The Air Conditioning has stopped cooling. The sink is clogged. And your main electricity just shorted. You’re probably having a mini panic attack because you know how this is going to go. You will call a repair man or company, they will promise to show up any time between 9 am and 9 pm. And if he does manage to come to your house, he quotes you an arm and a leg and says he will pop out for a spare part. The next day he comes back, fixes it. Two days later, it’s broken again.
We have all been there. Enter Srvme, a service that wants to disrupt the entire maintenance industry that just launched in August. As a user, the process becomes so much simpler. Download the app, book a technician and they should arrive at your door in less than two hours. You are quoted a flat hourly rate which you can easily pay using KNET or credit card, so no more rummaging for cash in your wallet. Cash works too!
At face value, it seems like it is just another directory service. However, Srvme is an on-demand services platform. They are the mediator between service providers and the people who need it. An algorithm was built from scratch that finds you the best person for the job, who can get to you the fastest and who has been rated the highest. A repairman who has received low ratings gets automatically blocked from the system. Which is why it is really important that you honestly rate the technician. It helps the software do its job better.
Sulaiman Al Khubaizi, Sarah Al Yaqout and Ayat Al Ali have been working on it for the last two years. Sulaiman and Ayat focus on growth and business development while Sarah handles all of the marketing and PR. And that’s just their primary job titles. The trio juggle logistics and day-to-day management of everything else. And if you think they employ a huge team, they don’t. They only employ three more people to help with all the tasks at Srvme.
They have been planning every little detail and thought of everything, so you don’t have to. They have already rocked the boat by being the first people to introduce a flat hourly rate to repairs. The flat-rate makes it more affordable for homeowners and renters but means that the maintenance companies might be losing some profit. Service Providers were resistant to joining in the beginning and were unsure if it would be profitable for them. But the way the algorithm works means that if they can deliver consistent, reliable service they get more work done in less time and make more money in the long run. Everybody wins.
Resistance comes from individuals too. Many of us prefer sticking to the devil we know then the one we don’t. But the app is so easy and simple to use, even technophobes can find their way around it quickly. And knowing that you don’t have to wait or guess at how much your bill will be is good for your blood pressure. You can easily track your repairman’s location while he is on the way to your place using the app’s built in GPS. It is an added layer of safety too, instead of letting random people into your home, you know that there is a company that knows exactly who has been assigned to your job and how long they stayed. Everyone who works for Srvme is vetted. Their security checks are comprehensive and a safeguard for you.
The service is available 24/7 but is subject to the availability of the availability of the repairmen but it does mean you can find a plumber or electrician on the weekend when you would normally have had to wait. Alternatively, you can book in advance at your convenience.
They are so confident in their service that they offer a warranty on each job. If something breaks down after they’ve sent someone to fix it. You use the app to claim warranty and someone is sent to make sure it is repaired right away. It is so much easier than begging your plumber to come back and fix your faucet after he botched the installation.
Their confidence is not unfounded either. A large portion of their business is B2B, business to business. NEJOUD, the restaurant management company use the service for their maintenance needs. Companies don’t need to pay for expensive maintenance contracts anymore. Srvme is an on-demand service, cheaper and faster than the older way of doing business.
As of now the app’s interface is available in Arabic and English for both iOS and Android devices. Service providers get their own app, too. And there is a specialized dashboard that they use at the Srvme HQ to monitor everything. Because their initial planning was extremely diligent and detailed, they have added so many functionalities that will need time to be implemented into their workflow.
The team make sure that every customer is happy. They routinely call their users and handle complaints directly and quickly. They are responsive on their social media accounts and want to make sure that everyone is satisfied after a job is done. Thousands of users have already had thousands signed up and jobs completed. And even though they are a startup, they have managed to secure all of their own funding without the aid of an incubator or an angel investor which is impressive in this day and age.
The Srvme founders have even bigger goals. They are adding carpentry and painting to the types of jobs that they offer. They want to add more languages to the apps to make them easier and accessible for everyone. And they have set their eyes beyond Kuwait’s borders. They believe in their new model of the maintenance industry. They want to bring fairer transparent pricing to everyone. They want to help organize and restructure the way service providers do their work so they become more efficient and effective.
But most of all, their biggest and one true goal is that you, the end customer is happy and satisfied.