What's it all about?

Powerful and dynamic marketing tool

NoCowboys is a dynamic internet directory of thousands of service businesses across New Zealand but with many advantages over traditional business directories. It is free to use for all consumers.

NoCowboys incorporates a powerful search engine which enables potential customers to search for businesses based on name, location or category. Additionally, past customers are invited to rate businesses they have used in the categories of reliability, value for money, quality of work and communication. They are also able to leave comments should they wish. This type of feedback is an essential tool for attracting new business as it enables your potential customers to see how your past customers rated your service.

Of course, customer feedback and word of mouth referrals have long been a primary source of new work for small and large businesses alike. Indeed, we've all hired tradespeople and other service businesses based on the recommendations of those we know. However, No Cowboys provides a simple and effective way of collecting and recording customer ratings thereby enabling you to make use of that feedback on an ongoing basis and potential customers to quickly assess the performance of your business and staff.

In this respect, NoCowboys has significant advantages over more traditional directories which tell potential customers very little about the businesses which advertise in them.

Furthermore, as Peter Townsend, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce, was reported in the "Press" on September 25, 2006 as saying, internet directories like NoCowboys.co.nz are "...the way of the future." Service businesses which embrace attributes such as honesty, transparency and customer satisfaction have everything to gain from inviting feedback as potential customers will search out those businesses that are prepared to stand behind their customer service record and reputation.

Have confidence in the NoCowboys rating system

This is probably the question that we get asked about most often and we agree that everyone using NoCowboys.co.nz must be able to have confidence in the rating system. We have accordingly developed a sophisticated and multi-layered system to protect against abuse of the system:

  1. First, as mentioned above, ratings can either be left on an authenticated or unauthenticated basis. If authenticated, we generate an email link to the customer who clicks on the link to authenticate his/her email address. The email address is not published on the site but is nonetheless retained by us for the limited purposes set out below. We find that people are encouraged to be fair and responsible if they have authenticated their feedback by reference to their email address as this process removes the element of complete anonymity. Unauthenticated ratings are posted but clearly marked as such and do not count towards the overall score for the particular business. As unauthenticated ratings are left anonymously, readers give them relatively little weight.
  2. Secondly, our system constantly monitors the email addresses of people posting ratings and prevents more than one authenticated rating being left for the same business from the one email address. This prevents one individual posting multiple positive or negative comments about a particular business in the absence of a legitimate explanation (such as using the same business on more than one occasion).
  3. Thirdly, our system tracks and records the IP addresses of users to help identify those who might be opening a number of different email addresses from the same computer and leaving different ratings under them. Again, duplicate ratings are deleted in the absence of a legitimate explanation.
  4. Fourthly, should a business have reason to believe that a rating has not been left by a genuine customer, we will send an email to the individual concerned requesting evidence that they were a customer of the business in question, e.g. quote, invoice or receipt. Pending the provision of that evidence, the rating is removed. If this material cannot be produced, the rating will be deleted. If it is produced, the rating stands irrespective of the nature of the business' complaint. However, a registered business always enjoys the right of reply.
  5. Fifthly, all registered businesses have the public right of reply to ratings left for them which enables them to respond appropriately.
  6. Finally, the more ratings left for businesses on the site, the less the likelihood of one or more individuals skewing the feedback system. We encourage everyone visiting the site to rate any service businesses they have used. Every rating posted improves the usefulness of NoCowboys.co.nz to all users. We also invite all businesses to ask their satisfied customers to rate them on NoCowboys.co.nz. This enables businesses to record word-of-mouth referrals from their happy customers and use them as a powerful marketing tool. To assist businesses in doing this, we offer stickers in the format below which can be added to invoices or other communication with customers. A downloadable electronic version is also available to registered businesses. Registered businesses can also make use of our email rating request form which enables customers to rate them quickly and easily.
    Sticker - NoCowboys.co.nz

Keep your finger on the pulse

Direct feedback from your customers is an invaluable tool in many respects. Your business may employ staff who you depend upon to serve your customers and maintain your hard-earned reputation. Feedback posted about your business on NoCowboys is a great way of determining which members of your team are doing a fantastic job and which ones may be letting the side down. You are immediately in a position to identify any issues and respond as you consider appropriate.

NoCowboys is also a useful business development tool for your business. Direct customer feedback will help you identify what aspects of your service are most important to your customers. For example, raising your prices may have an immediate detrimental impact on your "value for money" rating. Conversely, you may discover that your customers are not particularly price-sensitive provided they receive prompt and reliable service. Such feedback is the most timely and reliable method of assessing the impact of changes you make to your business.

Your business webpage in NoCowboys

An unregistered webpage in NoCowboys is free. This contains your telephone number, the type of services you provide and the areas you service. It is rendered in grayscale and contains advertisements for registered competitors in the same area.

However there are numerous advantages to being a registered business which are listed under Why register?

In order to access your webpage, you will need to apply for registration. If at the conclusion of this period you do not wish to maintain your registration, your webpage will revert to unregistered status. Your login details will nonetheless remain valid.

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