Our history begins with our mission. From the very beginning, these basic, but important words describe what we have set out to provide for both the consumers in our community, as well as the contractors / service providers in our network.
Quality Trust Safety Ease
What inspired this business?
From the time I was a little girl, I remember often hearing my dad say as he would shake his head, "There's always something!" Sometimes he would say this out loud, and sometimes it would just be under his breath. He told me that as I get older, I would understand what he meant. He was right! As I got older, I began to comprehend the realities of owning a home and cars, raising a family, and taking care of all that goes along with those responsibilities. There IS definitely always something!
Fast forward quite a few years, in the year 2000, I took a turn to be in charge of my neighborhood's HOA. Recall the timing. This was pre-social media, and pre-smart phones. While I was helping, a few neighbors asked me if I had any ideas of who cleaned windows or carpeting in the neighborhood. Inquiries about other services came up, as well.
After asking around I was able to share some suggestions which I remember being way more appreciated than I ever guessed they would have. The coolest part was that the "legwork" was done for those who had inquired, making the discoveries of reputable companies so easy! Little did I know at the time, that maybe I was on to something.
Around the same time, other known resources homeowners had access to were Angie's List and ServiceMagic (known today as HomeAdvisor). Room for another? Why not? Maybe something local and homegrown? So, I set out to test the waters locally.
Diana Herzan, Founder, The Service Guide
My own epic fails at hiring the right contractors - what better inspiration ... to find a better way!
It is easy to remember, although I would like to forget, a few of my own epic failures at hiring the right contractors, myself. The two most famous in our house were the wallpaper guy who put the wallpaper on the wall upside down. To correct his error, he put up the second round over the first. Not the best idea. Finally, a third round of paper later, he removed both previous layers and installed it the right way. Who hired this person? It was me.The second most memorable fail was a painter I had to let go, and he only reluctantly left, after he had splattered almost more paint on the woodwork, furniture, and carpets than on the walls. We spent over eight hours scrubbing paint off of door knobs and trim work and ultimately had to start over. Who hired this person? Me again.
I knew there had to be a better way!
Diana Herzan, Founder, The Service Guide
The Service Guide was started in the Twin Cities, Minnesota in 2004
I wasn't totally coming from left field on this. It made some sense for me to take this on. My background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and fourteen years working in this space prior to taking this leap. I was on familiar turf.
Fast forward... with a lot of luck, the chance and grace of good timing, the privileges of forming many great relationships, and the blessings of understanding the pains of both the consumers in our community and the service providers in our network, a little over 300 service categories later, I proved there was a better way!
Here's what I learned:
Several years into the company, I experienced an "a ha" moment, realizing that consumers using my service were very similar and valued the same principals. Ironically, they weren't looking for great service providers or to save time, although both provided great value. They wanted to make sure that whoever they brought on to help them, were businesses that could be TRUSTED. Any way we framed it, it was the TRUST that mattered first and still does. The great service providers? They came naturally as a result of establishing trust up front. This "a ha" moment confirmed that our model was right and that we were doing the right things for the right reasons!
Everything that we did ultimately pointed to the same place > that people were looking for TRUST up front!
From that point forward, our model has remained true to our mission. We have been helping connect consumers and service providers based on that needed TRUST between them. I took it even further and set out to become an "expert" on TRUST. Consumers prove that trust is established in different ways and over time. Consumers' actions also confirm that trust only comes after both character and competence are proven. A variety of things together help cement that confidence necessary to move the needles forward on any given customer's mental trust meter.
With this in mind, we made it our goal to curate the kind of TRUST BUILDING information that helps prove character and competence. Why? Because we all have our own mental trust meters that work for us even when we may not even realize they are there. It is human nature that most people naturally proceed with caution in territories they are not sure of, that is until "safety" is otherwise confirmed. The same instinct takes over when we are looking for someone to help us. When looking at businesses we do not know, until we can confirm that a company is "safe" to work with, it is normal to proceed with caution.
When you are looking for a service professional to help you, our goal is to eliminate your vulnerability and "guide" you to Trust Building information so you can make safe and smart hiring decisions that turn out well for YOU.
The "Trust Builder" information we have collected about local businesses include:
Our process helps simplify your due diligence process, and typically the businesses in our network are recipients of a stronger, more excited customer at their door. Truly a mutually beautiful thing! We have always been in the business of connecting both the consumer and the service professional who need one another. Every year, we find ways to be doing this even better!
One of my greatest joys is the work I get to do every day!
We are fortunate to live in an age where information is easy to access. Love it or hate it, the Internet has provided consumers with overwhelming opportunities to learn; and businesses with incredible opportunities to educate their consumers.
The art of connecting the two is fascinating, exciting, and rewarding (luckily,
to me)! When the two "click," the relationships that form and the positive touch points that transpire will direct the future of a customer experience that has the potential of greatly benefiting both parties.
This is the ultimate mission of The Service Guide. We have always been in the business of connecting both the consumer and service professional who need one another. Every year, we are doing it even better!
Founder The Service Guide