We live in an age where customers and employees expect they can do everything from their phones. Your fuel distribution business isn’t an exception; this is where customer portals come in. A great customer portal is easy to use, gives customers all the relevant information they need, and builds trust between you and them.
A customer portal is a powerful tool for fuel distribution businesses looking to enhance their operations and improve customer satisfaction. With features like tank level monitoring, fuel dispatch, and last-mile visibility, a well-designed customer portal helps customers stay informed about their petroleum logistics needs in real-time.
As every fuel distributor who handles petroleum dispatch knows, happy customers are critical to growing a healthy business. Not all customer portals are equal; some can ruin your customer relationship.
Is your portal providing your customers with all the information they need? Can your customers view orders, fleet fueling details, place orders, and export unit filling history to Excel? This article helps identify if your fuel and lubricant distribution company needs a better customer portal.
What Does a Best-in-Class Customer Portal Need?
A customer portal is a web app that enables customers to interact with your business. BizSpeed’s goRoam customer portal provides all the information that fuel, oil, and chemical logistics customers need to access regarding their accounts and order history. Specifically for B2B customers, your customers need to see orders by ship-to and across multiple ship-to addresses.
Your customer portal allows customers to log in and see their delivery history, upcoming orders, and unit filling. They can view delivery receipts (POD receipts as PDFs) and export order history and unit filling to Excel.
A direct benefit is avoiding “WISMO” – where is my order? No more calls to customer service checking on order status or requesting a copy of a POD delivery receipt. In addition to better customer service, this often has a significant cost benefit. We’ve had 75 truck lubes distributors who’ve eliminated hundreds of WISMO calls per week to customer service and accounting.
The primary driver for a customer portal is typically competing on customer service. This convenience builds trust and strengthens the relationship between your company and customers.
A great customer portal reduces customer service calls. Customers find answers to most of their questions, so they don’t need to call your company for help, which reduces the burden on your customer service department and frees staff to handle more complex issues.
Customers expect your portal to get the information they need quickly without resorting to emails or phone calls to your offices because paper delivery tickets are causing issues. Your portal should have the following features: :
- View account information – including all ship-to locations
- Add and maintain contacts per ship-to location. Distinct contacts via email, text message, or WhatsApp for:
- ASN – Advanced Ship Notifications
- OTW – On the Way
- POD – Proof of Delivery
- View and export order history, including Proof of Delivery
- View tank and unit fill history, and export to Excel
- Place new orders and schedule deliveries
- Receive updates on order statuses
- View your tanks and tank levels through tank-level monitoring
- An API allows customers to pull data programmatically instead of logging on, enabling real-time integration and transportation visibility.
The goal of a customer portal is to improve customer service and responsiveness to customer requests, to build trust with your customers as they have Real-Time Transportation Visibility, and to reduce the number of WISMO calls for your support team.
Why Does Your Fuel & Petroleum Logistics Company Need a Customer Portal?
Your customer portal (or lack thereof) says a lot about your petroleum logistics business. If you have a portal, It’s likely the primary mechanism, outside of your drivers, that customers interact with regarding your company. A customer portal like BizSpeed’s goRoam shows them you prioritize best-in-class customer service while giving customers confidence in the quality of your fuels, lubricants, propane, chemicals, or other bulk products.
Fleet fueling apps and propane delivery software can also help optimize delivery routes and streamline fuel distribution processes. In contrast, LCR meter software and petroleum dispatch tools can ensure that fuel orders are accurate and timely. By investing in wholesale fuel software and a customer portal, fuel distribution businesses can differentiate themselves in a competitive market and offer a superior customer experience.
Portal benefits include:
Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers
The more customers use and rely on your portal, the deeper your relationship becomes. It makes switching more complicated and is a competitive advantage. Distributors without a portal need one to compete, and those with limited portals must improve their capabilities.
Providing Your Customers with Convenience and Confidence
Your portal should include a way to track and manage deliveries. Customers can see their next delivery schedule, follow the progress of their current delivery, and receive notifications if there are changes or delays. This level of transparency ensures customers know what’s going on with their orders, which builds confidence in your company. The more visibility you provide, the more confident customers are with your company and logistics solutions.
More Efficient Client Management
There are bottom-line cost savings for your customer service team. Your customer service team can handle more accounts with less effort and stress, saving you money because your team spends less time on customer service and less on paper invoices. Since your customers are no longer hunting down orders through paper, they won’t need to call you as much because they will have all the information at their fingertips.
Is Your Customer Portal Working For You or Against You?
Does your customer portal make it easier for customers to do business with you? Our customers often see an immediate return on investment when using our routing, dispatch, and delivery software solutions.
At BizSpeed, we are committed to providing exceptional customer service and building strong client partnerships. Our team of experts understands the importance of delivering practical solutions that meet the unique needs of each business, and we work closely with our clients to ensure their success. Contact us today for a demo.