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10 tips to help installers attract and retain customers, as report shows only half of RHI customers satisfied with their chosen installer

Posted by Anna Carlini on 22 March 2016 at 11:05 am

A recent report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) provides some useful tips for installers on attracting new customers and keeping them satisfied.

DECC commissioned 46 in-depth phone interviews as part of the evaluation of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The survey revealed that 39% of customers selected their renewable heat installer based on 'word of mouth' recommendations by colleagues, friends and family. This was by far the most popular way to choose an installer, followed by web searches coming in second at 25%. So this means that leaving every customer with a positive impression of your company is critical for growing your business and securing future clients. You want the word to spread about the high quality service you provide.

And yet, installers are failing to leave this positive lasting impression. DECC revealed that after installation only 51% of customers were satisfied with their chosen installers. Unhappy customers will never recommend an installer that frustrated them.

The DECC report provides 10 tips to help your company be the one that everyone wants to tell their friends about:

1. Have a clear website providing a simple way to get in direct contact with you
This is so important for potential customers to find your company, do their research and inform themselves more fully. A customer is more likely to be satisfied with your company if they can identify you as an installer that fits their needs. 

2. Be transparent about the running costs and fuel usage of their new system
This has a tremendous impact on overall customer satisfaction and it is important that the customer has realistic expectations.

3. Give a clear account of level and type of disruption that will occur
Will there be a large number of tradespeople there at one time? Will there be any risk of damage to the property? Customers are more likely to be dissatisfied if there is more disruption than they had expected.

4. Be polite, friendly and approachable 
This tip is simple but effective. Leave your customer with a positive impression of your company and they will think of you when they need work done in the future.  

5. Keep the customer informed throughout 
Make them aware of what you are doing and any issues you encounter. Make sure there is open communication between you to discuss what they are happy with. This is their home and they may feel anxious about the changes being made.

6. Be reliable and professional
Get there on time and on the days you had arranged to be there. This is an important part of leaving a good impression on the customers mind and makes them far more like to use your company for future work and pass your name on to others.

7. Carry out the installation safely
This goes without saying.

8. Go above and beyond where you can
The study found, for example, that participants were far more likely to be satisfied with their installers if they were given a demonstration on how to use their renewable system. Answer any queries - it will show how knowledgable you are about the system.

9. Leave nothing unfinished
The study also found that satisfaction was reduced if installers left long-term damage to the property or unfinished work, such as unwanted trenches or exposed pipes, or did not acknowledge, accurately diagnose or fix problems quickly. So tie up any loose ends and make sure your customer is happy before you leave.

10. If you are called out, get out to the customer as soon as possible
Customers may have chosen you based on the fact that you are a local company and they expect you to be able to get to them quickly if they need you. Giving good follow ups are a way to make your customer satisfied in the long term. 

The survey demonstrates the benefits of making sure your customers feel comfortable, informed and able to talk to you at any point in the process. Transparency will mean trust and reasonable expectations, which will likely result in customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer will come back to you time and time again. Potential clients are most likely to choose an installer based on recommendations from people they trust. Create a strong reputation and you will grow a strong base of happy, satisfied customers. 



[1] Department of Energy and Climate Change

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