Fair or not, every moving company is tasked with battling a stigma. Too many consumers have been misled by illegitimate movers, and those experiences have created a less-than-stellar legacy for the entire industry.
Those issues compound an already tricky situation for individuals and families looking to relocate.
Better Business Bureau recently released its Moving Industry Report detailing the complex system of logistics and variables impacting individuals and families as they relocate to new homes. From estimates to delivery routes to load and unload procedures, consumers count on moving companies to deftly handle each step of their move. Not everyone is up for the challenge.
An analysis of more than 1,400 moving-related customer complaints filed to BBB revealed recurring patterns of poor service. Consumers consistently reported seeing their initial estimates double, encountering surprise fees, incurring lost and/or damaged items, having their belongings “held hostage,” and a general inability to contact their moving company for a simple status update.
Missteps like those have created a greater need for moving companies that prioritize ethics. Businesses dedicated to operating with integrity can be key in countering their industry’s negative reputation. Here’s what your business can learn from moving companies that are taking those steps right now.
Be transparent and honest at every step of the process, but especially at the beginning to minimize surprises. Think about common complications that might affect the timeline or cost of the service – for example, supply chain shortages, weather/traffic conditions, permit approvals, etc. Disclosing important information ahead of time as a precaution demonstrates to customers that you have their best interests in mind.
To illustrate, consumers often report being hit by surprise fees during a move. Complications such as unexpected traffic conditions, storage fees, and surrounding roads with load restrictions can each have an impact on the total cost. Unforeseen issues happen, but they shouldn’t be a shock.
Include a section in your contract with information that explains how and when extra fees may arise. It may be helpful to place those details on additional customer-facing collateral as well. When it comes to billing, communicate what could happen.
Take the time to calculate an accurate estimate – break down individual costs and try to stick by what you initially assessed.
Customers appreciate knowing that their individual situations, expectations, and priorities are being considered. And how does that happen? By honoring promises as often as possible. Stick to deadlines, stay within budgets, and meet any agreed-upon expectations.
Unfortunately, one of the main complaints about the moving industry is that the total cost is significantly higher than the initial estimate. Hansen Brother’s Moving and Storage, an Accredited Business established in 1890, prefers generating an estimate in-person or using live video to truly have a solid idea of the total cost. They combine traditional methods with advanced software to generate an accurate estimate. A consistent algorithm helps them clearly demonstrate and explain their process.
Regularly communicate with your customer and keep the lines of communication open. Stay as proactive as possible and connect on any complication as soon as you are aware of it. The last thing you want is for your customer to feel out of the loop, or that you’re hiding crucial information.
For example, moving customers often don’t know the whereabouts of their belongings once they’ve been loaded onto a truck. By providing a reliable number or assigning a designated person to handle customer questions, movers have been able to provide assurance to clients that their goods are in safe hands.
Every business can benefit by taking a more proactive role in addressing questions and issues their consumers may encounter along the way.
Do you work in the moving industry? Click here for insight on how to help your business’s operation.