An article about Jobber’s IPO this year got us thinking. Can indoor positioning enable the future of home services? Our answer might be visionary, but it’s a clear YES.
So lets’s briefly review what the home services industry is and what Jobber does, before we dive into envision a futuristic experience for home services.
Home Services Industry & Jobber
Home service professionals work mostly on residential homes. They provide plumbing, flooring, landscaping, concrete, moving and storage, and more. While the industry is comprised of small businesses, the sheer volume of those adds up. The industry is worth between $400 billion and $800 billion in the US alone, based on old estimates from 2015.
While the last decade saw a strong digitalization trend across multiple industries, small business owners across the spectrum have been the last ones to adopt. This is especially true for manual labour intensive industries such as home services.
However, with the current pandemic the topic of digitalization for small business owners has turned from ‘nice-to-have’ into a ‘must-have’ to ensure survival.
This is where companies like Jobber come into play. It targets small business owners who have previously used non or only their cell phone to manage operations and processes. The company has developed a software which helps home service professionals to digitise and professionalize their services. Their features cover anything from scheduling over client notifications to online payments and reporting.
The Future of Home Services
All of the biggest technological inventions created by man — the airplane, the automobile, the computer — says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.
- Mark Kennedy
As Mark Kennedy expressed, technological advances serve the purpose of convenience. Currently, there is nothing convenient about waiting for a technician, leading him around the house and explaining what needs to be fixed and wait while he does that. Jobber is making life more convenient for technicians and to some extend for us the users (e.g. fast and easy booking, automated payments, etc.), but the process still requires time from us that we can spend more productively on work or leisure.
With accurate indoor positioning the entire process for the enduser could be reduced to booking and paying. Combining several technologies, the customer journey could look as following:
- The indoor positioning technology would be incorporate into e.g. Jobber’s existing app. Both technicians and users enable the indoor positioning feature
- The user uploads floorplan images of her/his apartments or houses upon first registration
- Software converts the floorplan images into a digital indoor map of the user’s home and automatically detects rooms
- When a home service professional needs to be called, the user clicks on the specific location on the map where the job needs to be done and describes briefly in a text box what the problem is
- The user then selects and books the home service professional
- Given that the user has a smart electric door lock, the home service professional enters the house by himself and his app starts automatically the positioning service
- The user is notified about the arrival and can monitor the movement of the technician via his app. If the technician enters any rooms deemed unnecessary for the job, the user is alerted with an automatic push notification and can then open the app to further inspect the movement inside his house
- After the completion of the job the technician leaves and the user confirms the payment upon inspection
The technology for such use cases already exists (e.g. Forkbeard’s indoor positioning tech) and is increasingly being deployed in the B2B sector. The main challenge is to make it widely available for B2C use cases. This is where Forkbeard and other companies work hard to enable the future of indoor services.
Originally published at https://forkbeardtech.com on January 19, 2021.