Operations and upkeep (O&M) can learn like soiled phrases for photo voltaic installers – visions of buyer complaints, truck rolls, and so on. – however for the great of the photo voltaic business that should change. And the excellent news is, altering the way in which you method the post-install buyer relationship is usually a value-add as a substitute of revenue drain.
In a current collection of Suncast podcasts, Beyond O&M: The Future of Solar, Omnidian and several other of its installer companions explored this evolution of post-sales past mere fix-it-when-it-is-broken O&M.
In the event you’re unfamiliar, Omnidian gives complete safety plans for business, industrial (C&I) and residential photo voltaic crops. So, it’s always monitoring techniques and diagnosing points whereas additionally backing up its service with a Efficiency Assure. All in, the thought is to ship what Chief Working Officer Dave Kenny describes as retail-inspired excellence in buyer expertise (CX).
“Think about a world the place the cellphone rings, you reply, and the particular person on the opposite finish of the cellphone tells you your asset had a current efficiency downside related to a specific root trigger,” Kenny says in episode one. “The caller provides that will help you troubleshoot and resolve the problem stay on the cellphone, schedule a time at your comfort to have that decision, or have someone come out to your facility, dwelling or website to repair the issue. That’s the expertise we’re searching for.”
On its finish, Omnidian displays and remotely diagnoses PV efficiency whereas maintaining a tally of actuarial knowledge – pondering by way of anticipated kWh vs. precise kWh primarily based on the system and the climate circumstances. Over time, sample recognition improves the modeling and subject prognosis at every website.
That every one is likely to be apparent to you, and whether it is, good. However simply as vital is integrating this superior method with superior customer support.
To nail that CX piece and construct loyalty, Kenny says firms should make clients really feel valued and remedy points shortly and proactively.
“On the finish of the day, we’re promoting belief,” he stated. The bottom line is guaranteeing clients belief their photo voltaic applied sciences will generate a return on funding, unlock flexibility in power procurement, and assist drive progress on local weather change.
Trevor Sumner, co-founder and president of Milwaukee-based Sun Badger Solar, explains how such a proactive method helped them develop from 4 staff to 112 in 5 years.
“Reasonably than say ‘don’t fear about it,’ we are saying, ‘Right here’s what’s going to occur when one thing breaks, or there are points. These are the steps Solar Badger will take’ or ‘That is the method to make issues proper,’” he defined.
And a part of that’s sticking to what they’re good at – installs – and leaving the superior evaluation to specialists like Omnidian that, once more, present peace of thoughts to all events with a Efficiency Assure.
Sumner shared: “From a course of enterprise standpoint, Omnidian gives a buffer between Solar Badger and its clients post-install. What that buffer from Omnidian does is permit us to set ourselves off to the aspect, give ourselves some respiration room or some leverage that if a service subject comes up… the client is first going to name Omnidian.”
For Julie King, CEO of Harmon Electric, aligning with companies with the identical values and tradition is an enormous key right here too. “The service division desires to make the client glad and do the best factor for everyone concerned, and that’s not at all times the simplest or the most affordable factor,” she stated.
As system dimension scales up, the stakes get even increased. That is the place the CX method actually comes into play.
At Distributed Solar Development (DSD), Chris Larkin, Asset Administration Director, refers to himself as a “promise keeper,” of their relationship with C&I purchasers.
“They’re searching for an power hedge into the longer term, the place power costs are solely going a technique — up yearly, with increasingly more demand for kilowatt hours,” Larkin stated.
Kevin Schulte, CEO of GreenSpark Solar, the most important residential, group and business photo voltaic supplier in Rochester, Central and Western New York, credit their success to a customer-centric method. That is the way forward for photo voltaic.
“We’ve to determine methods to delight and shock the client like retail did a very long time in the past and to speed up client motion,” he stated in episode three.
The whole six-part series is worth checking out, to realize numerous views from across the business on the evolution (and rising worth) of O&M and CX.