
Irrigation pumps: The irrigation pump is an indispensable component of any irrigation system. And because propane has several advantages over other fuels, it’s widely used to power irrigation pumps in all types of agricultural uses. One advantage is that propane’s clean burning extends the engine life of the irrigation pumps.
There are various agricultural applications fueled by propane, including:
Quality Customer Relations
Good interactions are key to developing new customers and keeping the ones you have satisfied and happy. It's one of the most important ways you can contribute to your company’s safety and profitability and your own success.
Keep these tips in mind for every customer encounter:
Understand the limitations of yourself and those of your company when working with customers.
Here are several simples guidelines that you should follow in order to stay within appropriate limits:
As a representative of your company and a professional in the propane industry, it is important that you make a positive impression on your customers.
Three areas where professionalism is required are:
Clearly and accurately respond to customer questions and concerns regarding propane safety.
Know your company policies and procedures for documenting safety-related contacts with the customer. Be sure to document the question or concern that has been raised along with your response. If your company does not have a special form for this purpose, use a service work order or delivery ticket.
Some important points to remember from this module are: