Top 5 things your solar customer still wants to know about their solar system
Posted 7 April 2016 12:00 AM by By Sarah Wilder, SolarWorld Training Manager
Your salesperson spends weeks closing a new sale. Your project manager spends several more weeks working through the solar system design and permitting. Your install crew finally arrives on site, completes the solar installation in a few days, and off they go. This shouldn’t be the end of communication with your customer or you could be missing an important opportunity.
At SolarWorld our customer support team gets a lot of emails and phone calls. By a lot, I mean thousands every month. Sometimes it’s from you, the installer, but many times it’s your customer. We ask them to look at their inverter or net meter, "What’s that?" is a common response. Who should they call and for what? The list goes on and on.
Top 5 things your solar customer still wants to know about their solar system after you're gone:
- The difference between instantaneous power (measured in watts or kilowatts) vs. cumulative energy (measured in kilowatt-hours)
- What to expect for their system performance
- What warranties come with the solar system and who to contact if there’s a problem. For example, the difference between the installation warranty (provided by you, the solar installer) and the various equipment warranties (one of which is provided by us, SolarWorld)
- How to clean and maintain their solar system
- How to claim their referral bonus - You’ve done a great job with the installation. Your customer is happy. Now, what’s the incentive for reaching out to their 10 friends?!
You might think these details don’t matter. You’ve got a busy schedule and many more solar installations lined up. Solar is simple, right? Not quite. Understanding concepts like power vs. energy takes time. Perhaps even you are not clear on the answers to all the above questions.
How is this a missed opportunity?
Confused customers can rapidly become frustrated ones. If they think their solar system isn’t working right or feel like they spent a lot of money and it isn’t doing what they expected they could easily become dissatisfied customers. Dissatisfied customers don’t refer anyone and are very likely to tell their friends about how unhappy they are. Satisfied customers, in contrast, can provide you with the majority of your business.
"65% of new business comes from referrals" – New York Times.
"92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew" – Nielsen
"People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend" – Nielsen
Referral programs work, but even if you don’t have a referral program you can still ask your customers to refer you to their friends. Additionally, if you check in every so often you can also improve the likelihood that they will recommend you. This can be anything from an email triggered after a certain period of time to a phone call.
If you aren’t seeing the majority of your sales from referrals then you may want to reassess how you are leaving your customers.
Deliver a first-class customer education session to everyone who lives in the home or, at least, with the solar advocate there.
Leave them with both a paper and digital copy of a first-class branded owner’s manual for their solar installation.
Get it a table of contents and make it look professional, this is where they are going to first look for an answer.
Need answers or documents for the owner’s manual? Try these:
Schedule a follow-up call in a month or two and don't forget to ask them to tell their friends.
Ask your customer to review you online (social media, yelp, solarreviews.com).
Share your installations with SolarWorld, we love to see your work and we often re-share photos on our social accounts with credit to you as the installer.
We guarantee these efforts will go a long way towards creating happy, well-educated customers - ones that will generate leads for your company for years to come.