Continuing education is important in all industries, especially solar. As technologies evolve, new installation techniques arise to make solar systems safer and more efficient. The best place to learn these new skills is often at tradeshows and conferences, when more industry peers are together to exchange tips and tricks.
On account of coronavirus halting gatherings for awhile, we reached out to the would-be presenters at the NABCEP Continuing Education conference for their best advice on three questions:
- What’s the easiest way to speed up installation of solar systems?
- What’s the most common installation error in a solar or battery installation?
- What’s the best way for installers to improve customer satisfaction?
See their answers and more below. Follow us on Twitter to see even more installer-focused tips during our annual SPW Installation Week. We hope you’ll learn some new strategies to make your business stand out as we approach uncharted waters. Oh, and check out Solar Energy International for online solar training.
What’s the best way for installers to improve customer satisfaction?
“Instead of keeping customers “in the dark,” educate them as to how the system works, so they will know the basics to properly perform the maintenance.”
-Steve Higgins, Technical Services Manager, Rolls Battery
“Monitoring should be applied as a proactive service to the customer. Performance monitoring provides insight into solar plant performance to detect operational issues before they cause major generation and financial loss. Installers can enable email alerts so that they can keep on top of any problems that arise with their plants. A highly reliable combination of hardware and software to monitor, control and manage solar power saves time and money for all parties and helps unlock value in the solar plant.”
-Silvia Blumenschein-Schϋtz, CEO and General Manager, Solar Data Systems
“Spend 20 minutes helping them learn how to use the monitoring app and simulating a grid failure. Let them run several appliances off-grid so it creates an overload and teach them how to handle it. Then send them a video on the app or hybrid so they understand how to use it.”
-Tom Brennan, CTO, Sol-Ark
“Customers want records of their installation’s success, and proper documentation isn’t something that can be replicated after-the-fact. Document everything, including snags that might occur. No project is without its challenges; properly documenting hurdles that might be encountered is a great showcase of your ability to overcome them as an installer and increase your technical acumen.”
-Nick Valcho, Applications Engineering Manager, Sungrow
“Apply the Golden Rule. Sometimes things get messed up, and apologies, while important, mean nothing if they aren’t followed by action. Well done is better than well said.”
-Roland Jasmin, Director of Engineering, Sunmodo
“Involve the customer through the process and simply do a quality installation.”
-Milton Nogueira, Senior Business Development Manager, Roof Tech
“It’s also important to note that the closing of a deal is only the beginning of a relationship over the lifetime of system, because a customer wants to be taken care of for the next 20+ years.”
-Ben Brubaker, Applications Engineer and Trainer, Fronius
“Well-designed welcome kits with manuals, paperwork, referral cards, and branded swag can add to the excitement that a homeowner feels when they go solar.”
-Kate Collardson, Product Manager, BayWa r.e.