Hourly Rate or price per transaction? What works best for a home maintenance service?
Let us give you two scenarios
- You have an electrical problem at home because a switchboard not working. You agree pay a service provider a fixed amount for fixing the switchboard. Once he starts working on the switchboard, he tell you that there is a problem with the wiring, which may extend to the fusebox, and that there could be more problems there. Would you still be ok to pay for each activity separately?
- You need a plumber for a small repair work. Since he is coming anyway, you also want to get a couple of more things fixed and probably want to ask him to get to nails fixed on the wall. Would you pay him for his time or pay per task?
In the home services segment, customers are given many different options for availing a service. Some just give the customers phone numbers of service providers, similar to a directory service. Some give customers quotes from multiple vendors and lets the customers choose their favourite. Some go the extra mile and takes care of the whole process, while saving the customer time, a lot of phone calls, and the troubles of bargaining, which is how Joboy operates.
In the third option above, there are two ways in which transactions are done. One, where customer is charged by the hour or units of time, and the other where the customer is charged for every activity, such as changing a bulb, fixing a switch, etc. The question that baffles the customer normally is, which option should they choose from these two.
Now, there are multiple ways of looking at this. What does the customer really need? Are they ok if the vendor comes in, fixes a light, and goes away? While fixing the light, if they come to know there is a problem with the switchboard, what happens? What if there is an additional work that needs to be done? What if the customer is ignorant of what exactly the issue is? What if there is a painting that needs to be hung? Does that need to be raised as a completely different request, and payment starts from scratch? In all these cases, the customer will end up paying additional money, which could be way more than what they were expecting to pay. And the vendor would probably refuse all the additional requests, if not paid separately
This is where an hourly charge comes as a saviour, similar to what Joboy gives. It is completely fine to go for the task-based pricing model if the customer is aware of what exactly needs to be done. But in case the customer is not aware of the exact problem, or if there are multiple tasks to be done, it is better to go for a time-based pricing. The benefit from this is that while getting multiple tasks done, this also covers any new issues that may come up. It is also possible to ask the provider to fix a couple of nails to hang painting or something similar.
Customers always have multiple options for everything. It helps best when you know what exactly you are paying for and that is the option that Joboy gives our customers.