Commercial Break: Finding a Repair Person
We interrupt this video blog for a mini-rant on finding service professionals.
Something in our drip system of our landscaping broke. When the irrigation is on, the plant beds overflow.
My first call went to the installer. But nine years have elapsed and he is no longer in business.
As a consumer, my second call went to a friend for a recommended repair person. She provided two contacts: the first said he doesn’t do outside work when it’s still in the 100s and the second had a convoluted automated answering system that eventually asked me to leave a message. I didn’t. I wanted to speak to someone right now.
So then I went to Google and did a search: Chandler AZ landscaping repairs.
The first replies seemed to be all-purpose landscaping companies.
The third one had a familiar name “Ocotillo Landscaping” that I recognized as local. But when I called the local number, I got a national work distributor: Service Magic.
The woman on the phone had trouble understanding my needs, but eventually she stated that her business was a referral service and I would be contacted by phone or email by two local repair firms. The experience lasted three minutes or so and I had to provide my address and email. Within moments I received an email from Service Magic with two listed firms and their phone numbers.
But because I wasn’t expecting the contacts to be listed, I did another Google search, this one adding the words “drip repair.”
The third listing was again Ocotillo Landscaping with the national call center.
The fourth listing was Sprinkler Advisor of Tempe. The description included the words “drip repairs.”
The website was clean. The page I was looking at had a dozen or so customer comments from Chandler.
Most importantly, it had a contact name – Mark – and a cell phone number.
I called the number, we discussed the problem, he provided his hourly rate, and we agreed that he would come by Tuesday morning.
- I didn’t go to the Yellow Pages.
- I didn’t go to a newspaper because I don’t get one.
- I didn’t go to mobile because I was at home and had access to a computer.
- I didn’t get past an automated system with numbers to push for choices.
- A local firm with a local number that pushed me to a national call center was annoying.
- A website with a name and cell number – and a real person – was my preferred interaction.
I will need to ask Mark about his SEO strategy. The link I clicked on in the initial search is not his home page. That is here. But on that page are links to various East Valley communities, each with the host of local recommendations. (The other irony was that Sprinkler Advisor is actually in Mesa, not Tempe.)
A final thought:
- Will we get to a time where I will do a “local search” and, based on my IP, get only repair firms close to me?
UPDATE: By Tuesday morning, the drip leak had been repaired by Mark Perkins of Sprinkler Advisor.
An amiable guy in an outback hat, he knew of Service Magic and said he uses them during slow periods, when he is willing to pay the $10 referral fee.
He credited Michael Solcavetta at CustomBusinessMarketing.com for creating his valued web presence. It was a one-shot, hourly service but the firm is available if new challenges arise.