20 years’ worth of lessons

May marks the 20th anniversary of Angie’s List. In the past 20 years, we’ve learned a thing or two. Here’s our top 10 favorites to share:

  1. If a contractor’s service sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ridiculously low prices or promises of super speedy time tables often raise a red flag to customers. So make sure you’re offering a fair price for your service and products. If you’re not sure what a fair price would be for your area, contact an Angie’s List eCommerce representative today.

  2. Research, research, research. Before starting any home improvement project, customers check Angie’s List to scope out multiple service providers and read what others had to say about their experiences with specific businesses. It’s unlikely for any customer to start a major home improvement project without having multiple quotes to consider.

  3. Credentials matter. Speaking of research, it might be a good time to check to see if your Business Center profile is updated with the most accurate information about your business. Not only do customers consider your business’ reviews, but they also look to see if you’re properly licensed and insured for the task at hand.

  4. Evolution of customers. There used to be a time when a customer would open a phone book, pick the first service provider on the page and call to schedule an appointment for repairs. Now, more and more customers seem to always be on the go, or in need of a convenient way to hire plumbers, contractors and more. For those who don’t have time to research, they choose to shop for local offers on Angie’s List or trust SnapFix to connect to a highly rated business capable of fixing any homeowner nightmare.  

  5. It’s in the fine print. Go over any contracts with your customer. If the customer wants to amend it in any way, make sure it is discussed in person and always review any changes made.

  6. Define a payment schedule. Don’t expect payment in full until the work is done to the customer’s satisfaction. Discuss a schedule, such as paying a third when work begins, a third halfway through and the rest at completion.

  7. Encourage reviews. Feedback is important for any business (big or small). How else would you gauge customer satisfaction if you didn’t ask? Take the time to talk to customers after the job is done to see how you met their expectations. You can always use the Angie’s List review tools to help gather feedback as well.

  8. Meet your mover. Provide customers your business’ registration number and/or motor carrier number so they can verify your licensing on ProtectYourMove.org. It’s just another way to show you take your business and responsibilities to your customers seriously.

  9. Proof of work. When discussing a project with your customer, take a few “before” photos to document the work needed. Then, when the work is completed, take a few “after” photos as well. Not only does this document the work you’ve done, but these photos can also be uploaded to your portfolio on the Business Center, business website or social media sites to show off your skills.

  10. One of our biggest initiatives is lead paint safety. The EPA outlawed lead paint in 1978, but it still lingers. Precautions are needed when renovating older homes, not just for the homeowner but the service provider as well. Lead paint poses a health hazard and specific steps need to be followed for proper disposal. Make sure your business is lead-certified by applying for or updating your certification. You can find more details on the EPA website.