Undoubtedly, there’s been a fair bit of heat and criticism about review/rating and introduction services that purportedly link clients (primarily residential) with trade service providers. And there’s no love lost between contractors and third party verification services, as we’ve reported in our Canadian publications.
However, I think Jiffyondemand.com avoids some of the nastiest aspects of client-stealing or fee grabbing by combining immediacy and pre-set pricing (at industry standard rates) — while delivering something that purchasers really can appreciate: Immediate service.
In the concept, contractors and service providers are prequalified based on insurance, licensing and client reviews. Consumers, meanwhile use their mobile application or the Jiffy website to request the relevant service, “in a jiffy” — like within a few hours.
The service then sends a broadcast note to contractors who can either ignore the requests (if they are busy) or say “yes” if they have a slot they are ready to fill on short notice. The appointment is confirmed, the work completed, and then the contractor collects the pre-arranged market rate fee by credit card immediately.
As a rule, I don’t think much of services that become intermediaries between contractors and clients, especially the online variants. When you subsume your own marketing and relationship-building initiatives to a third-party, you lose control of one of the most essential aspects of your business: Your capacity to develop relationships and build your own business.
Yet, the concept of having a fill-in service (with pricing that may not represent rush premium rates, but still would reasonably compensate you for your time) seems to make a lot of sense to me; especially since you would only accept the call if you really had the extra time to fill the last-minute order.
It’s an interesting idea. I welcome your feedback on it.