The Ultimate Guide to Operational Excellence for Moving Companies
September 21, 2023
Your people are the heart of your moving business, and there’s no doubt about it. However, you cannot be 100% people-driven without the systems and processes that enable your people to do their best work.
This means less back-and-forth emails, whiteboards, ad-hoc phone calls, and going back to the office to return paperwork.
Rule of thumb: Less manual work allows for more valuable work. Happier teams and crews = happier customers.
1. Simplify Customer Bookings
Make your customer’s lives easy, from the initial inquiry on your website all the way to booking the move. The key tools you’ll need is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and move management tools to make this work for you. Using this, you should be able to give every customer a red-carpet experience without spending fuel on additional manual work.
Step 1: Lead Generation and Tracking
Utilize a CRM tool to track and manage all incoming leads from various sources like your website, social channels and Google/Yelp pages.
Ensure that all customer emails, texts, calls, and interactions are logged and easily accessible within the CRM system.
Step 2: Instant Responses
Set up automated email responses and texts to provide immediate replies to customer inquiries.
Customize these responses to include relevant information about your moving company's highlights and why your movers are trained to be the best.
Step 3: Automated Pricing Calculation
Configure your CRM and automation tool to automatically calculate the move price based on your pricing rules and tariffs. This ensures consistent and accurate quotes for customers, saving time and avoiding manual errors.
Step 4: Add-On Services
Specify and highlight any add-on services available, such as valuation coverage, packing, supplies, or additional crews.
Provide clear information on these services, enabling customers to make the best decisions based on their specific needs.
Step 5: Schedule Offerings
Offer customers a selection of move days that fit their schedules.
Utilize automation to quickly present available options, making it easy for customers to choose their preferred date.
Step 6: Inventory Assessment
Streamline inventory assessments by creating an online inventory form or utilizing a virtual photo/video service.
Automate the process of gathering customer inventory details, ensuring efficiency and accuracy in assessing their needs.
Step 7: E-Signatures for Convenience
Implement e-signature tools within your booking process, allowing customers to sign documents electronically when they are ready.
This eliminates the need for physical paperwork and allows for a smooth and convenient sign-off process.
Key Metricto Measure: speed to lead. How quickly are you following up with your inquiries?
2. Find the Best Crew & Schedule Jobs Fast
Customer moves come in different shapes and sizes, and so do your crews’ strengths and availability. Instead of manually mapping this out on a spreadsheet or whiteboard, you can use a digital scheduling tool to set this up easily. This way your movers can refer to a digital schedule without calling into your office or you having to remind them consistently. It should be accessible and at their fingertips at all times.
Step 1: Understand Customer Needs and Special Cases
Use a digital scheduling tool that allows you to quickly understand each customer's needs and any special cases you have to consider.
Categorize the movers in your team based on their specialties, such as those skilled in moving art pieces or those who have experience moving large furniture.
Step 2: Schedule Your Best Crews for VIP Customers
Prioritize VIP customers who move with you frequently and provide them with your best crew.
Utilize the scheduling tool to easily identify your top-performing crews and match them with VIP customers.
Step 3: Balance Work Across Your Movers
Use the scheduling tool to balance work across your movers, ensuring that no crew members are overworked or approaching overtime.
Quickly identify which movers have not been assigned a job yet and distribute work accordingly.
Step 4: Implement Peak Rate Pricing During Busy Days
Implement peak rate pricing during busy days to ensure that you have a more balanced, scalable moving company.
Use the scheduling tool to identify peak periods, and adjust pricing accordingly to meet demand while maintaining profitability.
Step 5: Provide Customers with Flexible Moving Day Options
Offer your customers a selection of available moving dates, allowing them to choose the date that best suits their schedule.
Use the scheduling tool to provide customers with a range of options while ensuring that you have sufficient capacity to meet demand.
Step 6: Dispatch Movers Efficiently
Use the scheduling tool to dispatch your movers quickly, ensuring that they are available and know their schedules in advance.
With the scheduling tool, your movers can refer to the digital schedule at any time without calling the office or requiring constant reminders.
3. Make Move Day Your Customer's Best Day
It is undeniable that the best sales channel for any moving company is word of mouth and repeat customers.
To ensure that your customers are satisfied with their experience and tell their family and friends, it's essential to provide them with the best moving day possible. That starts with how well movers can prepare their customers for moving day, communicate effectively, and handle issues professionally to ensure a seamless experience.
Step 1: Help Customers Prepare for Moving Day in Advance
Reflect on previous successful moves and note what made them successful.
Help your customers prepare for moving day by providing them with a checklist to ensure that they are ready, weeks and days before the move.
Share videos and reviews of your previous packing services with the customers.
Step 2: Send Previews of the Big Day to Customers
Send your customers a preview of what they can expect on moving day, what documents will need to be signed, and what the crew will do when they arrive.
Provide information on local lunch spots and internet services in the new neighborhood.
Don't be afraid to discuss tipping and provide information on tipping guidelines for your moving crews.
Step 3: Create Automated Reminders and Follow-Ups
Set up automated text and email reminders for before, during, and after the move.
Send your customers a live GPS tracking view of where your truck is upon departing to their location, so they can follow and prepare for your estimated time of arrival.
Check-in with the customers during the move and immediately after to address any concerns and ask for feedback.
Request 5-star reviews from satisfied customers and provide instructions on how to leave reviews on various platforms.
Step 4: Handle Claims Professionally
Provide customers with contact information for whom to contact in case of any issues during the move.
Address any damage claims professionally, and respond promptly to customer concerns to ensure a positive experience.
4. Handle Your Customers' Items With Care
Movers should handle their customers' items with utmost care because it is the foundation of your business. Packed with memories, great experiences, and emotions, these items are valuable to the customers and often irreplaceable. A single mishap or damage to a customer's item could damage the trust, reputation, and credibility of your company.
Step 1: In-Home and Virtual Surveys
Conduct in-home surveys with the customers, or do virtual surveys using video conferencing tools.
Ask the customers to make a list of all the items they plan to move, and request that they take pictures or videos of the items, especially the valuable ones.
This will help create a paper trail of all the items that the customer cares about deeply.
Step 2: Move-day Training for Crew on Documentation
Teach your moving crews how to take photos and conduct walkthroughs before they begin moving things on the day of the move.
Have them take a photo inventory of all the items that need to be taken before they pack and move the items.
Conduct a walkthrough of the home after all items have been loaded onto the truck to ensure that there aren’t any pre-existing damages.
Another walkthrough should be conducted once the items have been unloaded at their destination to ensure that all the items arrived safely.
Step 3: Take Photos Liberally
Take photos of all items with timestamps before and after the move.
Movers should be encouraged to take photos liberally before, during, and after the move, as this ensures that the customer's items are in the same condition before and after the move.
Step 4: Digitize and Standardize this Process
Use a tool or software that can guide your movers to do this easily, consistently, and efficiently, no matter where they are. Digitizing this will provide a consistent process across all your jobs, and will help streamline the process and reduce the risk of errors.
For longer moves or moves into storage, use digital inventory tools to help reduce the amount of time movers spend doing it by hand.
This will help to fix any handwriting issues and provide an accurate inventory that can be easily accessed at any time.
Step 5: Adjustments on the Fly
Allow your crews to make restricted adjustments to time and materials from the office.
This will allow them to be more flexible with the customer's requests, which can range from needing additional boxes, help disassembling a bunk bed, or a shed. This will enable your movers to provide the customer with the help they need, irrespective of whether it was discussed before the move.
Following these steps will help ensure that your customers have a seamless, stress-free move, and that their items are well taken care of every single time, no matter the type or size of the move.
5. Efficiently Manage Pricing, Invoicing and Payment Collection
Money management is not a process you want to overlook. The financial health of your business is the strong determinant of how you grow, the profit you earn and the customers you acquire. Movers can improve their pricing strategies, streamline their invoicing and payment collection processes, and enhance overall customer satisfaction and profitability by implementing a few processes to make this more efficient.
Operationalize the 5 Processes to Unlock Efficiency
By creating standardized processes, moving companies can ensure efficiency in their operations, and more importantly, be consistent in delivering 5-star experiences for customers. Efficiency across the business means cost and time savings everywhere. This allows for smoother communication between team members, reduces the risk of errors, and enhances overall productivity. Implementing the right systems, such as a CRM and move management tools, streamlines the booking process, improves customer communication, and enables accurate pricing and inventory assessments. The result is a seamless experience for customers, from the initial inquiry to the actual move.