Handy.com, an on-demand home cleaning start-up that launched in 2012 and has been experiencing successful growth in 2016, faced tremendous amounts of difficulty in its early stages. The company began as an idea between two Harvard students, Umang Dua and Oisin Hanrahan, who felt inspired by their third roommate’s filthiness.
Like any start-up, it had to deal with a substantial number issues as it tried to grow into a successful business. The company was receiving terrible reviews from unhappy customers who were dealing with problems such as cleaners who wouldn’t show up to their homes or would cause damages to the property. The company was also dealing with issues such as the costs of booking a cleaner and how customers were reacting when the cleaner canceled or missed the booking.
The company reacted to these issues by hiring dozens of customer service associates (https://www.handy.com/services). While the associates helped ease some of the problems, the wait time to talk to one was still over an hour and the company was losing money in large quantities. They decided to outsource to call centers, thereby reducing costs but at the same time laying off the hundreds of employees that they had hired.
Hanrahan decided to also initiate a self-service onboarding initiative that which allowed professional cleaners to apply and become part of the service online. The initiative struggled, along with the customer service, but eventually began working as the company focused on repairing the electronic issues that came with the platform. The company also took action by creating customer service bots and focusing on the existing markets they had instead of trying to expand.
In the end, the company watched their spending decrease as customers became more satisfied, customers service was less needed, and their existing markets grew. The company now expects to see profitability in 2017. For more information regarding the company Handy and its rise to success, visit the article from Inc. at http://www.inc.com/magazine/201611/jeff-bercovici/from-pivot-to-profit.html.