If you’re in the market for a new battery, you’ve probably read up on reasons why lithium is a better buy than lead acid. Equally important as the battery itself: the provider that services you. The provider you choose makes or breaks your energy experience. That’s because a strong provider doesn’t just move product. It takes the time and commits the resources necessary to make an intelligent product recommendation and service you long after initial contact.
When you’re looking at different lithium battery providers but you aren’t sure how to find a partner, ask these 5 questions and get the insight you need.
1) Do You Service My Area Frequently?
First, ensure the provider services your area frequently and makes rapid service calls and deliveries. While lithium batteries are very safe and require little or no maintenance, in the event that you need on-site assistance, the provider should be able to arrive within a reasonable timeframe. This is especially critical if application downtime becomes a severe impediment (think electric vehicle). Ideally, your battery provider should service your area at least once a week, meaning you won’t have to wait more than a few days to get up and running again.
2) What’s Your Warranty Policy?
As an individual or business, you likely have specific battery usage and life span needs. A good provider offers a comprehensive warranty program that should cover you in most circumstances. However, don’t hesitate to ask tough questions and read fine print. Some warranties appear comprehensive but don’t last, or endure but don’t really provide. Look for a six-year guarantee minimum, with more time offered under certain usage conditions.
3) What’s Your Product Availability Like?
In an emergency, you may want to pick up a battery right at the provider’s warehouse. Accordingly, make sure your provider stocks your battery nearby in case you need to make a quick replacement. If your provider is designing and delivering a custom battery solution, find out which core components are stocked in your area.
4) Is This Solution An Investment?
Lithium batteries are more costly than lead acid varieties. However, since they feature a longer life span, lower maintenance, high safety profile and (for most applications) increased performance, they typically represent a worthwhile investment.
Your provider should be able to advise you on how to get more from your lithium battery and optimize its life span, factoring in knowledge of your application, specific usage and the battery itself. If your provider hands over a battery without deeper consideration for how it helps achieve your goals, this is a red flag.
5) What Is Your Service Philosophy?
A good provider delivers your battery on time and for the right price. A stellar provider delivers quality service before, during and after your purchase. As you talk to providers, determine who makes lasting service a top priority by asking for referrals and testimonials relevant to your application needs. The work a provider does is reflected in its reputation.
If a battery provider is courting you and can’t clearly answer any of the above questions, it’s probably not the match you’re looking for. A skilled, experienced provider is able to answer every question clearly, in detail and provide real-world examples. Remember, your new lithium provider is more than a seller. It’s a partner.