In today’s competitive market for residential solar, it’s not enough for potential customers to hear from you that your company is awesome. In fact, after years of cold callers and door knockers peddling the same hyped sales pitches for “free solar” or huge money savings that turned out to be false or at least misleading, homeowners have become suspicious of claims that solar companies make about their own offerings.
Now, solar buyers are just not willing to take your word for it that you do good work at a good price. They want check you out by hearing what your own past customers have to say about you. That’s what accounts for the popularity of review websites from SolarReviews to Yelp to Angie’s List.
Solar installers should definitely look at their online reviews on a regular basis. If you have bad reviews, if you can, contact the author and try to correct any legitimate problem. If your reviews are great, then publicize them widely — starting with your own website.
To get more of a sense of what solar buyers want, solar installers should also consider some new research just put out by BestCompany.com, another site that provides consumer reviews of solar installers, along with companies in several other industries.
Recently, the company took 2,300 consumer reviews of 187 solar companies on their website and picked out the most-used words in those reviews.
Fortunately, to see what they found out, you don’t have to read through a 45-page report with lots of confusing charts and graphs. Just check out the handy word cloud at the top of this post. Highlights:
- The frequent use of words such as “cost,” “rate,” “fee,” “pricing,” and “expensive” indicates that price is still one of the most highly considered factors for consumers when it comes to deciding whether or not to go solar, as well as selecting a solar company.
- The words “service,” “care,” “quickly,” “honest,” “lies,” and “resolved” were all used regularly, which shows that it’s very important to consumers that they deal with a solar company that will look out for them rather than try to trick or take advantage of them.
- Many consumers included words such as “family,” “friends,” “referral,” and “review” in their feedback, which leads us to believe that homeowners who decide to go solar pay a lot of mind to what others, especially those who they are close to, have to say about a particular company.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group