The BPI GoldStar Contractor Program: Why Home Performance Companies Should Join
The Building Performance Institute is in the process of rolling out their new BPI GoldStar Contractor Program and we think this is an exceptional opportunity for home performance companies.
Symbolizing a Commitment to Quality
The big shift from the old Accredited Contractor model is that the new program embraces quality management on the front end as a critical differentiator for companies committed to delivering whole house solutions to energy efficiency, safety and comfort problems in the home. Rather than post-job quality assurance, the new designation is for companies that commit to quality processes at the core of their operations. From our experience working with hundreds of companies in this industry, we can definitely attest that those who understand quality, and translate that into repeatable processes, are the most successful ones in this business. Strong process translates to higher profitability, happier employees and more satisfied customers. In this new era of third party reviews, in which your company's reputation is fundamentally in the hands of your past customers, quality is the best approach to guaranteeing, and amplifying, positive word of mouth.
Differentiating Your Company
BPI is working hard to develop consumer awareness of its own brand, and has invested significantly in online advertising to accomplish this goal. We're supporting this effort and I can assure you that we're making good progress on elevating consumer awareness of what it means to understand and commit to the 'house as a system' approach to residential contracting. Consumers are more educated than ever, and all the data shows that they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they select contractors–relying on a combination of credentials and independent reviews to vet perspective companies. We've written in the past about how old school, generic certifications like the Better Business Bureau are coming under scrutiny, and about growing consumer suspicion of advertising driven models like Yelp and Angie's List. As a result, it is our view that more meaningful certifications that speak to real capabilities and processes are the wave of the future.
After All, We're...Contractors
While companies that embrace home performance are a different breed, the reality is we're still contractors. And that means we have to overcome a higher level of general consumer skepticism than many other businesses. Gallup's annual poll of the honesty and ethics of various professions rates "building contractors" above Congress and Car Salespeople, but not by much. Programs like BPI GoldStar Contractor are an excellent way to demonstrate that you are different and trustworthy.
The Value of Trust Symbols
Trust Symbols–signs or badges that you can display on your website and marketing materials–are proven to increase lead conversions. This is well known and documented in eCommerce, and through A/B testing we're conducting for home performance contractors, we're also seeing a meaningful lift in conversion rates from the prominent use of trust symbols. What is important about this is that consumers don't have to know exactly what the symbol or certification actually means. (Do you know the difference between Verisign or Truste?) The key point is that the presence of a symbol like BPI GoldStar Contractor (which is a very nice design upgrade by the way) is likely to have a positive impact on your lead conversion rates.
- The BPI GoldStar Contractor Program offers a new way to emphasize quality in your business.
- BPI is investing in building consumer awareness of their certifications.
- As a trust symbol alone, the GoldStar designation will probably produce enough conversion "lift" to justify the cost.
Next Steps for Home Performance Contractors
- If you are already an Accredited Contractor, jump on the opportunity to update your website and collateral with the new logos.
- Don't hesitate to trumpet your GoldStar Contractor designation, as some smart contractors are already doing.
- If you are not a past Accredited Contractor, you should seriously consider joining the new program. Its value to your business in training, credibility and commitment to quality are well worth it.