Canadian Contractor

TrustedPros’ data peeks into the minds of the consumer

Who is the most trusted? Who is the least? How did they get that way?

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November 23, 2017 by John Bleasby

One of Canada’s leading peer review platforms, TrustedPros, has released a report based on data collected over 13 years from their Canadian website, indicating how Canadian skilled professionals rank on average in terms of business transparency, trustworthiness, and client ratings. It’s a compilation covering 36 skilled trades categories from across the country.

It’s an incredibly comprehensive breakdown by trade and by province.  The information gained from reviewing the findings could be a huge help to contractors  of all types and sizes who want to upgrade what TrustedPros calls ‘trustworthiness’ in the eyes of consumers. (*See note at bottom regarding the term ‘trustworthiness.’)

The study considers 17 business transparency and honesty credentials such as insurance, trade credentials, license information, supplier and employee complaints, and shady review activity based on what clients have said in written reviews using six performance indicators. Together, these form a company’s TrustScore Rating (see graphic),

graphic: TrustedPros

What are the most popular renovations in Canada?
Some data reveals findings that may guide contractors in their business pursuits. For example, what are the most popular home renovations in Canada, and how do they differ across the country? Interestingly, basement renovations and bathroom renovations top the list. But perhaps more importantly, the study might help contractors learn how TrustedPros computes their data and in turn helps directs consumers.

Source: TrustedPros

Who is trustworthy and who is not?
Trusted Pros suggests, “home improvement pros who complete structural and detail-oriented home improvement projects have sound TrustScore ratings.” Getting more specific, these professionals include garage builders, deck construction companies, foundation contractors, window and door installers, fence construction companies, flooring contractors and tiling contractors.” These findings also suggest impressive Client Rating scores, which according to TrustedPros means those companies likely have transparent and honest business practices that solidify their reputations.

Who are the lowest rated home service professions? Drilling down into the data, the study suggests moving companies and paving companies, with masons, roofers and concrete specialists down the list also. The highest? Insulation contractors and ceiling contractors.

Finding meaning in the data
But what does this really mean, and how can any of the surveyed professional services improve their standings? The challenge for home improvement contractors is that more comprehensive projects have lengthy client contact periods, increased budgets and perhaps tighter timelines. In other words, there may more on the line in the minds of consumers and more opportunities for things to go wrong and for disagreements to occur.

On the other hand, TrustedPros points out that some of the lowest ranking service providers like HVAC contractors, electricians and water heater companies have relatively short consumer contact that can result in lower ratings too. “These professionals preform short yet expensive service calls. Homeowners may associate time with money and feel cheated after an expensive service call. So, it can be considered an achievement when these service professionals receive high Client Ratings.” In other words, some services simply fall victim to the nature of the work itself, thus presenting challenges of a different nature.

Learning how the TrustedPro system works is an important insight
Factors contractors should consider when developing their client contact processes and the way they go about their work on site might be impacted by how they would be categorized by TrustedPros. Essentially, the company divides the industry into two parts: Home Service and Home Improvement.

High Client Ratings and TrustScores may be harder for one group to achieve than the other, a concession TrustedPros is willing to make. They explain, for example, that it may be more difficult for Home Improvement Contractors to acquire high client reviews in comparison to Home Service Professionals. The former tend to complete more difficult or complex projects in comparison to Home Service Professionals who tend to complete smaller projects. This allows them to have higher client volume and more client reviews, and therefore a larger sample size for their Client Rating scores.

How contractors can learn from this study
It’s important to note that the TrustedPros study is aimed at educating consumers. Therefore, contractors who review the data hoping to learn more about rating improvement will have to take the time required to modify their perspectives in order to find what they need to know about the decision-making processes of the consumer.

Overall, however, the industry must recognize that TrustedPros suggests consumers look at three distinct areas when selecting service or home improvement contractor: Client rating, Questionable Reviews, and TrustScores.

Any opportunity to study the mind of the consumer can be a valuable lesson for company owners and operators in this industry. What’s more, this TrustedPros study is a chance to see how a leading rating system works, and therefore, how one might in turn be able to improve your company’s product and service with the goal of gaining more trust in the marketplace through their platform.

*The use of the terms such as “trustworthy”, “least trustworthy” and “untrustworthy” are solely based on TrustedPros’ Trustscore™. The Trustscore is a numerical score calculated using various factors relating to a contractor, including ratings and reviews posted by customers and suppliers, transparency in terms of disclosure by the contractor of information relating to its business as well as other business related information. A low Trustscore does not mean that a contractor is dishonest or duplicitous but rather means that, based on the objective data available to us, such contractor does not have an established track record of providing quality services or does not meet the criteria that we believe, in our subjective opinion, are associated with top-tier contractors.

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