February 04, 2010
| by Tom LeBlanc
ServiceLive, the installation network wholly owned by Sears, has undergone a facelift.
The re-launched site, which is designed to connect consumers with installation and service needs with qualified installers, has some features that call to mind other popular sites.
- Lending Tree - Consumers can post a description of their service or installation needs along with photos and installers can bid on the project
- Angie’s List - In addition to posting certifications, installers in the network are ranked and evaluated by consumers
- Priceline - ServiceLive allows consumers to name their price. Then installers in the network decide if they want the project based on the price.
ServiceLive is a marketplace for various home services. But the converged home electronics and computer networking category is the largest for the network of 38,000-plus registered service providers, who all undergo ServiceLive-funded background checks.
One of the more popular requests on ServiceLive, which isn’t exclusive to Sears, is setting up a wireless home network and hanging a flat-panel TV, according to George Coll, senior vice president of new services, Sears Holdings.
The enhancements to ServiceLive aren’t a reaction to Walmart and Sam’s Club’s recent launch of N.E.W. Customer Service Companies installation, Target’s rollout of Zip Express installation or Best Buy’s Geek Squad, according to Coll.
Coll is hoping for a big boost in consumer awareness following the redesign. He says ServiceLive will continue to evaluate and improve the site. And he says an iPhone app is coming soon.
ServiceLive users can describe their installation or service needs. If the consumer sets a price, installers can opt to take the job based on the description. Consumers can also have installers bid on the project. Installers can respond directly and ask the consumer for more information.
ServiceLive users can upload multiple photos, floor plans and any other images they think might help an installer understand what’s needed in the project.
After entering a job, consumers can narrow parameters for a potential installer. They can have minimum requirements for satisfaction rating and radius. They can even stipulate that installers must speak particular languages.
Consumers can evaluate potential installers based on how previous ServiceLive customers rated them for cleanliness, communication, quality, value, etc. Installers can list certifications, such as CEDIA, and information about their companies.