An online B2C marketplace and review platform for tradesmen services in New Zealand.
We made several significant upgrades to an existing website that helps people quickly find the best home service specialists in New Zealand.
NoCowboys is a review website founded in 2004 in New Zealand. Its users can find and book any kind of home services — from plumbing to house building. The customers can rate businesses from NoCowboys based on their experience to help others find a reliable provider.
Visitors a Year:
1 Million +
Reputation Marketing, Online Marketing, Reviews, Jobs Board, Rated Tradespeople, and Deal Direct with Tradesperson
NoCowboys contracted Greenice web development agency in 2016 after being in the market for 12 years already. Before Greenice, several development teams worked on their system. The code was half-written in Zend 1 PHP framework; the rest of the web app was written with several other frameworks. This made it difficult to add new features. NoCowboys needed us to do the code refactoring, upgrade the CRM system, and enhance the website UX.
How It Works
There are Registered, Unregistered, and Customer Prefered Businesses:
Each of them has its own privileges:
‘Unregistered’ businesses are unpaid accounts that can be created either by a business or by a customer. They can be listed and reviewed but cannot apply for the posted jobs.
‘Registered’ businesses are paid accounts (subscription). They have advanced functionality, an enhanced interface, and the ability to add links to personal websites and use the account analytics.
‘Customer Preferred’ businesses are paid registered accounts that have fulfilled three conditions: have at least 10 reviews from clients, the last review was written not earlier than 120 days ago, and the overall rating is higher than 85%. Their privileged status allows them to apply for customers’ jobs. When the business becomes ‘Customer Prefered’, the company gets a special badge that gives them an advantage in the search and shows the customers that this business is highly rated.
What We Did
Our team joined the project after it had already been launched, but needed improvements. The scope of tasks that we carried out consisted of:
The New CRM System
Originally, there were two separate systems for Admins that were built with old technologies.
We combined these two systems into a new CRM by rewriting all the code to Zend 1. This technology was selected because one of the Admin systems was already built with Zend 1. The refactoring improved the performance, enabled quicker development of new features, and enhanced security.
The new system allows NoCowboys admins to manage customers and business accounts (jobs, message history, statistics, subscription expiry dates), verify ratings, and generate reports. Here is a new Admin panel for a Business account:
NoCowboys managers have to notify each customer of the need to prolong the subscription before it expires.
Previously, the manager had to check the subscription expiration dates manually, which was cumbersome. To reduce their routine, we made an automated ‘master spreadsheet’ report that could be downloaded at any time to show lists of businesses requiring updates.
We changed the outdated on-site search engine to ElasticSearch and improved the search logic.
To retrieve the best results, the system takes into account a combination of factors like proximity to the client, rating of the business, and recency of the last review.
Maintenance and Improvements
As the platform gains popularity in New Zealand and grows, there is a constant need in adding new service categories and features to give exposure to new businesses on the platform.
Multi-Layered System Security for Trusted Reviews
The trustworthiness of customer reviews is a big issue for review platforms so we paid special attention to reviews validation. We instituted the following measures to validate reviews:
Look at the difference between authenticated and unauthenticated ratings:
Benefits for the Client
What the Client Says
Here is what our client, the owner of NoCowboys, says about our work in his feedback verified by Clutch