Solar Plants, Overall UKBA 2016 Winner – Where are they Now?
We recently caught up with Leanne Farr, the Sales Director at Solar Plants Ltd and asked her a few questions regarding recent developments and the direction of Solar Plants post award.
We must say that we’re very proud to have access to such wonderful companies such as Solar Plants and we want to thank Leanne and the whole of Solar Plants for answering our questions.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Solar Plants’ winning initiative, this family run business simply shocked us with the level of professionalism in their approach to ‘customer first’ attitudes and their ability to provide excellent service.
A little bit about Solar Plants
Founded back in 2011, Solar Plants Ltd is a family business that has quickly grown to become one of the UK’s largest solar panel installers in both the domestic and commercial market.
Behind their developments stands a customer-centric mission that has driven the business far and wide, making it one of the main competitors in the UK solar market.
This mission consists of a few key factors that help Solar Plants stand out from the crowd and lead the competition through innovation and investment in the right areas.
By taking an interest in what the market needs the most as well as what customers seek when looking to install solar panels, Solar Plants have made customer centricity a top priority in their business strategy.
Rather than providing the cheapest systems and making the largest profit, the starting point of their customer strategy promotes the idea that Solar Plants needs to deliver the best return on investment directly to their customers.
These attitudes are what helped Solar Plants become one of the leading solar companies in the UK. Their care for the customer and ability to assess market gaps is what led to their overall award in the 2016 UKBA.
Our Catch-Up with Solar Plants
Here are the questions and answers from our latest interview with Solar Plants:
How would you describe the feeling of winning and what does it mean for your organisation?
‘It was absolutely fantastic, as you would have seen from some of the photos, we were so delighted. We have worked really hard over the years and tried to be a really ethical brand. We felt like we were doing a good job but to get external recognition, not just for the team members who attended the awards but also everyone back at the office, it was just a real great pat on the back, that we are doing something right and the hard work has paid off.’
Do you feel your business has benefited from winning these awards?
‘Yeah definitely, we were very quick to use the winner logos as soon as they got sent to us. We posted it also on social media and we got more engagement and likes and followers from talking about the awards. Seeing the winner’s logo, which we have on the website, gives customers the confidence and I think when you’re an award winning company, it does add gravitas. The customers know that they’re dealing with a good company and it kind of acts as a referral in a way.’
How have you spread the word about your success?
We produced a press release which went to our local press and we also featured it across our LinkedIn page, Facebook and Twitter. We have also added it to any customer facing material, our website and email footers. We really made sure that we have capitalised on it.’
Have you had any feedback from your customers in regards to your success, or won any new customers?
‘We are B2C so we bring in new customers all the time, so all business is new, rather than repeat business. Once you’ve had solar panels, you tend to stick with the one set! However an example from last week where we carried out a mail shot campaign, whereby we sent letters to people’s homes and a customer called to book an appointment and they said to us the reason they called was because we had all of our accreditations including the UK Business Award logo within this letter. This gave him the confidence and if it wasn’t for that, they wouldn’t have rung in, so I suppose that’s what made us stand out.’
What do you think makes the UK Business Awards unique?
‘All of the awards we’ve done before UKBA have been industry specific, so they would be awards for the renewable or solar industry, for example.What I really found useful was going to watch the other companies’ presentations, when you are in a specific industry and everyone you speak to is in the same industry as you, there is maybe a channel you have never thought of before. Then you go and listen to someone from another industry using a certain medium of getting their message across, and then you think ‘oh that’s a really good idea, I will try that!’ And of course, there would never be a situation where as an SME we would ever be able to compete with someone like Virgin Money or someone like that, but with the way that the awards choose the highest scoring category to win overall, it gave us that opportunity. Also, saying you have won an award against prestigious companies such as Virgin Money, Aldi etc, I think it just adds certain something to what you’re saying.’
Would you recommend the Awards to other businesses?
‘Oh definitely, I really would. I remember through the process, you complete the application and then I remember when we started to work on the presentation, we were quite nervous about the idea of presenting to the judges and so the sense of accomplishment that we had done it. One of the people that presented had never done anything like that before and since then he has now mastered the fear of public speaking. He has also since then appeared in our Welch Parliament and spoken to MPs about renewable energy which he would have never done before, so that was really great. And I just think everyone at the Awards was so friendly and we had such a good day and really, really enjoyed it. It is something we will remember forever.’
Well there you have it! Solar Plants is an example of how a small company can quickly become recognised as an industry leader through positive attitude and hard work!
Their victory at the 2016 UKBA only consolidated and recognised that further by giving them a platform from which they could be seen and simply admired.
Awards are a great way to boost morale and overall customer approval. Recognition of your hard work and the hard work of your employees is something very important in the business world and we like to think that our Events are a great way to bring people together and give them the spotlight they deserve.
So if you think you’ve deserved your fair share of recognition for your hard efforts, then make sure to get involved at the next UK Business Awards!
We’ll see you there!