How Moving Companies Can Improve Their Business Operations
- August 25, 2018
- By: Vonigo
We asked: How can moving companies improve their business operations? We received responses from movers, marketers, and logistics professionals. Here are the top 7 responses.
1. Jacob Beckstead, Director of Marketing and Technology, Bailey’s Moving and Storage
“Moving companies are often run by operators – people who have spent a tremendous amount of time running and working in operations. As a result, many find the other concepts of business – like marketing, to be difficult or foreign so they tend to want to hand the entirety of everything that is not ‘operations’ out to vendors.
“My advice to moving companies large and small is don’t outsource all of your marketing efforts, because it’s extremely difficult to find SEOs, digital or traditional marketing consultants who understand the industry enough to really impact your business. Selling moving services is not a commodity. No one knows your customers better than you.
“Instead of contracting everything, use your operating expertise and learn the basics of marketing in a digital world from sources like LinkedIn Learning so that you can design your strategy yourself. Then, hire experts to help you implement it as needed. If you trust all of your marketing to a third-party without any understanding of what they’re doing, you’ll end up spending too much and getting too little for it. I see this time and time again inside the industry.”
Jacob Beckstead is Director of Marketing and Technology for Bailey’s Moving and Storage in Englewood, Colorado. He has an in-depth knowledge and passion for information and technology and its unique ability to lead companies to better success.
2. Ryan Carrigan, Co-founder of moveBuddha
“We help people find great moving companies so we have a unique perspective working between customers and moving companies. There are a few pieces of advice I always give any moving company we partner with.”
a. Call all new leads as quickly as possible. Our data overwhelming suggests the first moving company to call a customer is about 30% more likely to book the job.
b. Create an email that reviews everything the customer needs to be aware of and what to expect on moving day. Send the customer this email when they book and then again the day before their move. This will cut down on common issues like customers not being ready on moving day.
c. Over-communicate with the customer to avoid bad reviews. Even if there was a mistake or issue always pick up the phone when the customer calls or proactively call the customer. Many moving companies stop taking angry customer calls if they don’t have something good to tell them. Many of these bad reviews could be avoided with simple customer service and follow-up.
Ryan Carrigan is the Co-founder of moveBuddha — the fastest and easiest way to plan a move online. They’ve helped thousands of people successfully complete local and long-distance moves.
3. Kate Hart, Removals and Relocation Manager, Fantastic Services in the UK
“To me, the most important thing when it comes to any service at all is to provide the ‘Complete Package.’ Let’s just say that a family calls us in for removals and they forgot to source boxes for the move. We’ve got that covered. What if they need to store their belongings before moving to their new home? We’ve got that covered. If they need to leave the landlords property spotless to net back the deposit, we can help with that as well.
“When you think about it we’ve got almost every possibility covered. Clients love that. They are often pretty stressed because of their move and they appreciate your ability to cover every problem for them. We make a time-consuming, stressful task look like something easy. It makes the experience of working with us pleasant and it keeps your clients coming back.
“So you always have to think, ‘What else might my clients need along the way?’ and strive to provide it. We are super happy with our new storage service and the prices we are able to deliver. It really makes us much more competitive.”
Kate Hart is the Removals and Relocation Manager for Fantastic Services, a company in the UK that offers all kinds of domestic services.
4. Wendy Archer, President/CEO, Groshell Logistics, Inc.
- Automate your operations. Barcode your warehouse, put trackers on your trucks (clients love when you or they can track a truck).
- Take the time to sit down with the client and review the paperwork thoroughly so there are no surprises.
- Conduct site surveys via iPad. Have all your forms on an iPad.
- Only accept cashiers checks. Request a deposit three days prior to the move so that funds can be cleared.
- Have a referral program. Give the referrer a gift card. Offer discounts if they mention they heard about the company from a friend.
- Combine drivers with lead supervisors (will save a lot of money).
- Have employees do marketing.
Wendy Archer is the President and CEO of Groshell Logistics, Inc. of Brandywine, Maryland. They specialize in all kinds of transportation needs.
5. T.J. Peterson, Digital Media Coordinator, Oz Moving & Storage
“I think moving companies should be heavily focused on their local marketing. Most companies know this already. They invest in local SEO, physical advertising, and align with local businesses.
“One unique opportunity granted to moving companies is their resources that can be utilized for in-kind donations; movers and trucks. Almost everyone needs help moving stuff around sometime. Especially in such a surge industry (where business slows down in certain months and picks up in others), moving companies should utilize their resources to gather local exposure by donating their services in-kind in the off-peak season to local charities and non-profits in exchange for marketing opportunities. Oz has utilized this method to be prominently advertised at some of NYC’s biggest charity events, like the AIDS Walk, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Bike MS, and many more.”
T.J. Peterson is the Digital Media Coordinator of Oz Moving & Storage, a moving business with locations in New York, New Jersey, and California.
6. Natalie Evans from Reynolds Transfer & Storage in Madison, Wisconsin
“We have grown by providing great customer service. We want a customer to refer her brother/grandma/best friend, and leave a glowing online review so that future customers are more likely to choose us when searching online.
“One piece of this is providing a living wage to our movers and drivers, in an attempt to retain people with moving skills or the ability to learn.
“This also helps build teams made up of movers who have worked together for years rather than weeks. Because our employees are more experienced, this reduced turnover also helps reduce broken or damaged items, and the subsequent customer claims. It also increases our efficiency and profitability by reducing the hours spent completing new-hire paperwork, explaining benefits, and training.
“We also emphasize training to better our customer service. Movers are trained according to United Van Lines standards by watching videos about packing and moving furniture. Our employees then spend a day at our furniture warehouse and practice. Moving a couch up a tight set of stairs is tricky, and our employees learn how to move the furniture while protecting the piece and the surrounding area. This practice also minimizes customer claims and property damage, further increasing our profitability.”
Natalie Evans is Vice President of Reynolds Transfer & Storage in Madison, Wisconsin, a company that specializes in residential moves, office moves, heavy equipment lifting & hauling, a multitude of warehousing & storage options, and more.
7. Andrei Vasilescu, CEO of DontPayFull
“Like other businesses, moving companies also need to promote themselves to get more business. My two most useful marketing tips are shared here for moving companies:
a. Online marketing: “Create an attractive and modern website having compatibility with any mobile or any static device and optimize it properly for top positions in search engines. Create attractive business profiles in popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. Regularly publish attractive business content in social networks and post informative and useful content in blog posts that can engage your target audience. Commence effective email marketing and create a complete profile in GoogleMyBusiness.
b. Visual content: “People will like it better to see how you work than to read about how well you can do. A high-resolution image or a high-quality video showing your activity will attract your target audience a hundred times better than your text-based business content. Hence, take lots of pictures and shoot interesting and demonstrative videos related to your business. Use relevant keywords or keyphrases in captions and descriptions of those images and videos. Optimize those search engines and post them through your website and all your social media profiles.”
Andrei Vasilescu is the CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist of DontPayFull, a site that offers online coupons and promo codes for a wide variety of online retailers.
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