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When home-services startup Housejoy was founded in August 2014, it was to develop a technology-based solution to a common problem — getting qualified service providers, who did quality work and were reliable. With operations across five cities — Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai – and with a team of 200+ people, the website lists over 15 service categories and claims to have over 10,000 vetted professionals who have served more than 1 million customers.
However, achieving this scale in three short years has not been without its ups and downs. The market was already filled with similar on-demand services such as UrbanClap, Stayglad and AtHomeDiva. It all came down to quality of service provided and the technology backing it.
“One of our main tech investments has been to improve the customer-service partner match-making algorithm on the basis of multiple parameters. We have also invested in local and vernacular language options and a simple interface with a minimalistic design. This is to ensure that literacy and language do not become barriers,” says Krishna Mohan Gadi, AVP, Product & Technology, Housejoy.
To succeed in a market like India, HouseJoy launched HJ Experts – an Android app for service partners that helps them stay on top of their game.
“HJ Experts are in the field for a good part of the day and use entry-level smartphones with limited access to data,” says Krishna. This understanding prompted them to optimise the app. “We minimised data consumption, so the app works even in 2G areas and does not drain the phone’s battery.”
Given that nobody really wants to wait too long when they have a broken faucet or an electrical failure, Housejoy knew it had to go hyper-local to maximise usage and customer satisfaction. So in August 2016, Housejoy also introduced geo-targeted technology on its apps and. Every city they operate in was divided into hubs and service providers were mapped hyper-locally based on the address and preferred working time. The technology also allowed them to offer some services only in select areas and deploy differential pricing and discounts.
“For most of our repair categories, we can now fulfil a customer request in an hour. We are able to do this simultaneously in multiple geo-locations in a city at scale”
Network and mobility matters
Technology is the backbone of any hyper local services marketplace and there are several aspects that make a hyperlocal service delivery a success, including:
“Real-time status tracking and sharing updates with all concerned stakeholders is crucial to our business. We use a combination of GPS-based tracking from the HJ Expert App and cell tower triangulation technology to achieve this,” says Krishna.
For their type of business, the Housejoy team believes that growth lies in going granular. “Last year, we divided a city into hubs; this year, we are further breaking each hub down into more micro units. Over time, this will help us to better predict demand density so we can shape up supply accordingly,” says Krishna.
Also on the anvil is the digitisation of payments to HJ Experts, which will allow daily cashless settlements. “We plan to build offline capabilities for the HJ Expert app so our service partners can work even in a poor network area,” he adds.
How Vodafone Business Services can help companies like Housejoy
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