A tech startup with offices in Kansas City and Boston plans to hire 200-plus “Knoqers” in 2020, but the company admits its growing army of door-to-door neighborhood representatives face an unexpected challenge this spring and summer: the spread of the Coronavirus.
“Like everyone across the world, we have been closely following news about the Coronavirus outbreak. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been or will be affected,” said Kendall Tucker, Knoq founder and CEO. “Protecting the safety of our Knoqers and our wider community is of the utmost importance and we are taking important and necessary precautions.”
Among those safety steps: No hand shakes, no touching doorknobs, and representatives have been instructed to stand six feet away when talking to people.
Knoq — freshly rebranded this week from “Polis” — recruits, trains and guides neighborhood representatives (known as “Knoqers”) through its app to educate neighbors about direct-to-home products. Described as automated door-to-door sales and cause-based canvassing, Polis recently was named one of CNBC’s top 100 startups.
The platform has been used by Google Fiber, NRG, Inspire Energy, Fluent Home Security and many other direct-to-home brands, according to the company.
Amid Coronavirus fears, Knoq has opened a new “no-contact” marketing channel to allow brands to reach people working from home during the Coronavirus outbreak, Tucker said. Knoqers can drop literature and samples, talk to people only when appropriate, and deliver necessary services.
“As more people work from home and self quarantine, there is a greater need than ever before for neighborhood representatives who can check in on their neighbors and make sure that people are not suffering in isolation,” she said.
Click here to learn more about Knoq’s precautions.
Founded in Boston in 2015 as an app for political campaigns to mobilize supporters, the newly renamed company already has hired 35 people in Kansas City, with the startup itself officing in Plexpod Westport Commons, Tucker said.
The company plans to roll out teams in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Texas this year, she said, citing 500 percent year-over-year growth and more than $2 million in annual revenue.
“Most Knoqers have experience in retail, restaurants and/or customer service,” the company said in a press release, describing the neighborhood representatives and emphasizing an aversion to pushy door-to-door tactics. “Unlike these roles, Knoqers make large commissions on top of an hourly base. Knoq is also recruiting students and they expect their team to grow.”
Click here to learn more about becoming a Knoqer.
Knoq’s brand of door-to-door outreach is ideal for homeowners and renters who have put off needed work or repairs around their homes, Tucker added.
“Most people want to get clean energy or have been meaning to buy a home security system, but because it’s not top of mind, they are not getting the work done,” she said. “When we meet them in person and make buying easy, working with Knoq is a no brainer.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.