Review: Craig, Meet Angie!

As in, Angie’s List — a premier contractor review site. Okay, so it’s not really like Craigslist, but it provides the same kind of service — looking for someone who can work for you — ¬†only with some handy extras.

Not all is peachy keen, though, with this snazzy site from one Angie Hicks, resident of Columbus, Ohio. There are some limits:

Starting With the Basics

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Angie’s List is essentially a search service. In helping you find any doctor, lawyer, plumber, roofer, any sort of repair man, it provides you detailed reviews on any given contractor that shows up on your search.

The service doesn’t stop there, though — there’s a call center, a published magazine, and in essence super-accurate search results. (Why? We’ll get to that.)

Of course, it seems that I’m preaching to the wrong crowd here. This is about small businesses and how they can benefit from this service….

Angie, Meet the Entrepreneur

Here’s the major advantage of being listed on this site: you, the business owner, don’t have to do anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Negatory. That is, you don’t have to do anything to sign up!

Rather, the only thing you have to do is do your job like normal.

You have to understand that Angie’s List operates specifically on reviews. Consumers log in to Angie’s List, write up a review on some business, and that review actually serves as one of the many possible searches helmed by some other consumer on planet Earth. Makes it plain and simple, doesn’t it?

Slight Problem, Though….

While it’s quite handy to have your service listed on Angie’s List due to the fact that you literally don’t have to sign up, know this: your customers do. And it’s not free.

Yes, potential customers absolutely have to pay either an annual fee, or a membership fee, and in certain cases that fee is non-refundable. SO…. That’s a baddie for your prospects.

In addition, keep in mind that this online service hosts searches for a certain kind of ‘entrepreneur.’ If you’re already engrossed in the wonderful writing of this Angie’s List, take a quick break to scan up in this article under the rating for an idea of the kind of workers they cater to in searches. Read them again.

Here’s the problem: that’s not the whole gamut of entrepreneurship.

Yes, that’s a nice healthy chunk of it. But there’s a ton more out there — there’s models, actors, pickers, artists, dancers, writers, editors. Probably even more than that. Who knows.

That’s the thing about entrepreneurship: it’s a broad field. If you can go at it on your own, whatever it is you choose to do, it fits the case. The problem with Angie’s List is it doesn’t have enough storage space for all the cases! (Heavy metaphor, I know)

Money Talks, People Walk

This is a staggering truth, though: Angie’s List is extremely popular! The service has been featured in the news several times already. While there are fees, the fact that those fees go to a publication and a call center service provide excellent customer satisfaction in return.

In other words, a customer definitely gets what he or she pays for.

When you think about, choosing the right contractor is crucial. Countless times people have been screwed by the shady worker without the correct credentials, and don’t get me started on how important it is to choose the right doctor for your needs.

So when you think about it, a customer’s going to want an easy service to find the very best in any contractor field and will pay some good money for it. Not to mention any customer doesn’t have to keep paying that monthly or annual fee once that customer has found someone suitable for their needs.

So How Does a Business Utilize Angie’s List?

Easy. Encourage customers to write reviews for you on it. Help spread the word. It’s word-of-mouth done with a few Tic Tacs thrown in. Fresh breath.

It couldn’t hurt, especially when that’s all you have to do — is ask for a customer’s review.

Just make sure you do a good job at what you do, though! Or it’ll end up being a bad review. And you don’t want that. Especially if good ol’ Craigslist does the review for you! Bad, Craig. Bad.

Related Keywords: online marketing, customer retention, business strategy