Telephone-Based Online System Connects Homeowners With Home-Improvement Contractors

Entrepreneur Troy Selvog saw a problem and set out to fix it by launching Customer2Contractor, a telephone-based online system that connects homeowners with home-improvement contractors. Of the dozens of systems and services available online that purport to help homeowners find contractors or those that help contractors find leads for new projects, virtually all were e-mail-based and prone to lost or misinterpreted communication.

“It seemed to me that what used to work a long time ago, coupled with a bit of new technology, would be the perfect answer,” Selvig explained.

After a few months of intense code writing by telephone technology experts, coupled with a new website, Customer2Contractor.com was born. The website provides entry into a system that provides a way for homeowners to advertise their needs for contractors, and for local contractors to find projects in their areas of expertise.

Telephone-Based Online System Connects Homeowners With Home-Improvement Contractors

“The concept is simple. Think of how many e-mails you get in a day,” Selvig said. “Lots of people are getting hundreds and hundreds of e-mails every day, so many in fact that often the ones they really want to read are trashed right along with the junk e-mail. The average person doesn’t have the time to painstakingly filter through the garbage to find all the gold. That’s one big reason Customer2Contractor.com uses a voice system.”

But escaping the avalanche of incoming e-mails is only one of the reasons a voice-based system makes sense, according to Selvig. The other is a misinterpretation. If missing the e-mail altogether is not a big enough problem, add to that the possibility of not fully understanding the project as described in an e-mail, he said. Contractors and homeowners will often elect not to do business with each other when the primary problem is that one or both of the parties are unable to properly explain things in writing.

“You can’t build relationships by e-mail,” Selvig said. “When a homeowner is looking for a contractor to do a job, developing the relationship is critical to getting the job, and ensuring an outcome that will please the homeowner and have the potential for referrals or repeat projects for the contractor.”

Homeowners can leave a message at Customer2Contractor.com about their project and receive return phone calls from interested contractors. To keep leads fresh and so homeowners are not deluged with phone calls, only three contractors are allowed to respond to project postings. Once a project receives three responses, it’s removed from the system.

“One of the big complaints from contractors is that most lead/referral systems sell their leads to dozens of contractors,” Selvig said. “That means homeowners are buried with e-mails from contractors, and contractors are sharing leads with so many of their competitors that it becomes discouraging to even follow up. Our system solves those problems along with all of the communications-related issues. It’s a smooth process for both homeowner and contractor.”

Customer2Contractor.com is in its launch period through the next several weeks. Contractors who join the system during the promotional launch period will receive unlimited leads free while the launch period lasts. At the end of the launch, contractors will be charged a small, monthly fee for as many leads as they choose. The service is free to homeowners.