Are you finding it more and more expensive to acquire new solar customers?
Even as the US solar market continues to set new records, the growing number of installers and increased competition from national companies have made solar lead generation a costly exercise.
The reality is that every solar contractor has a means of acquiring new customers for a low price. It doesn’t even involve flashy marketing, expensive sponsorships, or spending hours on social media.
It’s the age-old method of encouraging your customers to recommend you.
If you’re looking to improve your solar lead generation via customer recommendations, here are a few cost-effective tips.
Provide a Powerful Incentive for Customers to Recommend You
Solar energy requires a significant financial investment, and many people are cautious about committing until they’ve seen tangible results from people they trust.
“People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.” —Nielsen Media
One of the most effective solar lead generation tactics that any solar contractor can employ is to create an official customer referral program.
Happy customers will often recommend you, anyway, but with extra incentives in place, you can significantly increase your referral rates—and deliver new clients at a low cost.
You may choose to offer a cash payment to successful referrers (amounts are typically between $200 and $500), or you may opt to reward both the referrer and referee. Whichever format you choose, ensure that it’s something that your business can sustain, and don’t forget to pay all referrals on time—and track your results.
You will also need to generate promotional material that encourages your existing customers to refer you to their family and friends. This can take the form of new website pages, online referral links, flyers and referral vouchers, emails to your customer database, and referral packs that you supply with each installation.
By encouraging customers to recommend you—and offering an extra incentive to make it worth their while—you can create a referral system that is win-win for everyone involved.
Education Is the Key to Building Word-of-Mouth
The foundation of your entire solar process should be educating your customers about the environmental, financial, and broader social benefits of solar energy.
This is not only valuable to your immediate clients, but it will also help them educate and encourage their friends and family to follow in their footsteps.
With significant incentives on offer—namely, the ITC program—your existing customers can be quite effective at doing your marketing for you and informing others about the unique benefits of solar power.
By making your clients more informed, you make it easier for them to spread the word and encourage more people to contact you about installing solar systems of their own.
Ask Clients for Reviews and Testimonials
In addition to direct referrals, you should encourage all your customers to write reviews and testimonials for your business.
“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.” —David J. Greer, author and entrepreneur
You may encourage clients to leave reviews on selected websites or write more in-depth testimonials that you can use on your company website and marketing materials.
The words of a happy customer are incredibly compelling and help establish trust with new clients before they even contact you.
In the competitive solar market, consumers are always searching for reputable and professional companies that they can trust with their investment. By leveraging reviews and testimonials from your existing clients, you can reach many new customers for zero cost.
Create an Exceptional Customer Experience
Our final point is a simple one: if you want customers to sing your praises, you need to meet—and exceed—all their expectations.
“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” —Chip Bell, author and business consultant
If you’re a smaller installer competing against national companies, you have the opportunity to use service, flexibility, and speed to your advantage. Maintain frequent contact throughout the process, keep everything as customized and personal as you can, and make it abundantly clear to every customer that you appreciate their business.
People love to feel proud of an investment, and they’re especially happy to recommend great companies to people they know and trust. If you can deliver an exceptional customer experience to every person you work with, they can’t help but recommend you to others.
In Conclusion: Happy Customers Are Your Best Salespeople
Now that you have a better understanding of how to improve your solar lead generation, we hope you’re excited to take action. For further reading about growing your solar business, visit the Solerus blog for recent articles and expert advice.
Solerus Energy is a supplier of premium solar energy equipment, but we’re also a complete service and installation partner. We work with solar contractors of all sizes to create system designs, solar permits, electrical line diagrams, and even commissioning reports. To find out more about what we can do for you, speak with one of our experienced staff.
Remember, deliver great products and exceptional service and your customers will spread the word.
Solerus is a trusted solar energy equipment supplier, empowering contractors to develop agile solutions for commercial and residential clients. We provide a range of best-in-class solar products that are backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty, designed to provide you with unparalleled peace of mind.
To learn more about reducing solar customer acquisition costs and the equipment you’ll need to have happy customers at a price that you’ll love, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable specialists today!