Freska — your free time is yours again
Freska’s mission has always been a simple one: Give people some free time back in their busy lives by automating an annoying household chore – cleaning. Employ great people to do it, and give them a livable wage plus all the support they need.
Active in Finland, Norway, and Sweden, Freska’s underlying technical base enables management of schedules, travel time, and workload for a fleet of 600+ cleaners. In the past year, Freska has developed better internal service tools and launched an exceptional experience for customers, who can now manage the entirety of their home services from their phone.
These tools allowed the Nordic startup to grow like never before, completing almost as many cleanings in 2019 as in the rest of the company’s existence combined.
A design-led approach for digitally-oriented customers
Freska seized a unique opportunity to disrupt a previously low-tech home services market by developing innovative technology. While the need for home cleaning is an ancient issue, the current consumer demand is shifting to services that suit their busy schedule. Existing home service models, which rely heavily on ad-hoc manual efforts, aren’t able to scale to fit modern needs.
To craft a world-class customer experience, Freska partnered with Nordkapp. While embedded with Freska’s product development team, Nordkapp used service design methods to help the organization gain an understanding of their customers’ needs. Together, Freska and Nordkapp established that all development on the customer experience would need to stem from real-world customer needs while adapting to existing technical systems.
Together, Freska and Nordkapp constructed an experience designed to transition seamlessly from the digital to the physical. Freska customers can use the digital booking platform, continuously updated by Freska’s product team and Nordkapp, to customize a cleaning service in any way they see fit. Customers choose a time and recurrence that fits their lives, and can use the system to account for other needs, like access to the home, pets and cleaning products.
These preferences and customizations are shared with Freska’s assigned cleaning staff members, who are aided by Freska’s customer service team. A custom-built extranet enables the support staff to handedly manage the coordination of thousands of customers and hundreds of service workers. And a web app, the Superheroes App, developed by Freska’s product team handles the distribution of schedules, customer preferences, and other critical information to the service workers.
The experience continues into the physical realm of a customer’s home, where Freska’s service workers are completely equipped to take care of the home and meet customer needs. When possible, Freska is able to maintain cleaner and customer relationships, allowing service workers to build a deep knowledge of individual homes and make sure they’re always keeping customers happy. They are supported in this by Freska’s support staff and the digital systems outlined above.
Meanwhile, customers can check in on and manage their existing bookings all from the Freska app, developed together by Nordkapp and Freska’s product teams. Customers can communicate with Freska and their cleaners, modify existing services, reschedule entire cleanings, add ratings, and manage their account. In this way, the app begins to erase the barriers between the digital and physical worlds of Freska, allowing effortless control for customers over their home and home services.
Freska customers can view, rate, and reschedule their bookings using the app.
Happiness is a free evening
Freska’s goal is to create more free time for their customers by taking care of household chores, while ensuring the people who do the cleaning are well-compensated and happy. The resulting service is one that customers feel connected to.
In this way, Freska creates a positive cycle — Customers feel in control of their home and proud to be a part of the community, and the cleaning staff feels like they make a difference with their contributions.
A seamless partnership
Nordkapp’s way of working differs from the usual project-based consultancy work. We seek integration and tight on-site collaboration with our partners’ product teams, wherever they are. With Freska, we embedded ourselves in their product teams, working to bring a more holistic, customer goal-oriented approach to building products. Working directly with their CTO and members of the product organization allowed us to build strong team relationships and significantly impact the products with a customer-centric perspective.
Close collaboration with members of Freska throughout the organization enabled Nordkapp to create the vision for the future of customer-facing products and establish goals that originate from business objectives. The key paradigm was to never compromise on the user’s needs and experience. As a team, Freska and Nordkapp developed and launched the first self-service system for customers of Freska, enabling entirely new levels of home service, while critically reducing the time strain on Freska’s customer support team.
Introducing this technologically-enabled service has revolutionized the home services market, enabling Freska to grow in their existing markets and consider further growth into new locales. The diverse system of customer-facing products, cleaner-facing portals and internal tools to enable the staff to work smarter has resulted in a service cherished by customers.
Freska has created a win-win-win situation. The organization is able to continue to innovate based on the success they’ve achieved. Service workers are happily employed and well-supported. And customers receive a superior level of service enabled by the organization’s strong technical basis and exceptional focus on the customer’s experience. For customers of Freska, there’s a few extra hours in each week.
Average cleaning rating by customer. Freska customers are prompted to rate each cleaning on a number of factors including timeliness, quality, and overall satisfaction.
Number of cleanings conducted to date across all geographic regions, 2015–present
Number of cleaning hours conducted to date across all geographic regions, 2015–present.
Number of Freska customers using the new Freska app on a monthly basis within one month of promotion.
Home cleaning company in Finland
Pekka Kosonen, CTO
Stephen Sykes, product owner
Liam Turner, design lead
Wouter Leistra, design lead
Masaichi Ikeda, design
Kate Glushkova, design
Jon Durán, mobile development
Satu Ylikoski, frontend development
Jere Piispanen, frontend development
Bastian Schnieders, backend development
Aleksei Gusev, backend development
Egle Lakyte, frontend development
Dan Yuschick, frontend development
Saša Pul, full stack development
Murdho Savila, backend development
Agency Leroy, branding