Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:35

Spark launches ‘WeDo’ service to connect consumers and tradies

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Spark launches ‘WeDo’ service to connect consumers and tradies Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand’s largest telco Spark has launched a new online service — WeDo — designed to make it easier for consumers and tradespeople to connect and do business in their local area.

With the new WeDo service, to post a job, consumers are guided through a brief, visual step-by-step process that actively generates a price estimate based on similar jobs – giving consumers an initial idea of the costs involved.

In return, businesses receive qualified local job-leads that allow them to spend less time on the phone figuring out what’s required and more time doing the job itself,

The man responsible for the new WeDo service — Kayne Munro — says: “It wasn’t that long ago we ran businesses like the Yellow Pages service, helping connect Kiwis looking for businesses – now we’re stepping that up, connecting great tradespeople with busy households with a revised sense of ease and convenience.

“Our small business customers tell us they often don’t have the time or resources to maintain an online presence but know it’s critical in a digital world. WeDo isn’t about controlling or facilitating the work, but rather about providing a platform for small business owners to cultivate their customer base online, get paid quickly, plus have a fair shot at winning jobs - all without clipping the ticket on their hard-earned work.”

According to Munro, with platforms like Uber and Airbnb now commonplace, consumers and businesses expect digital services to operate with a new level of convenience and transparency.

“WeDo’s vision is just that, and today is calling for great local tradespeople across Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch to set up their free WeDo profile.”

Munro cites a survey conducted by Spark showing almost 50% of all households have a job at present that could benefit from WeDo. Often these jobs have been left unsorted and, as a result, have been described as annoying or stressful.

“The work required to find the right tradesperson is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding someone available and to then gather and compare prices and credentials can be time-consuming, resulting in jobs getting pushed further down the ‘to do’ list. WeDo finds the available, and suitable, needles from the haystack for you,” Munro says.

He points to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates there would be a NZ$34 billion impact on productivity if all New Zealand businesses made better use of the Internet.

According to Munro, with SMEs accounting for 97% of NZ businesses and employing nearly a third of the population, online platforms like WeDo can give some NZ SMEs an “easy way to grow and truly find their edge”.

“Our main goal right now is to ensure we have a wide selection of businesses available in cleaning, gardening, plumbing, electrical, moving and painting before opening up the service to consumers. The platform is still very much in a beta phase, so we’ll be capturing feedback from both businesses and customers and refining it based on the suggestions we receive,” says Munro.

“For Spark, this is an exciting next step as a digital services company – helping all of New Zealand win big in a digital world.”

WeDo — a free service — will officially launch for consumers in August.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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