Guide to Finding Quality Service Businesses Online

Customers round the world use different methods to find service businesses like plumbers, builders, carpenters, home cleaners etc. Traditionally, people have found businesses and called them directly based on a newspaper advert in the classified section, or a Yellow Pages ad.

But now things are different, because of the internet. There are lots and lots of online directory services that make it easy for customers to find businesses by name, location or type of business.

But how do you know that these businesses are actually real businesses? It's easy to create a listing in an online directory these days. Plus, it's free, and anyone can do it. This means that there is a high likelihood of fraud and opportunistic businesses trying to make a bit of extra money on the side - with little or no experience, no licences and no insurance.

There are no checks and balances in place to make sure that the directory listing is a legitimate, quality business and when you call, you have no idea whether the business is going to do what they say they're going to do - and no recourse to do anything about it if they don't!

The best idea for finding service businesses online is to use a directory site that also displays reviews from previous customers. Although there is also often a high level of fraud in these comments, a good volume of positive reviews can indicate a certain level of quality.

To go one step further, there are also directories that provide a minimum level of quality from their businesses before they will display a listing in their directory. One example is a directory that shows you the businesses you've searched for in a prioritised way - the best businesses at the top, everyone's lowest rated businesses at the bottom. Plus, there is at least one directory that checks Australian Business numbers for validity, and requires both licences and public liability insurance before displaying a company on their directory.

Directories or marketplaces with two things are the way of the future - quality reviews from past customers, and legitimacy checks like ABN, licenses and insurance.

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