How SuperGuarantees and Angie’s List Are Changing How Consumers Can Make “Perfect” Choices


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At its core, Perfect Service is based on delighting customers through guaranteed offerings. These customers will then stay with you, buy more from you, and help attract others to you. A formula for success and growth.

One of the most important elements for establishing a “Perfect Service” program is to establish and boldly promote a “Perfect Guarantee.” This one act sends a message to potential customers, as well as current clients, that your company is serious about providing satisfaction.

Another element is for your customers to promote their happiness with your services. Companies need to get creative in how they get the word out.

I am seeing a lot of work being done in both of these areas, and while I believe they are not fully developed, the trend is a good one:

SuperGuarantee Designation

Consider the Phone Directory….in recent years, these businesses have been a major victim of technology advancements with online and mobile data replacing the hefty phone book. When I need a phone number, I no longer even think about using the book or even the Phone Directory’s website. I can go direct to the provider’s website or query my search engine for a listing of providers. If most people this this way, why would businesses advertise in Phone Directories any more?

Lately, I have begun seeing advertisements from the Yellow Pages about a new program called the “SuperGuarantee.” In short, if a consumer registers with the SuperGuarantee service and selects a service provider from the Yellow Pages listings that has a “SuperGuarantee Shield” designation, the work is guaranteed. If work is not completed satisfactorily, the service will mediate the conflict and, if still not satisfied, will pay the consumer $500 for the trouble. (Obviously lots of terms and conditions apply, but the concept is clear.)

For businesses, the SuperGuarantee “Shield” is given to companies who meet advertisement criteria of the Yellow Pages. There is no review of services, no adhering to specific business practices, etc. You pay for the advertisement, and you get the Shield at no extra charge. The Shield means that the SuperGuarantee company will guarantee the work, not the service company.

Collecting Service Reviews

Another service that is also growing is one called “Angie’s List,” where members can access “thousands of unbiased reports and reviews abouth service companies in your area.” Again, the concept is simple: consumers report their experiences and members can review these experiences before buying a service. Should there be a problem with the service, Angie’s List members also have access to a “conflict resolution team” that will try to settle the dispute.

The only way for a company to be listed is to have performed a service, and have that service experience reported and rated by a member. Companies, however, are permitted to advertise discounts to members, but only if they have an A or B rating.

While there are no guarantees offered, the collection of unbiased reports assist consumers in making the right choices.

My View

When selecting service providers, consumers are constantly looking for ways to sift through all of the information available to pick the right provider. Horror stories abound about the impact of bad decisions.

Both the Yellow Pages SuperGuarantee and the unbiased reporting from
Angie’s List attempt to help the consumer with this selection. Both are unique
in their approach, trying to add value to what is perceived as a high risk

SuperGuarantee spotlights service providers with its “Shield,” offers provider conflict resolution services, and offers a financial guarantee if the experience fails. But service providers get listed if they advertise in the directory, not if they provide premier service–this lack of screening is a problem.

Angie’s List delivers user-generated reviews on service providers, offers provider conflict resolution services, and has some membership benefits like discounts to services reviewed. But the consumer is powerless should the provider not perform, other than the power of a bad review in Angie’s List. I am not sure this is enough of a deterrent.

I believe, however, that both services are on the right track. Consumers need help to wade through the potential providers of service, and both get partially the way there. Perhaps, each company can take their service a step further:

  • SuperGuarantee needs to establish a filtering mechanism so that only companies that provide excellent service be permitted to advertise a Shield. The right to advertise the Shield is a premium and should be earned.
  • Angie’s List should consider awarding its top companies its own version of the “Shield” to designate top providers according to its members. Then perhaps if members select companies with the “Angie Shield,” Angie’s List will guarantee or insure satisfaction with the work. That would make the user feedback a meaningful metric rather than just anecdotes.

I like the number of ways this area is evolving. The spotlight needs to shine brightly on companies providing top service. Keep going!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Myers
Benefits Services Consulting
For more than 2 years, Chris Myers has designed and managed industry leading Employee Benefits service organizations. His passionate and innovative approach to service is widely recognized in the benefits field. His "Perfect Service" approach was created in 21 and within two years improved his company's satisfaction ratings to the top of the industry.


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