Today’s moving industry is hyper-competitive where many moving companies are in the business of competing on price. Customers are seeking premium packing, moving, and storage services – but they don’t want to pay premium prices. As a result, many companies are dropping prices and engaging in price wars. It is a zero-sum game which may benefit the customer in the short run but can potentially put companies out of business.
Does this sound like your moving company? If so, it’s time to shift focus from price-matching strategies to greater value propositions. As opposed to dropping prices, moving companies should focus on creating value in their services – and demonstrating that value effectively to their customers.
Showing value to your customers separates you from the lowballers who are racing to the bottom. You have more to offer than just price alone. If you’re looking for ways to start adding value, here are 6 options that you definitely should consider.
1. Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
If you want to build a successful business, you must put the customer first and start thinking from the customer’s perspective. Plenty of successful moving companies have gone off the rails at scale when they switched their focus to something other than their customers.
When estimating take the time to make note of the unique parameters involved in each move. This will not only help you come up with an accurate estimate but it will reassure the customer that you are making the effort to understand their individual needs rather than dishing out a cookie cutter estimate. This is one of the most effective ways to show value to your prospects.
Moving is an arduous process for your customers. They often get so inundated with the move itself that they forget all about the excitement of moving to a new home. When possible, congratulate them and simply ask if they are looking forward to living in their new home. This will help reinforce the big picture in their minds, evoke happy emotions and set a positive tone for further discussions. It’s also a great way to start building a long lasting relationship with your prospects.
Thinking from your customer’s perspective allows you to increase the quality of your customer service. Spend some time with your staff thinking about what matters most to the customer, and then go the extra mile to offer it to your customer!
2. Communicate Frequently and Effectively
The digital era is changing how customers seek information. They want answers, and they want them yesterday! Once you receive a lead, send out a personalized first response as soon as you can, preferably within seconds. Be sure to let the customer know when they can expect your estimate and remember to follow up if there is a delay.
Keeping your customer informed from the moment they get in touch with your company until you complete the move is crucial. Make it a core part of your process to call every customer to confirm their move when they book with you, call them just before their move date and then call them again after the move to ask how things went. Following up with your customers regularly shows them you care, alerts you early of any issues and is a great way to provide value.
Additionally, providing value through email marketing has been proven to the most effective way to reach out to prospects who have expressed an interest in your services. If you are not providing customer value using emails then you are likely leaving money on the table. Educate your customers and help make their move easier with move checklists, packing tips, tips for comparing estimates, tips for moving with kids, tips for moving with pets, etc. If you add value through email marketing, you will book more moves and stand out from your competition.
3. Understand That Value Goes Beyond Price
You may think that when your customers hire you for their move they are making a rational decision.
The truth is they are not. More often than not, they are making an emotional decision.
Studies have shown that our brain isn’t very good at calculating how much something is “actually” worth. Instead, our brains take a “best-guess” approach based on the pricing of similar products or services.
How much you can get customers to pay for your services is entirely based on their perception of “value”. The concept of value is therefore the key to pricing your services.
- People think expensive wine tastes better
- People assume that when something has a higher price tag, it’s better quality
As the business magnet Warren Buffet famously quoted, price is what you pay and value is what you get. Your customers pay your price to acquire your services. However, if you’re offering enough value, your services are exceeding your prices in value. Hence, communicating this aspect of your services to the customer is very important.
Customers will hire your company when the perceived value of your service is greater than the value of their money. As an example, by hiring experts in moving, your customers are potentially completing the move in significantly lesser time and without risking damages to their property. Generally, established moving companies are more well-equipped to deal with moves than the average DIY customer or the cheap mover. Hence, a good moving company can complete moves faster, safer and at a lower overall cost to the customer while providing great customer service.
4. Respond to Concerns – Solve Their Problem
Responding to customer concerns is at the core of good customer service. Additionally, how you respond to customer concerns can either make or break the deal. This also affects your chances of generating repeat business. Perhaps you already sold them the move – but if you’re not responding to their concerns you cannot expect them to leave you a good review or refer more customers to you.
You simply cannot overlook our business environment and the digital nature of your company’s reputation today. Customers who are having a poor experience with your company can hurt your reputation in seconds by writing you a bad review. A recent study by TrustPilot shows that about 55% of customers write negative reviews to warn the online community of their poor experience.
Fortunately, this works both ways. The same study indicates that about 60% of customers write positive reviews to help others make better buying decisions. The answer is clear, you want to provide awesome service, solve their problems, and get more positive reviews!
5. Your Moving Company Should Be Going Places Your Competitors Won’t
I mean this both physically and metaphorically. In other words, make sure that you’re going the extra mile for your customers. To justify charging premium prices, you have to be offering premium services. Hence, be ready and willing to do more than your competitors will.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are going the extra mile:
- Do you offer onsite estimates for larger moves that are within driving distance?
- Is your crew prepping the customer’s home to prevent property damages?
- Are they trained to properly wrap items before moving them?
- Are they trained on safe and efficient loading practices.
- Do you make sure your trucks are always clean and sufficiently equipped with tools & supplies?
- Do you offer to drop off some cartons ahead of the move so the customer can start packing essentials?
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is a great place to start if you are looking for training programs.
These actions will go a long way in setting you apart from your competition. Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded!
6. Respect Your Customers
Your customers are the reason that your business exists. Demonstrate value by showing that you (and your entire staff) respect them. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Respect their time – Give them a heads up when you are on the way and always show up on time for appointments.
- Keep your promises – If you’re promising to follow-up by the end of business hours, then do it. Follow-up with them even if you’re only letting them know that you’re still working on it.
- Respect their money – Let them know that you understand they have choices and you appreciate the opportunity to help them with their moving needs. By making them feel valued, you’re creating a loyal customer that will potentially become a repeat customer in the future.
- Respect their property – Your customers are trusting you with moving their property. Their belongings may be expensive or hold sentimental value for them. Coach your movers on how to treat their property with the utmost level of care.
Initially, your goal should always be to make it obvious that your customers are making the right decision by choosing your company. Once they hire you, showing value to your customers is all about providing great customer service from start to finish. When you allow customer value to drive your strategy, your business will grow faster and generate higher profits.
Movegistics® by Netensity® makes it possible to provide great customer service by handling tasks like first responses, accurate estimates, follow-ups & reminders, automated value building emails, keeping customers updated by text and email, and even automatically collecting reviews when the move is completed. Movegistics helps ensure nothing falls through the cracks so you can focus your attention on providing more value to your customers. Visit www.netensity.com to learn more and book your free live demo today.