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How Field Service Management Helps Lower Your Solar Customer Acquisition Costs

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As a solar business owner, you handle a unique array of difficulties. First, you may encounter challenges related to a field services business like project inefficiencies, miscommunication, unnecessary truck rolls, and mismanaged inventory. Secondly, you’re contending with issues specific to the solar industry like supply chain constraints, rising material costs, competition, permitting regulations, and changeable legislation. Above all these challenges, at the top of the list are your challenges around customer acquisition, which is the most important of them all.

Soft cost problems are perennial in the solar industry. According to global research group Wood Mackenzie, the customer acquisition portion of these costs increased by 9.2% from 2018 to 2020 and represented 23% of the total price of a residential solar system in 2021. The bottom line is that acquiring customers is expensive and field service management software can go a long toward lowering the costs of acquiring customers and addressing sources of customer loss.

The power of field service management software in solar maintenance

Having a field service management application helps you take control of your solar maintenance business needs. Streamline operations by automating tasks to improve operational efficiency and provide your customers with real-time updates on the technicians location and even send your customers notifications of any delays. The mobile app allows the technicians to equip themselves with the tools and material necessary to complete the job even before they reach the customer’s location. Zuper’s in-app chat feature allows your technician to address any queries immediately. Providing your customers with instant updates and allowing them to complete payments at the customer’s location adds to a better customer experience.

Having a field service management software for your business allows you to track all prospect and customer data in once place. This allows you to access contracts, invoices, images, image or video clips from the job site and any other financial paperwork. The best part is you can access all this information right from the Zuper’s mobile app, which can be accessed even when you do not have network coverage with Zuper’s offline mode.

It’s no surprise that more and more solar and renewable energy businesses are switching to a field services management solution.

The impact of field service management on customer acquisition in the solar industry

Your on-site teams are critical in providing excellent customer service, from early-stage sales and design personnel to installers and other techs to O&M service staff. They all represent the face of your company on the ground. A modern online solution to manage them creates a solid first impression that carries through the installation’s life and beyond.

Armed with all the features of a field service management solution, your office and onsite teams can provide superior customer service that improves brand awareness and retains loyal customers. Investing in your current customers is a terrific way to generate high-quality leads.

A team empowered to close and execute solar projects

field service management app enables your office and onsite sales personnel to be most effective from initial contact to contract to sign. Your sales personnel must have all the most recent data about the prospects at their fingertips, such as qualification status, site data, and preliminary design information, to develop compelling initial proposals and close sales. They save considerable time by using an efficient platform to handle their workflow and communicate with office staff for the needed information. This means your sales team is more likely to avoid design errors and other bottlenecks due to inaccuracies in proposals or contracts.

During project planning and design phases, your sales reps, field crew, and office staff need quick, shared access to site assessment data, permitting paperwork, and any additional information required for change orders. This prevents extending a project timeline due to paperwork inaccuracies or long turnarounds for change orders. In particular, quick change order turnaround (or outright prevention of them) keeps you from losing customers. You want your field team to have the best communication and support during a change to shorten any lag time from your crew lead needing to pause a job.

Minimizing workflow disruptions and timeline extensions means more sales, happier customers, and secured profits.

The rippling effect of a superior customer experience

Field service management software allows your team to respond more effectively to customer needs and create personalized customer experiences. The platform enables you to collect, clean, and organize customer and lead information in one shared, instantly accessible place. Everyone has access to the most updated information about customer location, preferences, communication, requests, and concerns. That way, office and onsite staff gain a better understanding of them.

Additionally, your back-office engineers and technicians can coordinate instantaneously by seamlessly communicating with one another. They can also communicate with your customers by sending/receiving job updates and alerts in real time or sending updates to the customers as each status update is made. This transparency gives your customers easy access to all they need to know about the status of their project or service.

Your staff also has the data to perform operational analysis to improve operational efficiency and remedy underlying issues, particularly customer relationships. Your sales and marketing staff can make effective strategic decisions. Any campaigns they run through content marketing and advertising are effective with more information you have about your customers. Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty encourage positive reviews and referrals, the most cost-effective way to land high-quality leads.

And in addition to closing more sales, you’re better able to increase the lifetime value of your existing customers because you’ve laid the groundwork for offering complementary products or services like energy storage, EV charging, extended warranties, and ongoing maintenance.

Zuper’s solution

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Zuper offers a field service management system that brings the operational efficiency and oversight you need to keep employees operating at total capacity and customers satisfied. Take control with intelligent scheduling, dispatching, and timesheet management. Zuper’s comprehensive capabilities helps you track work orders throughout their lifecycle, manage billing and payments, send configurable alerts, and keeps customer data and documents organized.

A handy feature in a software solution is integrated consumer financing to expedite the financing process when needed. It allows you to offer an option around paying for services or the system installation that is more palatable to prospects, as they can pay overtime rather than all upfront. An example is Zuper’s full integration with online consumer financing provided by Wisetack, a leading provider of a “buy-now, pay-later” technology.

With over 13,000 PV solar installation companies nationwide, American solar is a crowded and fiercely competitive market. Drive down your customer acquisition costs and gain the advantage you need with a field services management solution like Zuper so you can stand out – and scale – in the best way. Schedule a personalized demo with us today and see how Zuper can step-up your solar customer acquisition costs.

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