Amazon launched Amazon Home Services back in 2015 in an attempt to sell professional service to homeowners. The model it used was an Amazon-branded service, but one provided by independent contractors that weren’t directly employed by Amazon. Services include house cleaning, plumbing, electrical work, heating, home theater setups, computer repair, and the list goes on. Now it looks as though Home Services may change from contractors to Amazon employees.
As Bloomberg reports, Amazon isn’t happy with the growth of its Home Services division and the company thinks the use of contractors may be a cause. So instead, an experiment is being carried out in Seattle. Amazon is hiring cleaners to carry out the housekeeping tasks advertised through Home Services. By employing the cleaners directly it will end up costing Amazon more, but in return the customer experience can be controlled and ultimately greatly improved.
Unlike buying a product, having an individual come to your home and carry out a service is as much about the experience as the price. If you have a bad experience for a cheap price, you probably won’t go back for more. However, if you end up paying a little more and get a great experience, chances are you’ll use the service again. If Amazon’s Seattle experiment plays out that way, we could see the company directly employing a lot more people in the coming years.
Amazon is naming these new employees Amazon Home Assistants. Each one is background checked, licensed, a “proven performer,” and insured. They will carry out tasks including general house cleaning, laundry, dishes, and taking out the trash. Prices start from $156 for a weekly clean of a 1,500-square-foot home. As you’d expect, Amazon Key and Ring will also play a part in allowing Home Assistants easy entry into your property (if you have one fitted).
It’s understandable why Amazon is taking Home Services so seriously. When the service first launched in 2015, Amazon viewed it as a $600 billion market. Home cleaning alone in the US is a $16 billion a year market. Clearly, if it requires employing people directly, training them, and taking the time to build trust with consumers, Amazon is prepared to foot the bill to gain a foothold in this market.