Customers Stories: Eden – The Office Services Marketplace

Alek Jeziorek Staff writer

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Apply is an office services marketplace that directly connects office managers to the best services for the office. Since launching its new product with Sendbird in January, Eden has grown to serve 17 metropolitan areas and seen 48% message growth MoM.

Before becoming a marketplace, Eden facilitated interactions between office managers and vendors, evaluating customers and connecting them to the service provider that most suited their needs. But soon Eden’s customer requests grew so quickly that they outpaced the ability of Eden’s personnel to facilitate each transaction. Eden needed to alter its customer journey to scale its business.

Build chat into your marketplace and unify your business’s communications

Enter Sendbird. Eden uses Sendbird to empower customers and vendors to talk to each other directly. Customers and vendors each have a separate app. When a customer selects a vendor, they connect across the two apps in single a group chat, where they discuss details related to the service, special requests, reminders, etc. If the conversation is not completed or a message not confirmed, Eden sends push-notifications to either party to ensure crystal clear communication between customer and vendor.

By connecting office managers and services directly, Eden became the marketplace it is today and empowered its customers to make decisions based on their preferences. They at once established a scalable marketplace model and significantly reduced friction in their user’s experience.

“Chat is an essential feature of our product,” says Kyle Wilkinson, CTO of Eden, “but it’s not our core product. It appears simple to build, but I had an inkling that it would get complicated quickly, especially if you add more features or build to scale. I didn’t want to start building a simple chat only to find out later that it becomes prohibitively complicated.”

Given Eden’s focus on its core product, the company couldn’t prioritize the engineering resources necessary to building its chat feature. They needed to launch its application quickly and cost-efficiently, to find a chat solution that could fit their requirements:

  1. Support for React Native
  2. Support for multiple push-notification certificates across its customer and vendor apps
  3. The potential to scale group chat so it wouldn’t limit future product improvements

To decide which chat solution would help drive company growth best, Eden’s engineers built two rough prototypes using SendBird and a competitor. They spent a week building prototypes of both apps and compared each side-by-side.

“With the competitor we just ran into issues right away,” according to Wilkinson, “and, with Sendbird, we were able to push our app over the edge.”

“We like that Sendbird supports React Native. We use Sendbird’s webhooks and API quite a bit to build features and facilitate great customer-vendor communication. We personalize our customers’ experience by directing them to vendors they already have relationships with and we send reminders to ensure that communication is clear and complete on both sides. And we were actually able to build some neat features really easily. It’s just really, really quick.”

Eden uses group chat, push notifications, and messaging to make interactions easy and reliable across its two applications, one for customers and another for office service vendors. Having multiple push notification certificates is key because Eden needs to send reminders to both customers and vendors to communicate clearly and completely to each other. So far the number of messages across apps have grown nearly 50% month over month and Eden now offers its services to 17 metropolitan areas.

“As Eden continues to grow,” Wilkinson adds, “it will be increasingly important to connect customers to the vendors they love and ensure a clear and reliable communication platform in our apps. That kind of communication means there will be less and less friction as we grow to serve more metropolitan areas across the globe.”

Categories: Customers

Tags: Customers