We are witnessing the impact that On Demand Services are having on our lives. Everything from plumbing services to masseuses and dieticians can be found with a few swipes and taps. As these services become increasingly ubiquitous, it is critical to understand the implications that our access to these services can have on our lives. Apart from the ease and convenience of these services, there are security measures that need to be considered. This is because these services are unique in how they operate in a close vicinity, often in the private surroundings of our homes or offices. Apps like Amazon Home Services employ several independent businesses to work for them, thereby exposing us to a host of strangers and unknown people into our private spaces.
An industry growing at a CAGR of 49% already valued over $400 Billion, the home services market is considered by many as one of the few remaining untapped treasure troves of money-making on the internet. Don’t believe me, believe Amazon and their Home Services offerings where you can avail over 700 services. Therefore, the dye is cast, as On-Demand Home Services expose us to numerous strangers and vice-versa, let’s take a look at some common and other ingenious ways in which security is ensured for both, the customer as well as the service provider.
There are several ways in which measures for customer security can be integrated in a home services app. When referring to apps like UrbanClap or Amazon Home Services that provide a plethora of services, steps for security of both sides can be taken right from the user onboarding process – be it online or offline. Mandatory procedures pertaining to the hiring of specific services go a long way in maintaining a standard of service providers while also ensuring the credibility of your business.
Offline handling includes several measures and tasks that can be undertaken to ensure the credibility of a business in order to adhere to a standard of operation. Here are some of the ways in which offline handling can work:
- Document submissions and identity verification.
- Offline audits performed by the administrative team so as to assure a standard of hiring and operation.
- Scheduling visits to businesses in order to check about their operation, previous business history as well as general reviews regarding their past work.
- Police verification of businesses based on the discretion of the employer.
- Licensing can also go a long way for verification of businesses. Along with specific background checks, several companies use these measures to gauge the legitimacy of businesses.
Amazon Home Services, for example, only hires those professionals to represent them who have undergone a series of background checks that include a sex offender registry search, a social security number trace as well as an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) check. Finally, they establish the credibility of their service by informing all clients about these vetting procedures and instill faith in the customer to trust the professionals that come to help them.
Online handling can integrate offline procedures to a certain extent while providing additional features to ensure the security of both parties.
- Online user onboarding can be used to establish a secure atmosphere for the customer and the professionals providing the service.
- The trust factor can be established with the client at the outset by informing them about the protocols associated with vetting professional and maintaining a standard of services across a range of offerings.
- Personal details that entail basic information, address as well as photographs for identification purposes serves as a basis for further verification of credentials.
- GPS tracking of a service provider is another way to ensure security and remotely monitor how an appointment goes. Moreover, Specific details about the service provider are also provided to the customer once an appointment is booked. This allows them to prepare for any preventive measures in case they feel unsafe.
- Gender matching is another method often used to provide a more secure and safe service offering. Such a measure acquires additional importance in certain services like On Demand Massage Services. It can be an option as well as an automated mandatory feature based on the service that is being offered.
- An integrated SOS button is another feature that can be vital in situations of emergency. This feature can be integrated on the pages of the client as well as the service provider. On Demand Taxi services in like Uber and Ola (India) already have this feature integrated.
- Reviews and testimonials go a long way in establishing a connection with potential clients. They relate to the frequency of use as well as a general understanding of experiences that other people have had in using these services.
- Post appointment calls for reviews over the phone are another way of connecting with clients in order to assure their safety as well as the quality of service offered. It instills faith in customers for future needs as well.
- As an On Demand business, you must also keep filtering your client-base to be certain that it is real and unique – not filled with bots or artificial profiles. Apps like Onfido have identified the need for digitized identities and offer solutions to integrate client identity verification seamlessly within the onboarding process. While it might go unnoticed for the most of it, it might be of extreme use in exceptional circumstance.
- Apps like Jumio are also highly effective in deterring fraudulent activities by flagging those clients whose real-world identities don’t match their online identities. By using sophisticated algorithms, they can verify the claims that are being made by service providers.
Security Solutions in Different Service Offerings
Different countries and different industries are used to different procedures when it comes to the screening of service providers as well as clients. Some might require a high amount of scrutiny whereas others might not. This is also because fixing your washing machine might be a technical task whereas receiving a massage might call for additional care and attention.
With almost half the users of the On-Demand market being millennials, it is critical that we integrate these security features and assure the safety of our generation as well move further into the technological age. Additionally, the only way to ensure the security of clients, as well as service providers, is to provide a forum where discussions of this nature are possible. An exchange between clients and service providers will benefit both sides and help make the process of offering these services more secure in the future. So tell us your stories and experiences regarding security in the on-demand home services industry by commenting below!