Business Today

Best Personal Assistant Apps

From buying grocery and seeking the help of a locksmith, to lodging a complaint or towing a car at the dead of the night, convenience service apps help you get everything done.
twitter-logo Nidhi Singal        Print Edition: August 16, 2015
Best Personal Assistant Apps

Time is money. More importantly, time is scarce. Today, every minute counts because our lives have become more fast-paced and hectic than ever before. And, every minute you spend doing mundane tasks, is a minute taken away from doing what you love. So, here's how you can free up time by logging in to the world of convenience service apps - simple, fast and hassle-free, and just a click away from solving your everyday problems.

First, it was your bank which let you access your account details and do your financial transactions from within the comforts of your home, then it was online retail that saved you trips to the local vegetable vendor, grocer or home furnishing store, and even helped you click and pay for your electronics, furniture and lifestyle goodies. Today, many early-stage start-ups have started knocking on your doors to connect you with skilled professionals, who could even help you fix a leaky toilet or a power outage from a short circuit. Business Today shuffles through a host of convenience apps to stitch up a list of the best. However, the services are mostly restricted to the metropolises, including Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Chennai. Hopefully, they will soon come knocking at your door, too, if you happen to live in a smaller town or city.

GoodService: It acts as your personal delivery boy. A simple app-based service that addresses almost all your needs over a chat - be it hiring a plumber, carpenter, electrician, locksmith or getting a cake delivered at your home. It can also book movie tickets or fix an appointment with your doctor. Available in Delhi and Gurgaon, the company is about to launch its services in Mumbai and Bangalore, too. You can download the app from Google Play store, and key in your name and mobile number to register. Every time you access the app, a chat window pops up for you to post your requests, 24x7. When I enquired about an air conditioner mechanic around 8 p.m., the app shared various vendor profiles and helped me find one who would visit at a time of my convenience. It also communicated the visiting and repair charges. For booking movie tickets, it shares the seat plan and facilitates payment by sharing a link. The app can also help to tow a car even during the night. The company claims to have trusted vendors and, if something goes wrong, is willing to bear the cost as well. GoodService plans to introduce Paytm wallet for making payments hassle-free.

Haptik: If you want to set up auto debit to make credit card payments from your bank account, but finding it difficult to do so, or get a complaint registered for a glitch in your washing machine, Haptik can come to your rescue. The app has been designed to do a host of things under various categories and to enhance your experience. For instance, finding local services or businesses, reserving a seat at a restaurant, finding discount coupons, locating the nearest ATM, or buying something online, finding the best or cheapest flights, helping with government services, finding a car or bike price, tracking the status of your online order, troubleshooting your phone or laptop, booking a spa or salon appointment, and, most importantly, filing a complaint or a service request, is as easy with app as it gets. Once you select a category, you can select the vendor, operator, or service provider you are looking for. When you select a company, a new chat window pops with a person at the other end answering all your queries. The response time, according to the company, is two minutes and you can usually get your work done without any hassle. To file a complaint or service request, Haptik lets you access a lot of companies, including new brands such as Xiaomi and Air Vistara. It started as a customer support service for brands through messaging, but has now evolved. It also shares the direct complaint number for the service centre. This is a handy app for almost any kind of services.

Time Saverz: Available in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad, Time Saverz is here to offer a better life. You can book trained professionals for cleaning, repairs, handymen, errands, pest control and grooming. These are further divided into sub-categories. For instance, under cleaning you have washroom, home, fridge, sofa, window, after-party and even a separate service for shoes. For repairs, you can get mechanics for microwaves, washing machines, purifiers, computers, air conditioners , chimneys and refrigerators. Carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, and skilled hands for waterproofing and painting are available under the handymen category. You can book a service and then pay before or after the job is completed. The company claims to send trusted executives for the job and offers on-time service. Some services are slightly expensive when compared to local vendors as the billing involves taxes as well. But at most times you can get 20 per cent cheaper rates using online promo codes.

Urban Clap: This service acts as a mediator between the customer and a service provider that one may look for. For instance, if you are looking to hire a professional photographer, the app will help you in finding one that fits well within your budget. Once you have registered the request, you get to view the profile of various vendors, which includes the experience of the person, his or her rates, and lists work samples and reviews posted by other users. You can directly hire or connect over the call, too. You also receive a notification through an SMS. You can use this service to hire a chef, yoga or fitness trainer, or register for guitar lessons, car cleaning, carpenters, etc. While selecting the category, the app asks for details such as your budget. Look Up: Provides a chit-chat like experience with nearby shops without having to dial up their numbers. You can find whether a product is available or get information on the businesses in your locality. Once you register, using your location, it will provide you with a list of businesses that are available on chat. You can post queries in the chat window. This service is live in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Look Up: Provides a chitchat like experience with nearby shops without having to dial up their numbers. You can find whether a product is available or get information on the businesses in your locality. Once you register, using your location, it will provide you with a list of businesses that are available on chat. You can post queries in the chat window. This service is live in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Grofers: This is yet another grocery shopping app that arranges delivery from your local grocery store. It asks for the location and then lists the grocery stores along with the estimated time of delivery of products. Once you select the store, it shows the list of products available at the particular store. As you proceed to checkout, it shows you the estimated delivery time for the same day. If you opt for tomorrow or day after tomorrow delivery, it also allows you to select the time of delivery. This app can even be used to order products from a nearby bakery, cosmetics stores, pet care and electronics shop. There is a promotions segment, too. Searching products is easy as all household products are divided into various categories, such as baby products, beverages, biscuits and snacks, breakfast and dairy, canned and packaged food, grocery and staples, personal care and household needs, among others.

Nature's Basket: You can save a trip to the local market for fruits and vegetables if you download the Nature's Basket app. Available in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Hyderabad, it allows you to select from a wide range of fruits and vegetables, delicatessens, international cuisine, Indian grocery, health food, confectionary and desserts, cheese and dairy, eggs and meats, snacks and appetisers and much more. Just like shopping on any e-commerce site such as Amazon or Flipkart, you can add the products to the cart. It allows you to create separate lists for easy access. When you use it for the first time, it asks for the delivery pin code. It offers free shipping for over Rs 1,000 orders and even offers three-hour quick delivery. However, there is one small glitch. You will have to quickly go about with the process once you proceed to checkout as the connection times of in some time.

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