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-   -   Businesses writing reviews on customers? (http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72509)

scott1281982 7th March 2016 07:40 AM

Businesses writing reviews on customers?
 
I was wondering what business owners thought about a site where businesses can write reviews on customers and search for reviews on customers. Kind of like a "reverse Angie's list". Take a look at ContractorsCustomers.com and see what you think. You can post good reviews to not so good reviews on past customers and search for reviews on potential new customers. Seems like it is done very professionally and would certainly be valuable information to be able to access?

DantheMan 7th March 2016 01:52 PM

It's great! Like the BBB for consumers.
So, who pays for it?
Oops, maybe not such a great idea.

What problem are you trying solve and for who?
What other services address this problem?
What are you currently doing to ease this pain?
How much of the problem will this solve? All, a little, 99%?

Your link is likely a test page. Testing for these types of answers.
I don't see it working (in the current state), maybe after some changes here and there. Then again, I didn't think Uber was a good idea.

DantheMan 7th March 2016 02:51 PM

That was a quick reply. I needed some time to think of a way to relate it to something.
Take the "sharing economy" and let's say power tool rentals. More specifically a cordless drill.

The problem: People spend money ($30 ?) on drills and hardly ever use them (1-2 times a year?).
The solution: Lease a drill for a few bucks. You save and I earn money. Win-win right?
Th reality: No one needs a drill, they need a hole. The drill (and bit) is the solution. How important is the hole?
Cost: it cost more to go get (rent) and return the drill than it would to buy one. Did I mention drill bits?
Alternatives: there's more than one way to make a hole in something (a nail, a bullet, an ice pick, etc.)

And last because it's the most important question you need to answer (by asking people): Who cares enough to pay for it and how much are they willing to pay?

scott1281982 8th March 2016 06:37 AM

At this time it is free of charge, but at some point is would be a fee for membership. The idea is basically what you have said a BBB for business owners to find information on customers. Many times business owners enter into a business relationship blind. This person might be a good customer who is fair and reasonable to work with and knowing that up front would provide the business owner with a little peace of mind. On the other end of the spectrum if you saw a customer who the Roofer would not work for again and the HVAC contractor didn't get paid in full you might think twice about starting a job with that person. There are lots of good customers out there and that would be of value to know that ahead of time. Just like there are a few not so good customers out there and avoiding a few (or even one) of those is certainly valuable. There is nothing worse than a mismatch between your services and a customer who doesn't appreciate what you have to offer. Customers have asked businesses to write good reviews on them so they can attract other good businesses to work with. End users are often saying how they can't find good businesses to work with. Well, a businesses would certainly be eager to work with someone who has good reviews.

DantheMan 8th March 2016 06:56 PM

I'm not trying to disprove this platform.
I'm a practical thinker who likes to understand as much as possible before making decisions. For creative thinkers, I'm sometimes considered a negative force. I like to avoid costly problems by identifying them early on.

Scenario:
I get a couple of small jobs done around the house. I get some good reviews, and now I'm a more valuable customer. I expect a discount or something to turn this value into reality. I get a big job, at a good price, by a contractor with 5 star reviews. But I'm not happy with his work. I fire him, pay for what he's done and we give each other bad reviews. I hire someone else from the site. This guy and I have a good experience, give each other good reviews. What was accomplished with the reviews?

Honestly, it sounds like you had a bad experience and now your trying to avoid ever having another. You only want the best customers possible.
Focusing on your best customers is a better solution. Let them refer you to their friends. Learn to solve problems. Learn to identify what's expected in a contract agreement. If the customer wants more or changes their mind, it changes the cost. If your good at what you do, your peers (other contractors will recommend you. Build a network of contractors you know and trust and look out for each other. You might end up having a blacklist of problem customers that you share privately. You might (depending how evil you are) send bad customers to your unfriendly competition. But I personally don't see much value in my name (as a consumer) being thrown out into the public every time I purchase a service. I might get mad if I got a bad review that was undeserving, and you won't have a good day if you made me mad at no fault of my own.

In the end, what are trying to accomplish? Is it realistic? If you find evidence that people really want this and are willing to pay for it, dig deeper. If not, stop digging.

scott1281982 9th March 2016 07:31 AM

All good points. I guess it is just like Home Advisor or Angie's list. I believe people now understand a business may have a couple bad reviews for reasons you mentioned but if the large majority are positive it far out ways the negative. So a B2B website where businesses review customers is basically the opposite of a Home Advisor, Angie's List etc. Like most products or services you can always find a downside but the upside seems to be large for the business owners. Even a small increase in good customers and a small decrease in avoiding a poorly matched customer can make a large difference in your bottom line and your enjoyment. Kind of like the teacher with a class of thirty children and 28 are great and two are difficult and the teacher has a LONG school year that year.


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