22 May 2019

Three Easy Steps to Find a Reliable Service Provider

How strong is your “adulting” game? If you’re like most women, you might still struggle with certain aspects of running a household, raising a family — and remaining calm, cool, and collected all at the same time! It isn’t easy to juggle the demands of parenting, working either part- or full-time, keeping your relationship healthy, and devoting the occasional hour to self care.

One of the least fun aspects of being a grown-up is having to deal with things like plumbing problems, HVAC maintenance, or pest control. However, they are part and parcel of adulthood. You can at least make things a little easier on yourself by reading our quick guide to finding a reliable service provider!

Get Recommendations from Friends 
The best way to find a provider of just about any service — whether it’s related to home maintenance or on a more personal scale, like a stylist or massage therapist — is to ask your friends and family. After all, you trust their opinion, and they won’t steer you wrong.

If you work outside the home, your coworkers are another good resource. And if you are looking for someone to perform tasks around your home, like landscaping or painting, consider asking your neighbors. They might have the scoop on local providers.

“We get most of our business through word-of-mouth advertising, as old fashioned as that may seem,” explains Shenae Barnes of Fix-It Right Plumbing in Melbourne. “So we’re tickled pink when a satisfied customer tells their friends about us.”

These folks can tell you which companies or individuals they’ve hired in the past and give you an idea of the costs or fees. They can also tell you if there are any particular providers to avoid like the plague — and sometimes that’s more valuable information than a glowing review for someone good!

Turn to the Internet 
Once you have gathered a few names, you’ll probably fire up your laptop or smartphone to check these providers out online. In addition to visiting their website and/or social media profiles, head over to review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google to read others customers’ or clients’ reviews.

Are online reviews really reliable? Experts say that they can be — but also that they should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. Fake reviews are still fairly commonplace. And it’s possible for the business owner to delete negative reviews. Forewarned is forearmed, however, and when you know what to look for, it’s not hard to suss out which reviews are for-real and which are as fake as a Real Housewife’s breasts.

Even more important than the reviews themselves, according to savvy shoppers, are the responses to those reviews from the company in question. You can tell a lot about a business from its customer service, especially when tht customer service is front and center in a very public forum. Any responses should always address reviewers with respect and offer to rectify any problems. They should never be argumentative, point fingers at or blame the customer, or otherwise air their dirty laundry.

Contacting the Company Directly 
Checking out the online reviews will likely help you narrow down the list of choices. Now it’s time to contact them directly and see for yourself how professional they are.

If you use an online contact form to get in touch, they should get back to you quickly — within 24 hours. The same goes for emailing and leaving a voice message. If you call them and get connected to a rep immediately, that person should be considerate, polite, professional, and helpful.

In the event that you get a rude or less-than-helpful response, it’s perfectly OK to cross that company off your list and move on. Of course, you may wish to give them a second chance — everyone has an off day — but the service provider’s communication skills should reflect the pride they take in their work.

Throughout the experience, from first contact to completion of the job, you deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. That’s just good business!

Final Thoughts 
When you find a good mechanic, plumber, landscaper, roofer, HVAC tech, or any other type of service provider, hang on to them! They are worth their weight in gold, and who knows, maybe one day soon someone will ask you for a recommendation!

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