Moving is in itself an inconvenient task. The mountains of boxes, the fact that many of your possessions don’t fit neatly into square boxes, the fact that the ones that do fit tend to be unbearably heavy. It’s for this reason that many people decide to place the burden of transporting everything they own on the professionals, who are hopefully able to determine the most efficient way to go about this process.
But just because a moving company is billed as professional doesn’t always make it so. It’s not uncommon to find a moving service that is ill prepared for your specific needs or otherwise incompetent at what should be their primary task. Regardless of the quality of many of the businesses currently in operation, the moving industry is a competitive one and companies that have grown and survived have weathered much to be where they are today.
One case in point is Metropolitan Movers, a company that started as a local Toronto operation, giving handwritten notes and working in spreadsheets, but has grown enough to need a custom CRM in order to automate their order process and provide clients with updated schedules and equipment requirements. Today, Metropolitan Movers provides service for over 90% of the Canadian population.
CEO of Metropolitan Movers, Benny Presman, insists that his company’s resilience in a crowded marketplace can be attributed to focusing on the client. “Our main focus today is the client. We call each and every client after the service was provided to ask him for ways to improve and his opinion of our service. We try to make sure every client ends up satisfied from our service even if we lose money on this specific move.”
One thing Presman attributed to his company’s success was assuring that the movers hired were of high quality, even if that meant they needed better pay. Low quality movers don’t treat clients or their belongings as well and regardless of the good will or effort you’ve put into maintaining your brand, it’s the movers who represent the company in the eyes of the client and they will have a greater impact on your company’s perception than anything else.
Attention to detail is also important. Knowing the type of building you are coming from or moving to can mean making sure elevators are booked. Similarly, depending on what items are being moved, more or less staff may be required for larger objects just as a differently sized truck may be required. Having to make two trips with a truck can greatly increase the amount of time moving and have a negative impact on the customer.
Presman also insists on standing behind price quotes, which is the kind of client benefit that may not generate positive feedback so much as eliminate negative feedback. Other pillars of their company policy include fast, careful, and friendly work. The movers are also more than hired hands; they’re expected to be able to problem solve on the spot, such as in cases where a client may have an object in a difficult place to move. Other policies, like making sure the client has details about moving, such as arrival time and date, within about 10 minutes of placing an order, are very important. And making up for errors is something to be handled with care. Metropolitan Movers will typically send a $10 Starbucks gift card should they be 30 minutes late, regardless of whether or not the client said anything.
But client focus isn’t the only way this company focuses on the needs outside of itself. Metropolitan Movers also contributes to its community by donating ten meals to Canadians in need for every move they cater through a charity called Second Harvest.
In looking to the future of the moving industry, Presman envisions provisions to eliminate fraudulent movers from the market, meaning those who advertise a low price but then charge dramatically higher when a client’s belongings are already on the truck, essentially putting them in a bind to pay the price. Unlike the US, Canada doesn’t have a license requirement for movers and Presman sees this as a possible solution to this problem.
With regards to the company’s own future, Metropolitan Movers has recently announced its plans to expand through franchising. This allows business professionals to individually own and operate franchises of the business with the guidance and support of the experienced team that has been in the industry for years. Metropolitan Movers has also developed online marketing software to help new franchises generate leads.
It seems that the client-oriented policies of companies like Metropolitan Movers have aided in success and expansion and its hard-earned wisdom serves as an example of the weight those actions carry. Longevity in moving, as in any competitive industry, requires a strict focus on quality assurance. While it may be more costly up front, the benefits in the long run will surely pay off.