As a mover, you are a special breed. Not everyone can do this job, and even fewer can actually do the job well. You are among the best of the best. Typically, movers are well paid. But getting tips from customers is major. It not only helps your pocketbook, but it also is confirmation that you are good movers.
If you are not earning tips, then it is the first indication that you are not a good mover. This should tell you that you need a lot more practice or that this not the job for you.
But here is a list of actions that you can take to improve not only the quality of your service but your chances for more and bigger tips:
1. Always Be On Time
Being on time is super important when getting tips. It’s your first impression with the customer. If you have to be late then you need to call the customer to let them know.
2. Be Presentable
Shirts need to be clean. Free from holes, rips, tears or stains. If you sweat a lot during the move then you need to have multiple shirts to change into. Customers hate it when their boxes come into their home with your sweat stains on them.
3. Wear Your Pants Properly
Your pants need to be worn properly. Which is around the waist. You should wear a belt. Your pants should be properly supported so it doesn’t show your underwear or a butt.
4. Address The Customer Properly
The customers should always be addressed as “sir” or “ma’am”. Preferably you should say “Mr, Mrs, Ms, or Miss” where appropriate. If they ask you to call them by name you should still say “Mr (first name)”.
5. Never Say You Can’t
Never. EVER. Under any circumstances argue or tell a customer something “can’t” be done. If the customer asks you to do something you should be and sound happy to do it. If it is something that you can’t do legitimately then you should tell the customer that you need to check with your manager if it can be done. Keep the “bad guy” away.
6. Never Tell The Customer This…
Never. EVER. tell a customer that they “should have done that” or they “should have done this.” Whether directly or in ear shot. For example, come into the house that should have been PBO and say that they should have packed the pictures into picture boxes. Or that they didn’t pack the lamps. What is done is done. No sense in complaining about it. What you should tell the customer is “We are going to pack this the best as we can, and we’ve done it bazillion times before without trouble but we can’t guarantee it.”
7. Take The Time To Prepare
Take the time to actually prepare their home and stuff for the move. You should spend a good amount of time making sure the floors, bannisters, doors and walls are properly protected from scuffs or damage. No matter if the move is an hourly or flat rate job. By doing this you are setting you and your company up as they guys that truly care. Of course, the faster you get this done the better the customer will feel.
8. Work Quickly
Speed is your friend, especially on hourly paid moving jobs, but they are equally important on flat rate jobs. Also, if you have a guy that is just standing around, moving slow, then it is up to you to say something, or correct the behavior.
9. Your Tip Falls On Your Co-Workers Work Too
You ARE your brother’s keeper. It doesn’t matter how good or how fast you are as a mover, if you have someone that is moving slow, taking a lot of breaks, breaking things and so forth YOU WILL NOT GET A TIP. That sucks but that is the way it is. How your co-workers work reflects on you. So if you have a co-worker that is sloughing off then you either have to fix it or tell your boss so that get corrected or fired.
10. DO NOT SMOKE NEAR The Customers Property or Furniture
If you have to take a smoke break then you should walk off the customers property to do so. NEVER. EVER. Smoke in the back of the truck with the customers furniture. And if you see any of your co-workers doing so then you need to tell to stop or move to a better place. Again, their actions reflect on you too. If they smoke in the customer house or property it’s like you did so as well and you ALL lose that tip.
11. Keep Your Breaks To A Minimum
Breaks should be kept to a minimum, especially on hourly charged moves. If you have to take a break, make sure the customer knows when you are starting it and when it should be over. Of course, breaks should be off the clock on hourly jobs.
12. Keep Busy When Speaking With The Customer
It’s okay to talk with the customers while on the job. And you should. BUT…when doing so you be keeping yourself busy. Never ever stand to speak with them. This basically means that all conservations will be kept to a brief encounter. Feel free to mention things that you find interesting. Joke with them. But keep moving. While not as imperative on flat rate jobs, it is a must on hourly paid jobs.
13. Don’t Curse Or Tell Rude Jokes
Never curse or tell rude or off-color jokes to one another where the customers, or Heaven forbid, where their children may hear.
14. Mind Your Hats & Fan Gear
Never wear team shirts or hats to an opposing area. For example, I would never wear a an MSU Spartans shirt to Ann Arbor home of the Wolverines, and vice versa. This includes and sports teams whether college or professional. Never joke about your team being better than the other team. When it comes to teams be neutral while on the job. After the job is done and the bill paid, then you can say something.
15. You’re Not As Funny As You Believe You Are
Don’t be telling jokes. You’ll never know when your innocent joke will offend your customer. Even professional comedians get into trouble for this. So, keep jokes to yourself. And don’t tell them to your co-workers within ear shot of the customers or their kid and family.
16. Have A Great Attitude
You should have the attitude of helpful, confident, reassuring and pleasant while working quickly and efficiently.
17. Never Yell At A Co-Worker
Never ever scold or yell at a co-worker while on the job in front of the customer or within ear shot. If you have to correct a co-worker take them aside and quietly speak to them.
18. Stay Off Your Phone
You should never be on your cell phone. In fact, you should keep your cell phone on vibrate and in the truck while loading and unloading (and packing too for that matter.) The only one that should even have a phone on them should be the crew leader and they should have a Bluetooth.
19. Keep The Truck In Good Order
The truck should be in good order. The pads should be folded up. Dollies should be strapped to the walls. The cab of the truck should be clean and neat. No garbage on the dashboard or under the seats. This stuff tends to find a way to fall out of the truck when you open the doors.
On long distance moves, the load will shift and settle, so never ever open the back the truck in front of the customer. It is extremely embarrassing when you open the back and their stuff falls out or looks like it was thrown on the truck haphazardly. Everything should be strapped down bit settling will still occur and can make a good looking packed truck look like a dog’s breakfast.
20. Take Your Time Driving
It doesn’t matter how good you think you can drive. You want to make sure that you take your time driving. The customers would prefer that you take a little extra time to get to their new place than you driving like you stole the truck.
21. Own Up To Damage
If you do damage anything. Own up to it and tell them how the problem will be solved. Never tell the customer the item was “like this” before you moved it, or try to hide it. This will also put you in hot water with getting a negative review online. Never let a co-worker try to hide or lie about damaged they caused either. If something is legitimately damaged before you move it then note it down on an inventory sheet and ensure that the customer signs it. Failing that you should take a picture of the damage and inform the customer that said the piece is damaged.
22. Don’t Ask For A Tip
NEVER. EVER. Demand or ask for a tip. If the customer wants to give you a tip then they will. Never tell them you accept tips. In fact, don’t mention anything about tips at all. Customers may feel pressured or intimidated if you do so. I have seen it where guys asked for a tip and were later arrested because the customer felt they were being “shaken down” and they called the cops. You should also understand that not every customer will tip. All you can do is your best on every single job. If you don’t get a tip then don’t bitch or complain. Again, it could come to bite you in the ass.
23. Make The Customer Feel Important To You
The biggest thing that you can do is make the customer feel assured that you are professional and that you believe their stuff is important to you as it is to them.
Working quickly and efficiently while treating the customer as if they are the only people in the World will earn you more chances for a tip than anything else. Not only will you get higher tips, but you’ll also earn the moving company higher reviews online.
The customer is not always right, but if you make them feel like they are then you will win them over even if the move isn’t perfect.
Customers will always give their friends the benefit of the doubt. So if you treat the customers as friends you will get tips.
About The Author: Jae Burnham
Jae Burnham is a moving industry professional who owned a successful moving company in Lansing, Michigan. He is the creator of the Facebook Group 7 Figure Moving Academy as well as the popular YouTube Channel 7 Figure Moving Academy. Jae is a pioneer in the moving industry and has helped many movers with starting and running their moving businesses.