Happy customers are a company’s best brand ambassadors. Are you making it easy for your customers to tell their solar success stories and become champions of your brand?
For as long as humans have roamed the earth, we have told and retold stories. There is something universal in this need to connect through the language of experience.
In the solar industry, customer success stories are a powerful way to draw prospects in. Stories help potential customers see themselves in the narrative and reinforce the decision-making process. Prospects need to see proof of other people or businesses just like them who have successfully gone solar – and who have positive things to say about the experience.
While solar success stories and case studies are highly effective marketing tools, they can be time-consuming to develop. How can you simplify the testimonial process and make it easy for customers to tell their stories and become your brand ambassadors?
Written testimonial quotes are one of the most efficient ways to demonstrate your capabilities through your customers’ own words. There are a couple of ways to generate strong customer testimonials:
- Ask your customer as soon as the project is complete. A few short, open-ended questions, in person or via email, can generate a good quote about your company. Ask for pre-approval to post on your web site and use across your marketing materials with a simple permissions form. Offer an incentive or discount to your customer for their time.
- Draft a quote on your customer’s behalf. If your customer is too busy to create a quote, offer to write one for them. Request verbal permission to draft a quote, then get their written approval to use it in your marketing materials.
- Make sure your customer testimonials emphasize your company’s brand promise. For example, if your brand promise is about reliability, deliver on that score – and then ask your customer to comment specifically on your capabilities.
Testimonial quotes should be no more than two or three sentences MAX. Be sure to include the name and position of the customer providing the testimonial, along with the company’s logo and website for commercial clients.
Solar Success Stories & Case Studies
Customer success stories and case studies and go beyond a simple testimonial to tell the customer’s story in more detail.
Solar success stories are generally from 150 to 250 words and include at least one project photo and one “tweetable” testimonial quote. Energy production and carbon emissions reduction expected (as well as its greenhouse gas equivalency using this EPA calculator) should be included, if at all possible.
Solar case studies are more in-depth, ranging from 300 to 500 words. Case studies are more appropriate for commercial projects and should expand on the fiscal and environmental benefits of going solar. Case studies may also include a discussion of the customer’s industry challenges and how solar fits into their overall sustainability strategy. CPMG industry findings show that explaining how to finance solar, including tax incentives, rebates, loan programs or other industry programs, is of particular interest to prospects.
What’s in it for the customer?
When you approach a customer about developing a success story or case study, it’s important to emphasize that these stories can be great marketing tools for them, too.
Many customers have sustainability strategies and need proof of their efforts. A well-written and nicely designed case study, complete with energy production and carbon emissions analysis, can be used by the customer in their own marketing and PR efforts.
The content can be repurposed for customer blogs, press releases or the sustainability section of their web site. You are essentially saving the customer time and providing a value-added service by developing this content for them.
Need help developing your own case studies?
CPMG has an easy way to develop case studies. Just fill in the project info using our simple tool and we’ll develop a custom case study branded for your company.
Next up: We’ll share some best practices on how to share your customer stories. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to CPMG for help or advice!