1 Month In To Theraply
What’s happened in the first month since we launched Theraply?
We have been extremely busy since we transitioned Nourifbc into Theraply, an app-based home massage service.
The original plan was to :
- carry out more tests for our van transportation routes in order to optimize our service delivery to customers.
- and to also analyze where else we could add more value to our massage services mobile app for our customers and the booking app for our staff (yes, we have another app for team Theraply’s use).
- Double up our efforts to educate the public on why most of the pregnancy and postpartum services out there aren’t as legit as they claim to be.
However, the initial version of the customer app had some bugs and technical errors which we had to resolve very quickly(shout out to all who provided us feedback), and then by the time we were done fixing everything, the coronavirus hit SG and took everyone by surprise.
Minor Setbacks and Positive Customer Reviews
As a newly launched business, this viral epidemic could not have been more ill-timed. We were very fortunate that none of our therapists, logistics, and transport staff were infected, and twice as lucky that all our pregnant mommies and postpartum moms were safe and sound. Business volume has definitely slowed beyond our initial projections and estimations, but it can’t be helped- and we are totally fine with this because anyone who has known us since our NouriFBC days will know that we have never been focused on earnings.
This is a critical time for all of us Singaporeans to be steadfast in our commitment to ensure that the virus doesn’t become an islandwide epidemic. We have to be vigilant and take precautions for as long as this virus exists in our country. It’s highly imperative that we do not panic unnecessarily, and just ensure that each of us is considerate in our actions towards others.
That being said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for us, we actually had quite a fair bit of bookings before and after the public alert for Dorscon orange was issued. Theraply has been blessed to have the amazing support of our crew, and the many wonderful ladies who have booked appointments with us( such as the mother and daughter duo in our featured image of this post), a BIG THANK YOU to each and every one of you for your support and positive feedback.
We did, however, encounter some difficult situations because of irrational fears
We had some concerned queries from certain potential customers about whether our therapists were keeping themselves safe from the virus because people were fearful about catching the virus from therapists entering their homes for some reason. A few had even asked
- If we had served customers in the CBD areas of Singapore– the answer is no, because pregnant women won’t really do a prenatal massage in a work space or an office.
- Have we served any customers who originally hailed from China/ are China nationals/natives of Wuhan or anywhere else in China–
This one was a bit much, even for seasoned veterans like us. We do have customers who are probably of mainland Chinese origins but guess what- they were actually very considerate, and they took the initiative to contact us on their own before the Dorscon alert became Orange, to postpone their fully paid and entirely unused programs to an indefinite date until the situation becomes less volatile.
And, not one of them asked us if our other customers were of any certain specific nationality or whatever.
- The most difficult one was a customer who engaged us for pregnancy-related services and messaged us saying she wanted our therapists who show up to her place to be wearing face masks, citing fears of getting infected- which we were totally cool about since we were already taking our own precautions- more on that later. (side note, this was on the 6th of February)
Here’s where it gets a bit weird. Our team goes to her residence, and upon the customer opening her front door to let them in, our staff is greeted by the sight of several people who they thought could have been either guests or relatives sitting in her living room, who they presumed to be from China from their accent. Naturally, our team felt a little confused and wary.
To which, our team reacted by contacting us to explain what they saw, cite their own concerns, and ask for further instructions (precautions have to be applied to both ends of the spectrum, right?)
So we message this lady, and explain the above and taking a cue from the above-mentioned customers who reached out to postpone their sessions, we reached out to her with a suggestion to postpone her sessions till March, where perhaps things would be more settled down by then.
We understood her position and appreciated her clarification, but not her reaction and tone. It was rude and totally uncalled for. As we said earlier, this is a critical period for everyone within Singapore, and we have to react to the situation appropriately.
If a customer wishes to have certain precautions to be taken by our team, we will most definitely comply if it is a reasonable and sensible request. But when the shoe is on the other foot, we would expect that the customer in question would react to it logically and also appreciate the level of the initiative taken by our team, instead of being offended by such an undertaking.
After all, there shouldn’t be any exceptions if one is as truly concerned about their well-being as they claim to be. Sure, we might get some flak online for revealing the above events, but we believe it is the right thing to do.
We will do whatever it takes to keep our team honest, healthy, and safe from being treated like they are lowly peasants by unreasonable folks. We would do the very same for all our customers, and if they get treated unfairly by a rude therapist, you can believe that we won’t hesitate to terminate the services of that individual if the claims are not unfounded.
What Theraply Does to Ensure The Safety Of Our Team and Customers
We understand that Singaporeans can be a tad uhmmm… irrational when in a state of panic, so let us put such fears to rest.
Please understand, that as a service-based business, we rely heavily on our team members to fulfill bookings. It is imperative that our team members are healthy and operationally ready, or we would not be able to make a dollar even if we had thousands of bookings on hand, but no one available to fulfill them. Likewise, the safety and comfort of our customers are of equal importance, we cannot take unnecessary risks with their well being.
So How Does Theraply Do That?
1) None of our team members take public transportation such as taxis, buses, MRT trains, private hire or ride-sharing vehicles.
Theraply currently has 3 vans, which we use for transporting our team to and fro for all our destinations, and our drivers pick up our therapists from their homes and drop them off again at the end of the day. We aren’t exposed to mass crowds or environments that have restricted air ventilation.
2) We ensure that everyone wears a mask even if they are not sick, to prevent breathing in microscopic viral spores found in saliva or mucus, which may lead to them being sick later on. Remember, the virus isn’t airborne, it only spreads through airborne droplets.
Yes, we know the government has said not to wear masks if we aren’t sick, but we have been around for long enough as a business(H1N1, Haze, SARS), and because we also provide confinement meals, we understand the importance of good hygiene and food handling practices.
3) All our beds, linen, other equipment, and vehicles are thoroughly disinfected regularly, as it ought to be- with or without a global infection going on.
4) The customers we serve are mommies who are too bloated from being pregnant, and they find it difficult to travel anywhere, so they stay indoors most of the time.
And the next demographic we serve are women who are undergoing their confinement period at home. See that word ‘confinement’? Yep, it’s coincidentally synonymous with the same word the government uses to tell people to stay at home for self-quarantine, except that the main difference is that the confinement period for women who have delivered a baby is a full month instead of 14 days.
So yes, we are pretty safe as far as precautionary measures go and we will take all the necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the well-being of everyone we interact with.
Well, what’s next for Theraply?🙂
We have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers on all our prenatal, postnatal, lactation massage programs which were heavily experimented prior to us launching the services, and we will be working on implementing similar awesome-ness into *DRUMROLL PLEASE* FULL BODY MASSAGES FOR MEN & WOMEN~💆♂️💆
That’s right, we will be rolling out deep tissue massage and sports massage once our backend systems are ready. Soon, you won’t need to be pregnant or undergoing confinement recovery to enjoy the skillful kneading of our therapists!
And aside from this, all of us in team Theraply will still continue to give our best efforts in providing real value to each and every single one of our customers in 2020.
Stay tuned to Theraply, we’ll have more updates soon, please stay healthy!
The Theraply admin is our resident ninja. She manages our social media , blog posts, WhatsApp chats, and mobile apps.