Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a strategic move in many industries — but it’s not typical in the utility sector. In fact, ClearSource’s services to the solar sector might be one of a kind. And as the premier BPO partner to one of the largest solar, storage, and energy service providers in the country, ClearSource was tasked with identifying new and specific forms of support in one of the fastest-growing areas of the economy.
For that client, we studied each facet of its business and created solutions that not only filled a need, but also empowered its sustainable growth.
“First, we looked at support services. Then we moved into project management. From there, we bridged into sales support,” says Ryan Dodge, Director of Partner Success at ClearSource. “There was nothing generic about our approach. BPO for this industry isn’t apples to apples; it’s more specific, and it requires a far greater understanding of the industry as a whole.”
The challenge: An evolving, complex sector
Solving pain points in the end-to-end customer journey is no small task in the renewable industry. Solar is a complex sector — the concepts, technologies, and terminologies can require a steep learning curve — and scale can be a challenge for solar energy providers. Adding another organizational layer in the form of BPO can, on the surface, seem needlessly cumbersome to renewable energy companies. It’s why so few renewable providers choose to outsource critical operations.
“There aren’t a lot of BPO companies that cater to the renewable space — and I can guess why,” Ryan says. “If you’re going to be in the renewable space, one of the things that’s required is a working technical understanding of the industry you’re involved in. That’s not always easy to come by.”
To that end, all of our employees are graduates of SolarU, an in-house program designed to educate our employees and agents on the solar industry’s products, practices, technologies, customer questions, and more.
“We put every one of our new employees through SolarU before they’re assigned a duty,” says Ryan. “They likely haven’t been in the solar industry before, so we’re introducing them to it — even information that’s not specific to the role they’re going into. Above all, we want them to understand the big picture.”
Our solution: A proactive, immersive approach to BPO
Expertise across the entirety of the sales, installation, and usage process is rare, even within our renewable energy customers’ businesses. Having that knowledge sets us apart — but our BPO solutions must also support clients as the solar industry expands and evolves in real time.
“This is an industry that, more than a lot of other industries, is affected by policy change. It’s prone to massive growth spurts, and then things pull back. Our ability to flex and understand how we can adjust is something our client really appreciated,” says Ryan. “More than that, being prepared before these shifts really allows as to be proactive versus reactive.”
For that reason, ClearSource not only consulted with the client about the trajectory of their business, we also assessed its market trends, momentum, and challenges to proactively create agility. That willingness to learn and integrate allowed ClearSource to tackle the client’s complex needs head-on and develop turnkey solutions.
And thanks in part to those solutions, the client has become one of the country’s largest, most reputable brands in the solar products sector. Along the way, we’ve grown to support that prosperity.
“We started with one line of business and a very small team of about 20 people for the client. Over the course of three years, we’ve expanded to 24 lines of business and have a team of over 1,000 employees committed to support them,” says Ryan.
The result: Unprecedented support for solar
ClearSource continues to collaborate with the client to develop new opportunities for their success. Our depth of technical, business, and industry expertise enables ClearSource to be exceptionally agile, proactive, and responsive in the quickly evolving, high-growth renewable energy sector. In fact, we’re not just a BPO partner for their organization — we’re an active participant in growing the entire solar industry. And we’re doing it at an unprecedented level.
At ClearSource BPO, we see challenges as opportunities. The challenges in renewable energy may be one of a kind — but so is ClearSource. “We can approach renewable companies with both our expertise in BPO as well as our specific knowledge of their industry,” says Ryan. “We are set up to support multiple lines of business, no matter how technical. We can support it because we know we’ve done it.”