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Build Your Solar Brand

Introduction

Having a good reputation will help you reach more customers and advance your solar business. A solid, positive reputation in the community should generate increased awareness of your solar business organically through word-of-mouth referrals. A study in the US found that 3.63% of leads generated from customer and employee referrals resulted in a sale (more than 2 percentage points above all other lead channels). As a result, your business will be able to reach and engage more customers.

Reputation is key

Having a good reputation has been as a key success factor for solar companies in IBIS World’s 2017 Industry Report. It states,

“Word of mouth is an important form of promotion for solar panel installers, as most industry firms are small and have minor advertising budgets. Industry firms that maintain a good reputation are better able to generate new business.” (p.17)

This report emphasises that your consumer’s trust and confidence can directly affect your solar business and its bottom line. People will have preference towards businesses they trust, even if others offer similar products and prices.

For solar providers that are small or medium sized businesses, the most relevant customers come from your immediate community and local area. It is important to remember that building reputation is not a single task, but a continuous one with incremental steps.

As mentioned in the previous section, carbonTRACK is useful for helping you build a good reputation. The platforms fleet management capabilities allows you to see how your customer’s systems are performing. In addition, alerts can be activated to let you know immediately if there is an issue with a customer’s system. This means you can issue a service before the user even realises something is wrong.

This is one of the features our partner United Solar loves. Richard Vargus, CEO of United Solar, says:

“carbonTRACK is an intricate part of our business, and it has improved the amount of confidence and peace of mind that we give to our customers….

Rather than relying on our customers to ring and tell us “hey something’s happened” … if the system is performing below a certain level, we get notified before a customer even knows… I get a kick out of when we ring a customer… and we say to them, “your system’s not performing well at the moment, we’ve just dispatched a technician to come out to visit your property to see what’s going on.”

"carbonTRACK has almost doubled our revenue.
I couldn’t be happier"

Find out how carbonTRACK could help your business.

See more stories here

Beyond alerting your customers if there’s an issue, carbonTRACK also assists in keeping your customers engaged with your solar product over time. Every two weeks we send summaries of how their electricity use has looked, and encourage them to take action to make better use of their investment.

The alerts and energy updates that carbonTRACK sends customers bring about a personalised energy experience which, as mentioned in Part 1, helps advance customer relationships and delivers the experience they have come to expect from the businesses they buy from.

Even if you don’t have an awesome energy management system like carbonTRACK, there are other things you can do to build your reputation too. We suggest starting with your local community can be one of the best things you do for your solar business. With this in mind, here are some ways you can engage with and promote your business among the local community:

Advertise locally

Advertise your business in your local area. This not only helps build your brand awareness in the community but also makes new installations faster due to the closer distance between your business and the customer. Some advertising options include:

  • The local newspaper – see if you can get a write up on one of your happy customers
  • Door to door flyer drop-offs in areas near your business location or warehouse
  • Leaving flyers at other local businesses like mechanics or cafes
  • Sponsoring local sports teams

 

Volunteer in the community

Bring your team together and help the community for a good cause. Volunteering is not only beneficial in strengthening the bond between your workmates, but also increases brand awareness in the community. Common volunteering opportunities include:

  • Kitchens for the homeless
  • Working bees with local primary schools
  • Not-for-profits such as St. Vincent’s or The Salvation Army
  • Community clean-up days

 

Attend local events or host your own

Attend events like parade or fairs by setting up your own booth. Better yet, host a local barbeque at your local business if possible and engage the community with your staff.

 

Ask for referrals

When trying to grow your solar, always ask your customers and friends if they know anyone else who could benefit from solar. You can even create incentives for referrals, such as gift rewards or discounts.

 

It is also a good idea to acknowledge or engage with existing customers. Simple actions of kindness like sending them a Smart Solar Guide (like this one) can go a long way. Interacting with existing customers helps fortify relationships and encourages them to bring straight to you their concerns that might otherwise have been kept quiet.

Strong relationships can also increase the lifetime value of your customers. Whenever someone needs a solar service/upgrade, or their neighbour asks for recommendation on solar providers, your business will be the first to come to mind.


Create an online presence

Along with physical engagements, your business should also have some degree of online presence. If your solar business engages with customers purely through face to face interactions and the storefront, there is a hugely missed opportunity.

Here are some ways to increase online interactions with your business:

Have a website

This is a must. Having a website helps your business easily distribute your marketing material and display richer content than physical advertising. Show off your range of solar PV systems and solar packages that your business offer. You can enrich it by:

  • Building case studies and testimonials with previous customers and showcase them on the website to show how others can also benefit with your solar business.
  • Creating contents that provide value to the audience through solar related blogs or personalised solar quotes/calculator.

 

Interact in forums and Facebook groups

Simply answering solar or energy related queries in online forums and Facebook groups can indirectly help create brand awareness. Some online forum locations include:

  • Quora
  • Whirlpool
  • EnergyMatters
  • Facebook groups related to clean energy and solar

 

Encourage product/business reviews

If your business is good (and let’s assume it is!), let others know that by encouraging your previous customers to review your product. Utilise platforms like Google Reviews or Solar Quotes to promote your business.

 

Engage in social media

Be active on social media by talking with your audience. Return queries and address any concerns or issues to show that your business cares about its customers. An online presence through social media helps to reinforces customer relationship and boosts brand awareness

  • Online advertising through social media is also more targeted, as you can filter the types of audience that can see the advertisement.

 

In summary

Building trust between your business and the people is a difficult, but achievable task once you employ the strategies that we have provided. Engage your solar business in each activity to build your reputation in your community and online.

Partner With
carbonTRACK

carbonTRACK can help your solar business grow. As a leader in energy management technology, here are some ways carbonTRACK can help your business:

Differentiate the business

Have the competitive edge from other solar businesses by differentiate yours with carbonTRACK. carbonTRACK offers functionality beyond simply monitoring solar generation. Your customer is provided with intelligent energy management that shows the home’s complete energy profile.

Boost customer engagement & confidence

carbonTRACK retains that connection between you and your customer by engaging them with their energy habits. Customers can see their electricity generation and usage, as well as switch their appliances and maximising savings. This in turn verifies their return on investment of solar and creates trust with your business.

Increase customer lifetime value

carbonTRACK can help you generate on-going revenue with your solar customers. Because carbonTRACK can be retrofitted, you can offer it to past customers. It also can show you when to offer your customers system maintenance, upgrades or batteries.

Enhance your offering with market-leading tech

Keep up with the latest cutting edge technology in solar monitoring and management (including Green Circuit automation) home automation, building management systems (including temperature, humidity and leak detectors), battery management and alert functionality.

If your solar business is interested in partnering with us, visit our partners page to contact us or request a demo. To stay in the loop for more fantastic resources and information from carbonTRACK you can subscribe to the carbonTRACK newsletter here.
Conclusion

We hope you found this guide useful! We’d love your feedback on the guide, and suggestions for additional information we could include in the guide is very welcome. You can send us your feedback here.

About carbonTRACK

carbonTRACK is an energy management and Internet of Things (IoT) comapny that helps businesses and households to use less power to save money and the environment.

We envision a world where energy is consumed sustainably, shared fairly, and everyone is empowered to control their energy use.

Our mission is to develop intelligent energy solutions that empower people and engender sustainability through creative technologies.

Guide Contributors

Authors: Rooj Kitisarn & Debra Cupitt

Designers: Luke Petering

The next chapter shows how your business will be able to reach and engage more customers.

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