5 Tips to Get Great Solar Reviews and Referrals
People dwell online in the 21st century. Be it for making new friends, rekindling old friendships, buying, selling, entertaining, learning, and more.
Since we are all living in the digital age, it makes sense for you to want to establish the credibility of your solar business online. Customer reviews and referrals are a great way to do that. Robust referral systems help you get more leads- refined and hot ones that you can easily convert.
Your online reputation depends on the kind of reviews you gather online. And, if you have fewer customer reviews, people ponder and contemplate before purchasing from you.
Now that we have established that customer reviews and referrals mean the world to your business, let’s see how you can get more of them.
But, before we do that, let’s look at the customer’s journey when they decide to install solar panels on rooftops or commercially.
Customer’s Journey with Solar Installation
- Investigation – Customers do their research and decide whether or not they need solar panels. If they decide that they do, they look at all solar installation companies online- their past work, reviews, and so on.
- Consideration – Customers select a list of brands they would consider and further research about. They take a deeper look at these companies’ online presence.
- Decision – Most decisions when buying solar panels and installation services are impacted by the initial online research. At this stage, customers compare online reviews and ask friends and family about their recommended service company.
- Post-purchase follow-ups – After a purchase experience comes to a halt, customers come full circle and, hopefully, share their positive feedback about your services online and give you referrals.
In order to make the entire customer journey seamless and valuable to both you and the customer, offer exceptional service, but also consider the following tips on gathering positive reviews and referrals.
Most companies never ask! If you never ask, you’ll never know.
After completing a solar panel installation project, make it a part of the process to record customer feedback. Now if this feedback is positive, encourage your customer to leave you a review online.
Often, businesses feel it is too much pain for the customer to go online just for them and leave them a review. And, that it is too much to ask of them.
That is not true. People are happy to promote the services they found useful. And, they’d be happy to give you something in return when you have exceeded their expectations.
If you go past the phase when it’s appropriate, you get into a situation where it could be awkward to contact the customer and request them for a review.
Solar sales have plenty of opportunities when you can solicit a review from the customer, including:
- After closing a sale
- After scheduling a site visit
- After a site visit
- After installation
- After turning the system on
- After the customer has made savings on their first post-solar electricity bill
If you also offer ongoing maintenance services, one of your routine checks can be a good time to follow up with the customer on the review.
Ask in More Than One Way
Asking in person is a compelling way to leverage a referral or review opportunity. Utilize the trust and loyalty you have built with the customer throughout the installation process. In-person requests usually get responded faster.
Alternatively, you can also put multiple methods to work to allow your customers to use their preferred method of communication.
A few methods you can use are:
- Proposals – Include referral forms and links in your proposal
- Automated Emails – email your past and present customers
- Personal Emails – Send personal emails as the sales rep or service provider
- Texts – Request referrals and reviews through text messages or online messaging platforms
- Phone calls – Provide information or assist customers in leaving you an online review or referring you to their acquaintance
Schedule the Process
Make it routine to ask for solar reviews and referrals. Build the process into your sales or marketing system. This will help minimize decision-making and make the process less hassle.
Plan, process, and execute your referral/review system. Make sure you don’t overwhelm the customer or nag them. If you plan on making multiple requests, schedule them carefully throughout the customer journey. Map the customer journey and mark the milestones where you ask the customer for reviews and referrals.
Scheduling the process can also include incentivizing sales reps for bringing positive reviews and referrals that convert. Solar sales can be complicated and span a long duration. It can help you to motivate your team to solicit positive reviews and referrals for you.
Boost Referrals with rewards and social proof
Offering customers rewards for referrals can be a motivating factor for them to actively participate in your referral system. You can also implement a referral program for customers to proactively refer you to their friends, neighbors, and family.
Make sure your referral system does not downgrade the quality of referrals while encouraging customers to send more and more referrals.
If you have a customer’s positive experience recorded in the form of a review or testimonial, use it as a social proof to reduce friction in the initial referral outreach. Also, include information on who referred you to the customer, what results they saw with solar panel installation, and what they said about your services and how they rated you.
[Bonus] Simplify the Process for your customers
If you want to turn your customers into your online advocates, simplify the process of leaving reviews for them. Send them a link to your preferred social site that goes directly to your business page, or ask them for an email testimonial you can use.
Sending your request along with a quick actionable way can enhance the possibility of a referral or review while making your customers happy and wanting to do it for you.
Ask for specifics and give your customers an outline to facilitate reviews that are results-oriented and show what you can help customers achieve.
Reviews and referrals can both play a significant role in how your business grows. Therefore, it is worth creating a seamless process that streamlines gathering and managing reviews and referrals.
If your sales team has a hundred other things to manage, consider using a solution such as SunPro+ to help them track leads, acquire customers, and lower the cost of making a sale.