I recently saw a commercial for SuperPages SuperGuarantee program, and I thought to myself, “Wow, perhaps SuperPages is finally doing something interesting with the Internet.” After seeing the commercial below, I took my Internet thinking and considered that they were doing something like Angie’s List, except putting the content out in the open.
Nope. Just another advertising program. SuperGuarantee is for sale.
So here is what I can figure out. A business registers themselves (by purchasing advertising with an upgraded package) with SuperPages.com. A consumer goes to SuperPages.com, finds a business, and registers a job in advance with SuperPages.com. If there is a problem with the business (that is a customer of SuperPages.com) and SuperPages.com cannot help resolve it, they will reimburse you up to $500.
SuperPages.com is protecting their customers, that is, businesses that advertise with them. It has nothing to do with being “super” like the yellow capes suggest.
Reading through the FAQ on the SuperGuarantee website, we find this wonderful tidbit:
Q: Are you endorsing or recommending the service providers who participate in the SuperGuarantee® Program?
A: No. We do not endorse or recommend any service provider.
Now that is peace of mind.
Of course, they would have never designed a program that truly benefits the consumers. That would have placed their customers at risk. So instead of allowing the community to act publicly and make recommendations based on our social connections, the SuperGuarantee is actually just a fancy graphic on a sponsored listing.
Also, the $500 limit on the claim compared with the actual process required to get the $500 probably isn’t worth your time.
If I was the consultant for this project, I would have recommended that they build something like Yelp, but targeting the residential contractor market. Let the contractors create listings in the directory for free, but you can upsell them on premium services and featured listings. Create a “basic” paid package (really cheap, like $10/month) that gives them tools for statistics and so they can follow-up with their customers to ask for reviews. Like LinkedIn, they can choose whether to show the customer testimonial on their page. The SuperGuarantee is something that they need their customers blessing to “earn” – the more positive reviews they get, the more “super” they deserve.
I would also let customers add the businesses to the directory, although require some approval process before things actually appear. The approval process might look a lot like a sales lead. It would contain the business name, contact information and type of business. SuperPages could then simply contact the company to make sure that the listing is accurate and offer basic and premium upgrades to the listing. If the customer had submitted a positive review, it will be waiting and ready for when the official listing goes live.
Now both the customers and the contractors have incentive to help in the broadcasting of the “SuperGuarantee” concept. Customers will naturally talk about positive experiences, but retain the voice to have negative experiences “heard” by the community. Contractors that do a good job will see the SuperPages listing as a positive marketing asset. If a contractor is really bad, SuperPages can choose to give them the boot.
SuperPages would then have an asset that contains much better data about current and potential customers, which is valuable to the consumer as well.