COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order bring specific challenges to the home fuel delivery industry. Staying on top of staff safety, while continuing to give your customers the best service, involves some planning and consideration of these new circumstances. One area to focus on is delivery scheduling.
Increased Fuel Demand
Fuel usage is abruptly changing. Only a few weeks ago, houses were empty during the day, and now there’s round-the-clock occupancy. You can expect an increased need for fuel for heat, hot water and appliances.
Consider things like:
- Higher mid-day thermostat settings
- More hand-washing with warm water
- More clothes washing and drying on high temperatures
- More cooking
Essentially this means a higher potential for run-outs, but there are ways to mitigate the risk.
For your customers with tank monitors, you are in good shape. Depending on the frequency with which readings are updated, you have accurate tank levels on your customer accounts. At most, you may want to consider increasing the frequency of tank readings to be as on top of fluctuations as possible.
Pulling Additional Degree Days
For your customers without monitors, the simplest answer is to consider pulling tickets early. This stay-at-home situation is expected to be temporary, so actually changing scheduling setup on accounts is not recommended. Simply adding additional degree days to your ticket run to compensate for this increased usage will help you avoid run-outs and thereby avoid the risk of needing to enter a customer’s home to relight pilots.
Reach Out to Customers
An additional step to avoid inefficiencies and run-outs is to reach out to your customers via phone, text or email to ask for their tank readings. If you are on ADD Energy E3® version 17 or higher, on-demand email and text messaging is built right into the Customer Communications Module and available for your use today. Communication like this with your customers could help you recognize potential run-outs in time to address them, and customers will appreciate your proactive behavior. It also gives you an excuse to connect with them, and, if there’s one thing we could all use right now, it’s a little human “touch”.
COVID-19 has definitely presented us with many challenges, but following these recommendations can help ensure that delivery scheduling is not one of them. For more information contact ADD Systems Customer Support at 800-922-0972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.