Sustainability has increasingly become a priority for business leaders and consumers. This has opened pathways for renewable energy businesses to integrate green resources, like wind and solar, into the electric grid, especially with the rise of green hydrogen, advanced batteries, and other next-generation technologies. As these developments emerge, the industry continues to attract both industry stakeholders and regular consumers.
But getting customers is only half the challenge—there’s the question of how to keep them subscribed. Building customer relationships in a renewable energy business entails understanding your market, what they need, and joining the conversation.
Understanding The Market for Renewable Energy
To effectively build customer relationships, you must first know who your audience is. The market for renewable energy generally follows a lifestyle of health and sustainability (LOHAS), patronizing businesses whose values align with their own advocacies.
Here are some of their key characteristics:
- Value for personal and community health: LOHAS consumers seek products and practices that can contribute to their well-being. This can come in the form of natural and organic products, alternative medical care, and other healthcare approaches.
- Optimism for the future: A central characteristic of the green market is open-mindedness. They’re willing to face new challenges, listen to varying ideas and opinions, and explore sustainable opportunities for the future.
- Environmental sustainability: LOHAS consumers pay attention to products’ environmental impact, starting from production up until disposal.
By understanding your customers, you can create strategies to better connect with your audience. Below are some approaches you can take for building customer relationships with both consumers and prosumers of renewable energy.
3 Strategies for Building Customer Relationships
1. Ensure agent quality
Customers expect clear solutions to their concerns, whether those concerns are simple questions or issues with your products. Your customer service agents must know the ins and outs of your business, product offerings, operations, and the basics of renewable energy. Otherwise, your customers risk bouncing from one department to the next without resolving their concerns.
Ensure your customer-facing teams provide high-quality service by providing skills training and keeping them up to speed with operational changes.
2. Use the right digital tools
Adopting the right digital tools and business models can help lower some of the most common barriers to energy investment: limited access to finance, steep upfront costs, and lack of control over energy use and performance. Digital models are generally more flexible and customizable for consumers, making them a more customer-centric approach than the traditional business model.
For example, Fenix International provides solar solutions to small businesses, farmers, and households in South Africa. They offer alternative payment options for customers who have no access to traditional banking services in their area. Meanwhile, Ogarniamprad.pl, an energy trading platform in Poland, offers real-time actions for users to buy and sell electricity without an intermediary. This gives them control over their energy-generating resources.
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3. Join the conversation
The market for renewable energy pays attention to every detail. They scrutinize packaging materials, sourcing processes, and disposal options. They check for license marks and eco-labels indicating that a product meets environmental standards. On a similar note, they eagerly discuss new developments and practices in sustainability.
This is where you can step in as a renewable energy business. Go to where people already spend time and engage with the community online. Doing so will help promote your brand as a reliable authority. For instance, a blog on your website can be an avenue for posting news and updated studies to spark discussions. Other channels you can expand into are a YouTube channel, Facebook group, LinkedIn page, and podcasts, which are all online spaces for building a community.
You want to deliver valuable content that will connect with your customers’ values. This messaging will help promote your business and attract customers who can advocate for your brand. Especially with prosumers becoming active players in renewable energy, LOHAS consumers will go for the brands that speak for and with them.
Building Customer Relationships with Magic
If you need more manpower, Magic can set you up with a team of virtual assistants. With a team of remote VAs, you can make sure you’re connecting with your customers in every way possible while also saving on costs.
To keep your customer service operations running seamlessly, Magic can provide backend support by assisting with:
- Refund processing
- Positive scripting
- CRM database management
- Preparing customer spreadsheets and keeping online records
- Following up with clients and customers (“Thank you” messages, reminder emails, etc.)
With a virtual executive assistant, you can get more things done while also having the flexibility to focus on your core functions. Here are some of the tasks you can delegate to your Magic Assistant:
- Bookkeeping – Reconcile bank statements on time, update financial records, record daily transactions, create cash flow statements
- Email and calendar management – Schedule meetings and appointments, coordinate calendar with the rest of the team, sort and filter inbox, set up autoresponders
- Data entry – Update customer records, sort internal documents
With Magic, you don’t need to go through the entire sourcing process. We have teams of pre-vetted virtual assistants that can cater to each and any of these business demands. Just tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest for you. Check out our hiring guide for more information.
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