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Reimagining peer-to-peer elderly assistance

How we created new offerings to improve community engagement and increase social impact for the elderly.

Helpper provides a social peer-to-peer platform for people to give and receive help for ordinary day-to-day tasks. Helpper noticed a service- and business model mismatch between help givers and receivers, leading to unmet assistance requests. Helpper was looking for an innovative overhaul of the concept. Seven Beaufort engaged in a business design track for Helpper. We conducted field research, ideated and created innovative service concepts, ran experiments on desirability, viability, and feasibility to improve platform engagement and better serve the needs of the community.

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Desirability: What does our community need most help with?

In the first phase of desirability, the goal was to understand customer motivations, needs, behaviors and pains. We conducted 100 phone and video interviews to distill the most pressing needs and assistance requests. We learned that aligning expectations around specific tasks, flexibility, and trust were the most important factors for a successful match. We also found that people who recently retired were more likely to commit to longer engagements due to a sense of belonging, time availability, and interest in new social connections.

Next, we conducted a quantitative analysis of the most requested tasks in the last few years. The top 3 most common needs were companionship, grocery shopping, and transportation. After generating 52 different service concepts to solve customer needs and pains, we prioritized the different ideas on social impact, scalability, and viability potential. We developed a shortlist of 3 high-potential business ideas: a social grocery shopping experience, personal transportation to medical appointments, and a personal training program for brain health.
We tested the business potential of these concepts by launching online campaigns and landing pages to test different value propositions and learn how customers engaged with them. All 3 offerings were validated with impressive click rates ranging from 15% to 50%, indicating strong customer interest in the services.

Viability: Creating a social service that is affordable, yet viable

In the second phase of viability, the aim was to explore how we could best create, capture, and exchange value in the ecosystem of Helpper and their customers. We explored different revenue models for the offerings with the highest conversion rates and developed a high-level business case. Should the service be a one-off fee? A subscription? A pass? Productized with add-ons?
Through A/B testing, we analyzed the willingness to pay and business models to refine the business case. One service was invalidated for being economically unsustainable, and we continued with the service with a strongly positive business case.

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A/B testing different price points and revenue models.

Feasibility: Designing a digital social service that is accessible to as many people as possible

In the third phase of feasibility, the goal was to learn how to execute the service and scale it to many customers. We needed to learn how to go to market. We mapped out the new matching and execution process and recruited help givers. We identified potential risks and onboarded people on the online platform, offering customer support by phone for those who did not have access to computers.
In this phase, it was all about learning the operational how-to’s, which is done by doing things that don’t necessarily scale.

Only moving forward with evidence

Through this business design approach, we minimized the risk for these innovative service concepts, because each concept was only allowed to be explored further if there was enough market evidence. This process ensures that services are desirable and helpful for the customers while being viable and executable for Helpper. Overall, the project allowed Helpper to learn about user acquisition and engagement and gave them insights on how to better serve the needs of its community with new service offerings, validated through market experiments. This enabled Helpper to make a clear and data-driven go/no-go decision.

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Want to have a chat about designing your new product or service?


Olivier De Hous