At a time when there are so many people to thank, some are finding it difficult to make that happen.
Service-industry employees, such as those working as restaurant servers, have relied on tips that allow customers to directly register their appreciation. Many other jobs that enhance a customer’s experience are often left unthanked.
Unlike other apps, such as Yelp!, the audience for Props isn’t other customers seeking reviews. “We don’t want to be a place for negativity. This isn’t about a customer’s gripes; this is a place to express thanks for employees who went over and above,” said Taylor Peake, founder of the app’s developer, MotionMobs.
App users can register a Prop (a digital thank-you) for someone who made their day better, and leave the feedback for management. “Too often, the suggestion form doesn’t create the right vibe for the thanking of employees who stand out, and the process is so much that customers just don’t do it,” Peake said.
While the original version of Props was more oriented toward retail businesses and restaurants, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has identified other groups in need of kudos and encouragement: medical workers and those in health care and front-line fields.
“Sometimes that unsung hero is the office worker who helps you navigate the paperwork and helps you get your care more quickly,” Peake said. “Those people don’t work for tips, and their supervisors almost never know the impact they have on relieving pain and anxiety from customers and patients.”
Props launched for metro Birmingham last summer, and by design will not be an overnight success.
“We built Props to recognize the many front-line employees whose work goes unnoticed and unappreciated every day. And now, more than ever, they need that positive feedback and encouragement as we all struggle to adapt to our changing world,” Goodwyn said. “We know there are challenges ahead when it comes to user adoption and how this integrates with business goals, but we’re intently focused on the people we built Props to serve and we’re looking forward to continuing to evolve our product to meet that mission.”
Plans include expansion into Montgomery once the Props team is comfortable with the recent addition to its mission.