Keeping Commitments: The First Step Toward Developing Trust

At Blue Raven Solar, we have three values:

 

1. Develop a High-Trust Culture

2. Be Efficient

3. Continuously Improve.

 

Each value is accompanied by four statements that try to capture what living this value means for us. The first of these statements, Value 1a, states:

 

Keep commitments to homeowners, sales reps, employees, installers, technicians, vendors, and investors.

 

Keeping commitments to our stakeholders is ordered first among statements that describe how we develop a high trust culture because keeping a commitment is how one builds trust. We often say you make a deposit in somebody’s trust bank account. The greater the commitment, the greater the deposit. Over the years, we have made countless commitments as an organization. I am proud when we make and keep commitments and I am saddened when there is a say-do gap in any part of our organization. Whether it’s making good on a promise to a homeowner that our system will produce the amount of electricity that we quoted or continuing to pay a residual to our sales teams when so many in the industry said we wouldn’t – we are serious when we say that keeping commitments is our first value.

 

For me personally, there have been many nights over the years when I’m about to head to bed, but I remember telling somebody that I would do something by the end of the day. While I haven’t been perfect, value 1a has often helped me return to my computer to finish a task by a deadline that I promised.

 

Making and keeping commitments is the foundation of trust. It’s value 1a for us. It’s the foundation of our culture and it’s one of the reasons I think we stand out in the solar industry.

 

We asked employees what they thought of value 1a. I love their responses.

 

I’ve seen a lot of people speak cautiously. Not out of fear, but out of a genuine concern for making a commitment we can’t keep. Culturally, it’s created a lot of thoughtful people that consider realistic paths forward and communicate them effectively.

 

All of our installers take personal pride in their work. They won’t pull off a jobsite unless absolutely necessary. These guys give it their all to complete what has been assigned and keep the machine running.

 

The huddle boards are a daily exercise in keeping commitments. The capacity and demand exercise are a great time to publicly state our goals and follow up on the goals we set the previous day.

 

This is something the Blue Raven staff at every corporate level demonstrates every day. I’m always impressed with the amazing people we have here, and for their willingness to go above and beyond to both extend commitments and keep the commitments they (or we as a collective whole) make every day.

 

The best example of 1a being exhibited in our culture is that people refer to the value often in ordinary discussion. It is common to hear employees say “I made a commitment…

 

The email received earlier this year from our suppliers was really cool, because we said we would sell the panels they gave us, and they didn’t expect us to keep our word. They were pleasantly surprised and promised to keep working with us.

 

As an entity, design has made it a point to complete every job that comes through our queue same day. We are currently averaging around 85% in that endeavor. In doing so we commit to everyone involved that the job will be done in a timely manner with 100% efficiency.

 

We often compensate customers for rebate amounts that we did not receive, simply because it was promised them beforehand. We eat the difference and try to make it up in other ways rather than going back on our promises to homeowners.

 

We promise our sales reps, investors and homeowners that we’re committed to performing high quality work. I love how we make it a priority to track and follow-up on pass inspection rate and see what crews need additional training. The tools we have in place along with the process of following up make sure that we are keeping our commitments of high quality.

 

Recently in a new hire check in we received great feedback from a new field employee. It sparked a conversation between multiple departments on how to avoid miscommunications between field and corporate – all to ensure that we’re keeping our commitments to customers as well as to each other. It’s amazing to watch how seriously we take this value and how impactful it is to our success.

 

I’ve been impressed in how we are willing to turn reviews into action. All too often when customers feel a business has not followed through it falls on deaf ears. However, I’m thrilled to see our willingness to commit to creating positive experiences for our customers.

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