New client Ed Murphy shares his experience with us:
I’d seen the advertisements on Facebook for Family Concierge service with promises of “just a little help” with things like groceries, house cleaning, rides, and package delivery. Each advertisement had an idyllic photo of a happy older couple looking off into the sunset with contented expressions or a smiling woman holding a bag of groceries.
When I think of a concierge service, I think of an upscale hotel. Whatever I need, whether it’s a restaurant reservation, tickets to a show, the location of a dry cleaner, or a car to pick me up, I can reach the concierge desk and someone will get that done for me.
So what, I asked myself, is Family Concierge exactly? How does it work? I decided to find out.
What is Family Concierge?
I searched Google for customer reviews and news articles about Envoy’s Family Concierge service so I could get a better sense of what to expect.
I noticed two things in particular - the ways that families are using this service. One reviewer was using it weekly to ensure that her daughter received groceries at college. In another review, a woman was using the service to shop for herself and her (presumably senior) mother.
The second thing I noticed was that many of these people were either busy, didn’t have a car, or didn’t want to deal with the stress of actually shopping themselves - so Envoy had an additional benefit of free time and less stress.
Exploring My Options
Having read what people were saying about it, I wanted to know more. I went to their website at www.helloenvoy.com. As it turns out, they provide “just a little help” with a lot of things: house cleaning, rides in the local area, gardening, yard work, meal preparation, and more.
The service is carried out by people in the local area similar to the way Uber or TaskRabbit works. They call these people Envoy Assistants, or just Envoys for short. Digging a little deeper, the differences became apparent:
- Unlike the other services, they promise the same person every week
- They match the service provider to the person and promise a more personal 1:1 relationship
- Each Envoy is selected, passes a background check, and there is a $1 million dollar insurance policy backing the whole thing https://www.helloenvoy.com/safety
Signing up for Service
So I tried it. Signing up was quick and easy. Once I was in the member’s area, I built a quick shopping list of items I would normally pick up from Trader Joe’s on my way home and added a few household tasks.
I had to give some thought to what I could ask them to do in the house that would be helpful to me. I settled on:
- Sweeping the kitchen and hallways (our dog and cat shed enough create a new pet from scratch)
- Taking the trash to the bins in the garage
- Bringing the trash bins to the curb
I set the appointment for my normal garbage night between 8pm and 10pm and waited to see how it went.
My First Visit is a Success
Thursday morning I received an email from Envoy reminding me of my appointment and listing the the tasks I’d set and providing a link to my shopping list. It let me know I had to make any changes before 6pm.
That evening I received an email around 7:45pm to let me know my Envoy was starting to shop for my order and around 8:15pm I received a text from my Envoy letting me know my favorite cereal that I’d ordered was out of stock. They asked if I wanted to skip it or get something different. I texted them back that it could be skipped.
My new Envoy arrived at my door with groceries in hand at 8:45pm. The house was excited to have a visitor, the dog wagged his tail for attention, the cat was smug as always and my family came to the door to greet and meet the Envoy.
I showed the Envoy into the kitchen and explained where she should put the groceries away.
Then I showed her to the broom closet where the cleaning supplies were; walked her through the house to outline my expectations as far the sweeping was concerned; and pointed out each of the trash cans and how I wanted them collected.
Then I showed her down to the garage, pointed out the bins and showed her how to work the garage door to bring them to the curb.
Explaining everything took about 15 minutes. She completed everything about 30 minutes after that, stopped in the living room to say goodbye, and was gone just before 10pm. I walked through the house to inspect the work, which was done to my satisfaction.
At 10:15pm, I received an email from Envoy with a photograph of my grocery receipt, and pictures of the completed tasks (the bins at the curb, the clean floors). I logged into my account to review the pictures and left my new Envoy a nice note with a 4 star visit rating.
Continuing My Envoy Service
While my first visit was excellent, it’s hard to understand the real value of the service until you’ve had several visits. My Envoy now comes every week. Mostly she does the same tasks I outlined above, she knows where everything is, and she completes it in about 15 minutes.
While she is handling all of that, I'm spending more time with my family, playing board games, watching movies, and reading together. Sometimes we need her to do other things, like dropping our Netflix in a blue postal box on her way home, mopping the kitchen, walking our dog, or anything else that might arise.
Envoy is a solid service that I continue to enjoy and that I’ve recommended to several friends to help within their own home, with their grown children, and with their aging parents.