Pop quiz: what is the most cost-effective way to acquire new solar customers?
If you said referrals, you’re right!
Anyone who has sold solar before knows this intuitively. It is easier and cheaper to build a sales pipeline through customers who are delighted by their experience going solar and spread the word to friends and family. And the data backs it up: according to Greentech Media, customer acquisition costs typically run at $3000 or more; referrals drop that cost to $500 or less.
Because financing is such an integral part of the solar sale, your loan partners and their ability to deliver a seamless and efficient financing experience directly reflects upon your business and brand. To all of us at Sungage, this reality means one thing: it is critical that homeowners have an excellent experience financing their solar system. You trust us with your customers so we need to deliver a level of service that matches the service they receive from you.
In recognition of this important responsibility, we survey every single homeowner who finances a solar project with us. Using a metric called Net Promoter Score (NPS), we continually evaluate our performance relative to the industry and gather feedback to improve our products and service.
Here’s how NPS works… At the completion of every project, we ask customers the following question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Sungage to a friend or family?” Responses are broken up into three groups:
- Promoters: Anyone who gives a score of 9 or 10 is considered a “Promoter.” These are enthusiasts who will recommend their experience to others, fueling business growth.
- Detractors: Anyone giving a score of 6 or below is considered a “Detractor.” These a customers were unhappy with their experience. Detractors can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word of mouth.
- Passives: Scores of 7 and 8 are considered “Passives.” These are customers who are satisfied with their experience but won’t actively evangelize about your product.
Net Promoter Score is then calculated by subtracting the total percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, yielding a score that falls between -100 and 100. According to Satmetrix, which co-developed the NPS methodology, any score above 50 is considered excellent. The average NPS of companies in the financial services industry is 35.
So what is Sungage’s NPS? Since we started measuring NPS in 2015, our NPS score is 78. Since the beginning of 2017, our NPS score has jumped up a few notches, to 81, and since we launched our new Solar Loan program in the summer of 2017, our NPS score is 83
This puts us in a category with other outstanding companies respected for the world-class customer experience they provide, like Apple, Nordstroms, and USAA. In fact, our score is more than double the average score of financial services institutions. In other words, our NPS score is pretty darn good.
We think our score reflects some of the things we do to create memorable customer experiences. It’s why we always make sure we have a human on the line to answer the phone instead of phone menus, hold music, and endless conversations with robots. It’s why we offer our entire customer experience team NABCEP training. It’s why we’re available until midnight ET. And why we’ve built consumer protections into our process so that customers are never surprised by their financing and always satisfied with their purchase.
But don’t get us wrong—we pay attention to the bad stuff, too. When customers fail to receive a financing experience that matches their expectations, we use the feedback from our survey to help our tech, sales, operations, and customer experience teams improve. That’s why we’ve seen our NPS score steadily increase over time.
Now that you know all about NPS scores, I bet you’re wondering how your business is doing? We also ask each customer the same question related to their experience with their installer. We make a point to share every single positive score and piece of feedback with our partners so they can engage happy customers for referrals. We want our partners to know when we’ve knocked it out of the park together so that they can use that momentum to fuel growth.
You should always ask your finance partners’ for their NPS score because a poor financing experience could silently be hurting your cheapest source of leads. We’re proud of our NPS score because it means we’re helping our partners grow their businesses. We’re in it together and our happy customers are your happy customers. Great customer experiences equal more referrals. It’s that simple. Just another way that Sungage helps you shine.
About the author
John Massie is a Customer Experience Manager at Sungage Financial and is based out of the new west coast office in Oakland, CA. He oversees customer experience for Sungage’s California market and specializes in helping solar installers use solar financing to grow their businesses. In his free time he enjoys teaching scuba diving, eating Southern BBQ and going on epic bike rides.
|What’s Your NPS Score?|
|If you’re a Sungage partner, reach out and we’ll tell you what your NPS score has been for projects financed through Sungage. Call us anytime at 844-SUNGAGE (786-4243) or use our live chat.