Operation automation for house cleaning services

My client approached me to provide innovative way to operate and automate an already running house cleaning service.

The brief

My client has a running house cleaning operation managed by a traditional operation where phone calls is the main communication platform, while internally the business is run using an incomplete customer management using Excel sheets. They developed an application with an indian based company to manage the orders from customers, but it became a burden as they found that their monthly revenue began to drop rather than going up. This was a surprise to them since after the app release they had a surge up in orders but came down fast.

Key Objectives

My client wanted to develop a more functional and attractive app, as the one developed had a poor user interface. They attributed the performance drop in sales to the bad user interface and lack of functionality.

The Validation

I recommended a complete process validation and testing as a first step followed by solution review and testing.

  1. Initial process review showed that there was consent from all internal stakeholders on the general flow, but complete misalignment on the process per each function.
  2. There were unclear ownership of the digital solution and hence the features did not reflect the required user experience.
  3. The business did not have a CRM, and the depended on the solution to provide customer journey and communication.
  4. Initial App review showed that the app lacked basic future proof scalability, and the feature list had not binding logic or clear user journey consideration.

The Action Plan

An action plan were drafted to correct the solution pathway:

  1. Document a unified and clear internal process and design it to match the customer journey as if there is no digital solution.
  2. Introduce Zoho CRM as a cost optimized solution to manage the full customer journey.
  3. Create a full user journey and test it on tabletop simulation internally.
  4. Create a feature list of the digital solution based on the customer journey and the internal process… All linked to the CRM.
  5. Hire top tier UX/UI company to handle a full prototype of the new app with the new feature list.
  6. We should end with a BPD, PRD, FRD, SRS and a full interactive prototype ready to test.
  7. Do a complete due diligence on the development company ad find out if they be able to develop the new solution.
  8. Screen new development companies for the development.

The Business Operation

Applying change management was the first business operations recommendation, and assigning ownership of the digital solution to an operation staff rather than the IT department.

Introduce tabletop simulations and testing to the operation team to test and validate changes in their SOP and operation tweaks.

Full onboarding and setup of CRM as core components in the management of the customer journey.

The Technology

As this business relied on the customer journey, a CRM was a missing vital component… But I added to it automation of tasks using triggers integrated the CRM (Zoho One provided a perfect cost effective option with automation blueprints and automated workflows).

I also added the requirement to create a dynamic website linked to the CRM to facilitate lead generation and a showcase of the service as in its core, the service provided by my client was really first class, but it was never clear for any customer.