It wasn’t always a clean sweep for Handy Inc.

You may have heard of one of the nation’s well-known cleaning services, Handy. Handy connects everyday people with household services, but makes sure they’re matched with trusted professionals. Handy also makes things easy for the customer. Professionals are pre-screened, and can be booked within 60 seconds. But Handy wasn’t always the success story we know it as.

As 2016 began, the company re-hauled the way they partnered with cleaners and professionals – having them complete an online application without human help. At first it didn’t work. Their “onboarding” dropped by 40 percent.

According to the Chicago Sun, 47-year-old man was charged in June of 2016 for stealing thousands of dollars worth of expensive jewelry items. The ABC affiliate in San Antonio, KSAT reports a similar theft took place early December. Keeping this from happening was the idea that sparked Handy and their creators Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua.

In 2012, when the pair launched their company, then called “Handybook,” there were three other large companies trying to do the same thing – Homejoy, Mopp, and Exec. Homejoy went out of business in 2015 and Handy acquired their two other rivals.

Handy.com made some changes with the times to stay on point with their customers. Outsourcing customer service and hiring engineers to work out glitches in the online “onboarding” allowed them to save money and start succeeding. The company did have to layoff workers to go digital, and acknowledge its difficulty.

“It’s important, as you go through these scaling moments, that you figure out the places where you can do something in an automated way and where the human touch is more valuable,” said Hanrahan to Inc. Magazine.

It now costs them a third less to gain a customer, and in the last year the company saw their gross margins turn positive, the companies margins as a whole jumping nearly 15 percent.

Resources:

http://www.inc.com/magazine/201611/jeff-bercovici/from-pivot-to-profit.html

https://www.handy.com/about