By, Dawn Kreager, Global Logistics Operations Manager
Delivering good customer service is at the heart of all successful moving and storage relationships. Customer Service, in a general sense, measures the experience that a customer has with a company throughout the life cycle of a household goods (HHG) move: estimate, scheduling, packing, loading, transit, storage, unpacking, billing, etc. Several company representatives around the country will interact with a customer throughout the lifecycle of an HHG move, but one important company department is lagging in providing an ideal customer experience. Ironically, that department is the Customer Service department.
Most van lines and independent moving and storage companies have Customer Service departments that follow antiquated protocols that provide little value to HHG customers. Additionally, these archaic Customer Service processes cost companies more to operate and sustain throughout the peak seasons.
The protocols that most moving and storage companies follow rely too heavily on employees calling customers to communicate the timing of the steps of an HHG move.
- First telephone call: Confirms the onsite visit from the estimator
- Second telephone call: One week before the move
- Third telephone call: One day before the move
- Fourth telephone call: Day of the move
- Fifth telephone call: After the move
- Of course, more telephone calls are required if anything in the schedule changes
In between each of these calls, the customer service representative may send out an email or two with documents that offer moving tips, what to expect and other materials. These functions may have proven effective at one point in history, but in today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, the idea of having a team of call center employees conducting similar conversations with HHG transferees over and over every day is beyond monotonous; it’s downright expensive, inefficient and provides little value to customers.
Today’s HHG customers expect to have all the information they need at their fingertips and available on-demand. This requires moving and storage companies to rethink their customer service model for ongoing communication with HHG customers. Companies that invest in communication tools on personalized mobile applications as well as on personalized URLs (PURLs) on the company’s website will begin to deliver on the expected sophistication for today’s customer service.
A PURL creates a personalized webpage on a company’s website. For example, if Jane Doe is moving from Boston, MA to Seattle, WA with Generic Moving and Storage Company, the company will create a personalized webpage such as: GenericMovingCo.com/JaneDoe_1234MainSt_Boston_MA-9876OakAve. Having a personalized mobile application will also serve the same purpose, but the information will be formatted for mobile devices.
Through our proprietary, cloud-based Business Operating System, OX Zion, Vantage Agora offers a webpage and mobile device solution for moving and storage companies looking to improve their customer service operations and reduce their overall costs. As the peak season ramps up, moving and storage companies need to increase their Customer Service seasonal workforce to keep up with the increased calls with the increased volume of moves.
Moving and storage companies willing to invest in a technological solution can eliminate the need for an increased seasonal workforce. With a modest investment in technology, companies can eliminate the cost to search for seasonal staff, training the temporary workforce, ongoing salaries and management compensation year after year. All personalized communication for HHG customers can be controlled via the mobile application and website. Additionally, HHG customers will have all their communication, tips, introductions to their move team, contact information, and calendar of activities available to them 24/7/365.
Call Vantage Agora today at 216.816.9900 or email us to see how the OX Zion Customer Service mobile and desktop application can help moving and storage companies deliver a better customer service experience for HHG customers.