South Africa’s SweepSouth, an online platform for booking domestic cleaning services aims to connect clients with domestic cleaning professionals within a few minutes. The startup aims to provide flexible working opportunities at decent rates for some of South Africa’s 1.2 million domestic workers.
Speaking to TechMoran co-founders Aisha R Pandor and Alen Ribic are answering a problem they themselves faced earlier on.
“We struggled to find domestic help over the 2013 December holidays. When querying domestic services agencies, talks with the actual cleaners revealed that they were unmotivated and badly paid,” Pandor told TechMoran. “Furthermore, the cumbersome process of either using classifieds or calling agencies, getting a quote, doing interviewing and then paying, left much to be desired.”
Apart from the “issue” of agencies, Pandor says South Africa’s unemployed is high and includes thousands of domestic work professionals who are actively seeking work but have had little success connecting with potential employers. SweepSouth therefore wants to solve these problems.
The platform uses technology, and a completely different attitude to domestic services, to solve these issues. The domestic workers go through a rigorous interview process and are experienced, have references and background checked, criminal checked, and fully insured.
“While we provide a fast, convenient and reliable platform for homeowners to book cleaners, we provide flexible work opportunities at decent rates for some of South Africa’s 1.2 million registered domestic workers.” Pandor says. “SweepSouth clients can choose to have cleaners use our eco-friendly cleaning products or their own products for cleaning appointments.”
The firm further motivates the cleaners by offering them an opportunity to make additional income by selling its eco-friendly cleaning products to clients or their friends and family for a commission. Next year, SweepSouth says it will also be providing computer skills training and management training to our domestic cleaning professionals who achieve good ratings. Rocket Internet‘s Helpling also does similar services.
SweepSouth’s system calculates required cleaning times based on the particulars of clients’ homes, and our real-time scheduler updates itself as clients book. We have fully developed the platform and own the IP for the scheduler, which can easily be generalised for use as a generic scheduler with various applications.
The booking process is simple and takes less than 5 minutes.
Clients pay online securely using Credit Cards or Cheques to confirm appointments. After cleaning appointments, both clients and cleaners rate each other, and the firm uses the ratings to link clients with cleaners for future bookings. SweepSouth has already served over 50 bookings in Johannesburg since launching in June 2014, and aim to expand to Cape Town by end of this year, where the firm’s analytics indicate high interest.
And like any business, SweepSouth aims at client satifaction.
“Client satisfaction with SweepSouth is high, and customers keep coming back and 100% have expressed intent to use the service again. Our goals are to revolutionise the industry by bringing it into the 21st century while also helping to professionalise it. Our greatest joy is in bringing technology to an antiquated industry, and in doing so helping to empower domestic work professionals to have more flexibility in their working time and more opportunities to improve their income and careers.”
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