NOTE to our Android users: Even though my Mom tested on her iPhone, the usability is nearly 100% the same on Android. When we find a Mom with an Android phone, we’ll have her test for you. 😉
It’s not uncommon that we hear concern from a customer about their service provider learning how to use the app. We get it. Our service providers are key to our operations and nobody wants to risk upsetting the apple cart.
So, I set out to provide inspiration for clients and service providers alike by asking my Mom to trial our app. Let me be really clear about something. My Mom is a smart woman. She is also a woman with a deep disdain for technology and is generally intimidated by learning how to use an app. So I knew that if my Mom could get over her resistance to an app, anyone could.

My brave Mom, happily clueless that she was about to be asked to test our app.
My brave Mom, happily clueless that she was about to be asked to test our app.

Here’s how it went:

Me: Mom, let’s set the context. How much do you love technology?
Mom: I hate it. I don’t love it.
Me: (After a particularly frustrating day with her phone.) How much do you love your iPhone today?
Mom: Well I’m not even happy with that today. (Generally she tolerates it because it’s how she gets cute photos and videos of my niece and nephew.)
Me: If we were by the waterfront right now, would you throw your phone in the ocean?
Mom: I’d only say no because then I’d just have to replace it. Otherwise, yes. These are easy questions so far. What’s next?
Me: How do you feel about testing our app today?
Mom: I’m game. I don’t know. You know how I hate computers. Why do you make me do this when I’m so tired?
Me: Because I know you can do it.
And so it began. I sent my Mom an invitation to use Properly. Once we got past resetting her Apple ID, SHE WAS IN! (I really should post her Apple ID here so we can collectively help her remember it…)
Next up, I sent my Mom a test job. My Mom intuitively accepted it and jumped into reading and checking off the tasks – with no prompt from me!
Mom: (Checking off tasks.) Oh, this is easy. Check. Ok. I can do this. Check. Check. Check. Check. (Reading instructions.) Water the plant – I can do that. Check. I’m getting through this in a hurry. Ah, geez. Clean windows – I hate cleaning windows. Alright, I’ll do it. Check.
Me: Check you out, Mom. Do you want to use the app to report a problem?
Mom: Sure, let’s see. (Finds Report a Problem icon, follows the prompts and sends a problem report.)

Proof that she is my Mother - or that I am her daughter. An almost empty coffee cup is a serious problem.
Proof that she is my Mother – or that I am her daughter. An almost empty coffee cup is a serious problem.

Mom: Problem report sent. Ok, I did that. (Continues checking off tasks.) That’s a check.
Mom: Check for hair. Yeah, good idea.
Mom: (Prompted to take a verification photo in app) Oh, yeah. OK. Take a picture. Yeah, so they can see how great it looks.
Mom: OK, I’m done. Did I do a good job?
Me: You did great, Mom. How was that?
Mom: Yeah, that’s awesome. Even for me, I could figure it out which is pretty amazing because I hate figuring out apps. So that means it’s pretty easy to use. That was good. (She’s even smiling.) If I can figure it out, anyone can.
Mom: (Checking her job summary.) Look at that – I got it done in 6 minutes. I’d say I’m worth my weight in gold. (Laughing – my Mother NEVER laughs while using technology unless she’s asked Alexa to tell her a joke.)
Me: Want to try another job?
Mom: Sure. (I send a second test job and my Mom sees my Properly profile picture.) Tam, I’m not sure that a picture of you strolling the beach is a good idea. “Here I am on the beach – go clean my house, please.”
Offending profile picture.
Offending profile picture.

Me: That’s a good point. Maybe I’ll change that. Thanks for the tip, Mom.
Mom: I’m going to preview the checklist first this time. I don’t know if I want to do this while you’re strolling the beach. OK, I previewed it. I guess I’ll start the job now. I suppose I better take a little more time this time. (Laughing)
Mom: (Questioning my instructions when she gets to a slide about laundry. Tough crowd!) I assume the Simple Green or OxyClean is by the washing machine if you want me to treat stains.
Me: Yes, Mom.
Mom: (Using the Overview feature.) Oh, and you can go back and check to make sure you got everything. Oh, I like that.
Finished job.

My Mom’s Advice

Me: Thanks so much, Mom. What advice do you have for anyone who might be nervous to use the Properly app?
Mom: Once you get started it’s really self explanatory. Actually, I just think it would give you peace of mind knowing you did what was needed and wanted at the job. You can walk away feeling good about the job you did as opposed to second guessing it.
It should save everyone time and energy and having to guess what needs to get done. I’d think job satisfaction should be high for the customer – especially when they get those pictures when a job is done. It’s just peace of mind and you know it’s getting done the way you want it and the cleaner know they’re doing exactly what you want done. This makes a lot of sense. Then everyone is happy with everyone. (My Mom likes it when everyone is happy with everyone.) 🙂

My Mom Says to Watch the How-To Videos

After my Mom tested the app, I showed her our quick how to videos for Service Providers. As my Mom demonstrated, the app is intuitive and easy to use, but we (and she) highly recommend that every service provider watch these quick videos before accepting their first job.
Mom: Oh, those are really good. Did you make those videos?
Me: I didn’t make the videos, but I did create the content.
Mom: Of course, you did. They’re great.
Here are links to our Mom-endorsed how to videos.
1. Accept your invite to create an account
2. Accept job requests
3. Starting a job / What your client sees when you work

Postscript: I sent my Mom a text to ask her to text me a photo of herself, to which she replied, “I’ll try.” How cute is that?!

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