Create the digital solution for Clas Fixare, which helps people solve the “in-between” tasks that pile up but are too small to hire professional help.
In the app, customers can easily book a Clas Fixare to come to their home. Handymen receive all the relevant information, and booking and payment is automated.
Clas Ohlson is a leading provider of products and services for small everyday practical problems in all kinds of homes. The company has online sales in 5 countries and over 200 stores in 4 countries.
We interviewed people in their homes, analysed similar services, met tradesmen, and iteratively designed, prototyped and tested the service with users.
We built the app in React Native and designed the backend to handle booking, time scheduling and invoicing and integrated into Clas Ohlson’s existing architecture.
How many of us have a growing number of small jobs around the home that we promise ourselves we’ll get around to doing someday when we have time over? It might be fixing a leaky tap, hanging a curtain rail, or changing a wall socket; the jobs mount up and the feeling of guilt grows. The reasons for not doing them differ; it might be you don’t know how to, or you simply don’t have the time and/or the motivation – because let’s face it, for many of us, time is the most valuable thing we have today.
To help solve this, Clas Ohlson has developed Clas Fixare (Clas Fix it), a new customer-centric service that builds on the company’s successful business model of providing solutions for small everyday practical problems.
Today, services account for approximately 54% of the global economy and 65% of the Swedish economy. This growing trend means businesses must move beyond the product and embrace digitalisation – and the services that can be provided with it – if they are to continue to thrive. For Clas Ohlson, this led to them identifying and developing a new service that supports their long-standing offering and upholds the philosophy of simplifying people’s everyday lives.
Clas Ohlson’s market can be broken down into three solution areas to meet customer needs – and it’s not uncommon for a customer to fall into each category at some point:
Clas Ohlson has traditionally been very strong in the first two solution areas groups and saw a fantastic opportunity to increase market share through full-service.
A typical example of the Clas Ohlson’s solution areas would be:
1 – buying shelves, a drill and screws.
2 – buying shelves and a drill and asking for advice on drilling into a false wall and which screws to use.
3 – having the shelves put up on a false wall at home by a handyman.
Home fixing services are not as popular in Sweden as in many other countries. Previously, only a few small players have operated in market. Clas Ohlson is the first nationwide organisation to take a holistic view of this type of service and develop a viable offering for customers.
The newly launched Clas Fixare service, helps homeowners tackle their “to-do” lists. People can order help directly through an app to get those nagging and often neglected home repairs done. The service covers everything from changing a bicycle tyre, to assembling furniture, to installing an electrical outlet. All the jobs can be done in the same home visit by one or more professionals from Clas Ohlson.
The app is intuitive. You simply choose the task(s) you want completed from the available categories:
Each category includes a series of predefined tasks, with info on the length of time it will take to complete, what you need to prepare (clear a space, order parts, etc., before a Clas Ohlson handyman arrives) and the price. If you can’t find a predefined task, you can create a custom request. You can also send a photo or provide specific information on the task. With that done, you book a time and you’re all set.
Behind the app is an entire booking, time management and invoicing system that ensures a smooth user experience. The app securely calls out to multiple applications during the booking process as customer home addresses, staff skillsets and availability, and invoice details are all checked in real-time. A tailored cloud-based CMS (Content Management System and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) were also deployed to ensure seamless operations. GDPR compliance was also built into the solution, ensuring information such as task descriptions, customer phone numbers and any photos uploaded by users are accessible to the handyman before he or she comes to a home, but cannot be stored.
We worked closely with Clas Ohlson to design the backend and create the customer-centric app. Unlike the Clas Ohlson Smart Home solution, which was a relatively “simple” interface in comparison, we had to map an extensive customer journey, with many touchpoints before, after and during the user experience. With the right mix of business viability, technical feasibility and customer desirability an innovative solution that meets the needs of users and the business was created.
We began by mapping comparable global and local services to analyse what was great and not so great about them. A typical example is Task Rabbit in the US, which (unlike Clas Fixare) matches independent contractors with customers, as opposed to providing the services themselves.
We held in-depth interviews with potential users and shadowed several contractors who were selling their service through a digital provider. This gave us key insights into user behaviour and customer requirements, the types of jobs contractors are currently requested to do, and the service as a whole. One interesting insight was that despite the availability of digital services, it is still very much a “word-of-mouth” business in Sweden.
“Usability and customer experience were key words when we developed the app together with Daresay,” says Fredrik Uhrbom, Clas Ohlson Sweden Country Manager. “Our new Clas Fixare service offers different services for home fixing, for example help with mounting, plumbing or electricity. The Service, which makes everyday life a little easier for our customers, has had a very good reception and of course the simplicity of the app contributes to this.”
Fredrik Uhrbom, Clas Ohlson Sweden Country Manager.
We then moved into the design, development and testing phase, in which we created prototypes to test on customers. Continuous feedback loops meant we could improve the usability of the service during the design and production process, before testing once again on users. The service also had to follow Clas Ohlson’s soon to be launched brand guidelines. This made our prototypes the ideal testing ground for the guidelines as we could get instant feedback on typography, icons, colour palettes, etc from a user perspective.
The Android and iOS apps were built in React Native. Unlike with native apps, which have to be coded in their respective languages, React Native allows around 90% of the code to be shared between platforms. This makes the build more efficient as you can have one team working on the service, although at launch the app must be packaged for Android and iOS. At this point you need native developers and testers to ensure the apps are market ready and to check that there are no bugs when communicating with the different elements of the backend.
Clas Ohlson’s “go to market” strategy was to launch the service stepwise across the country. With four dedicated regions, we launched a minimum viable product (MVP) six months after project start. The service is now being launched on a region by region basis.