We were tired of spending several hours searching multiple websites, messaging and calling several service providers when we needed a task or project done at our homes. We wanted something that we could talk to and it just somehow does the scheduling/search for us. Something like a Butler. So, we created MyButla (My Butler in the alexa app store). With MyButla, customers just say the service they need help with and MyButla will immediately handle the scheduling/search for a top quality service provider. Customers can set up a monthly subscription for specific types of services or request for one-time services.
What it does
With MyButler, customers just say the service they need help with and MyButla will immediately handle the scheduling/search for a top quality service provider. Customers can set up a monthly subscription for specific types of services or request for one-time services.
How I built it
We built it using several technologies (Node.js, React) and also using AWS ecosystem of software packages (DynamoDB, Cognito, Alexa Skills Kit, Alexa Conversations).
Challenges I ran into
It was relatively quick to develop the main application itself (ondemand.mybutla.com) but the voice application required some very rigorous testing in order to get the "conversation experience" right. We also faced a lot of challenges passing the certification as we did not account for several edge cases (ending sessions, timezones etc.) but ultimately successfully published the skill (the published skill was called "Travtail Skill" but the new skill "My Butler" is now going through the certification process).
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Whenever we present the skill to friends, investors or colleagues, you could see how impressed they are that you could request for services using just voice and it works.
What I learned
Test, re-test and test again. There are so many things that could go wrong when customers use voice for transactions (accent, the words they use etc.). Developing some sample phrases for triggering specific actions will also help reduce the likelihood that customers will be frustrated when using the skill.
What's next for My Butler
We believe voice is the future of on-demand services and will continue to improve the skill as we expand our product to other markets. We are currently only in the Nashville market.