Hong Kong Moms talks with Tamim Batcha, Hong Kong-native, internet entrepreneur and vice president of SpotHelp, to find out how this do-it-all, on-demand errand service works. Is it too good to be true? Absolutely not, says Batcha.
How will SpotHelp change the lives of busy Hong Kong Moms?
I’ve seen how hectic things got at my own home, with my mother taking care of my sister and I, while managing the household. She was making sure bills were paid, groceries were in the fridge, our assignments were done, and she was working at the same time. With SpotHelp, the list of To-Do’s can now be sent to us. We have a network of Task Heroes that we assign jobs to and they are dealt with in a professional manner. A lot of full-time mothers use SpotHelp because of the convenience and the value for money they get with our services. We take care of a variety of needs like cleaning services, handyman repairs, I.T. support and baby sitters. This gives the busy Hong Kong Moms precious time to focus on being with their family or just to have a couple of hours to themselves.
Specifically, how does it work?
We opened up all means of communications so that busy mothers can contact us whichever way they are most comfortable with, be it a phone call, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, E-mail, or even meeting us in person to help them with their requests.
And how much does it cost? How do you determine pricing?
Most are surprised to learn that our services are inexpensive. For example, if you needed someone to do your shopping for you, it would cost approximately $100 a hour. Delivery costs depend on location, and we always inform our customers ahead of time. For other needs, we simply need to know what they need help with, when they need it by, and if there is a delivery, to and from where. Once we have that, we can quickly calculate the cost and inform our clients within a few minutes. There are no hidden fees or charges.
What has been the most difficult request? How did you solve it?
Three days into the launch of SpotHelp, my mentor, Gabriel Fong, who is the Co-Founder of Jaarvis, was in LA and decided to throw the team a curve ball request to see if we could handle it. I was celebrating my birthday on a junk with 50 friends when Gabriel WhatsApp’d me to wish me a happy birthday and asked my location (which was the middle of the South China Sea). Ninety minutes later, I see a speedboat coming towards me with a Task Hero on board holding up a bottle of chilled champagne. A minute after that, I get another message from Gabriel saying, “Work Hard, Play Hard. Enjoy the champagne birthday boy! P.s. I know SpotHelp can now handle any request!”
What do people most commonly ask SpotHelp?
Normally purchasing and delivering items, as well as digital services. We also get a lot of requests on what moms can do with their kids or what classes/playgroups we recommend and are available.
What is the craziest question you’ve been asked?
Well, there was a request for “shaving a sheep”. We responded saying we can organize one to be flown in but would have to go through quarantine and he wouldn’t be able to shave it, only sheer it! There have been requests for following a spouse (to make sure they weren’t up to no good). But the nastiest request has been to clip someone’s toe nails. When we were sent the image, we suggested they get it done professionally and we recommended a few places where they would be taken care of properly!
Is there anything you can’t or won’t do?
Currently, we can’t drive someone’s car for them due to insurance reasons. Though, we are working on getting this sorted soon. There is almost nothing we can’t do but there are things we won’t do because we put our Task Heroes’ safety first. And we won’t do any illegal.
How are the Task Heroes trained?
Every single Task Hero is asked about their background and their passions. Then we test them out internally before we allow them to work on our customers requests. We monitor how they do and what they would do if they get stuck. If they fail our tests, we pay them for their service but don’t use them with live jobs for customers. We want to ensure that the customer service our clients receive from both our Specialist Assistants and our Task Heroes is second to none. And in Hong Kong, that’s a very rare commodity.
How can we trust that the SpotHelp Task Heroes will get it done (to Hong Kong Mom standards)?
I personally expect great service when paying for something so, in my own business, it would go against what my own standards are if our Task Heroes were not high-quality. We take a very different approach to jobs –my core team handles the requests and then compiles them into very clear instructions that the Task Heroes have to follow. While doing any job, we are constantly updated so, there is realtime feedback.
How do we achieve Super User status?
Being a Hong Kong Mom already puts you in “Super Human Status”! From our experience, Super User status is achieved when we are called on a daily basis. Perhaps, through a group chat between a mother, father and the SpotHelp team, where we help coordinate plans, organize their week and know what is needed before they ask us for it. We already have a number of Super Users, who we miss when they are away. It’s been incredible to become a small part of so many families.
What drives your team to work the long hours from 8am-11pm / 7 days a week / 365 days a year?
It’s how our customers make us feel! We don’t know them by customer numbers (that doesn’t exist in our company), we know them by name. And when they share the moments of joy that they have with their family by using SpotHelp, it’s priceless!
How did you become involved in the #CupCakeKarma endeavor, delivering cupcakes to raise money for family in need?
Ivoneke Taylor reached out to me and ask if I would be interested in helping out and without thinking about how much work it would be, I said yes. We thought it would be 50-100 dozen mini cupcakes that Jay Tan from Baked by Jay Tan would make. Little did we know that it would be over 600 dozen orders! The three of us have never met before this and to get involved on such a large scale built a relationship between us that I believe would last a lifetime. It is not every day you get an opportunity to help change ones life.
Why did this story touch you?
I’ve always been a big believer in helping those in need. It’s really from growing up watching my father, who at the age of 79 is still actively involved with the community and helping others out. When in a position to do good, one should always try to assist. It is the foundation that I have been raised on and at the age of 34, I am in a position to help others, albeit through SpotHelp or though my own personal efforts.
How did you manage this make this happen (with all that you are already doing)?
We have over 1000+ Task Heroes and growing so, even though we were running multiple campaigns — such as Suits 4 Success, GH Mumms Champagne On Demand at Arts Central, #CupCakeKarma, the day-to-day requests we get, plus the launch of CubPass — my team has a passion for what they do. Ivoneke Taylor has been very hands on, addressing the mothers on their requests and planning the deliveries. She has my utmost respect for pulling all this together! She is amazing!
Was this a rewarding experience for you and SpotHelp?
Yes. This has made my team and myself very humble of what we are capable of doing. Our motto here at SpotHelp is true to its word — We Get Anything Done!