10 Best practice guidelines every moving company should follow
No matter the industry, most companies start small. The startup budgets vary. Moving company owners are some of the ones who know this the best. Many start with a family-owned business, with one van or truck and lots of hope for the future. But even in the beginning, every moving company should make themselves known by providing certain professional services and following some guidelines for best practice. Read further to learn the best practice methods that will bring your moving company the reputation it deserves.
#1 Insurance and Registration
Depending on your country of operation the ways in which you acquire your legal documents might differ. However, being licensed and insured will give you and your customers peace of mind.
In the USA, for example, your vehicles need commercial auto insurance and the drivers need a commercial driving license. Your company also needs to be licensed with the state.
Business insurance is also important to have in case of accidents. If someone trips over a box and gets injured, or if the property of the client gets damaged, you’d be held responsible for all sorts of bills if you’re not insured. This would also cover your worker’s injuries when at work, and we all know in the moving business, workers often get hurt.
Another benefit of being licensed and insured is the fact you can sign up for affiliate websites. If you’re trying to get moving leads, most moving comparison websites or professional matching websites only work with legal companies.
Most moving software requires this as well. At eMove.io we work with licensed and insured partners, no matter if they’re moving company subscribers or affiliates.
#2 Guaranteed pricing
In a previous blog post, we’ve talked about moving company scams. You can read about the types of scams and some real horror stories here.
One thing is for sure. The companies that were fished out by authorities and proven to be scam artists, did not offer guaranteed pricing. People are starting to be very cautious when researching and hiring a moving company. Guaranteed pricing should be one of the top things showcased on your website.
A professional has to plan out the move to the smallest details and calculate everything in advance. If you missed out on some important aspects, like what floor your customer lives on, you will have to stand by the guaranteed pricing and not increase the price. This should always be given in writing with a contract signed by the company and the customer as a best practice proof. It will ensure the pricing will not get changed during or after the move.
Another way you can try to avoid mistakes is to use moving software. eMove.io moving software can calculate the costs of the move automatically. The fixed price is generated taking into consideration every detail, the distance, and the total cubic feet.
#3 Keep a clean work environment
The office is not the only one that should be kept tidy. A mover’s life is on the road and the trucks/ vans are a mover’s most prized possessions. Keeping the vehicles in good working order and inspected is a must. However, keeping them clean is an aspect that some forget about.
First impression matters. You can’t go wrong with rolling in your customer’s driveway in a sparkling clean van. However, the interior will be occupied by their belongings. In this case, their last impressions will make an impact on how the review and if they recommend your moving company.
At the end of each day, the inside of the vehicles should be washed and disinfected. The outside and tires should be hosed down in order to be met by your clients in the best condition. The best practice of keeping clean always matters.
#4 Communicate and inform
Nothing can be done properly without communication. Keeping in touch with your customers is essential in making sure everything goes smoothly. Even if you’re just getting started in the moving business, creating a list of instructions, advice and important information, in the form of a flyer is essential.
Having one designed by someone shouldn’t make a hole in your budget. Have a stack of them printed out to give to your customers when doing a survey. It’s also a good idea to have the flyer in a PDF format so you can send it out through email. If you use moving software like eMove.io, the quoting and estimation is done online.
Here’s some information you should give out before a move:
- rights and responsibilities
- liability information
- advice on recycling
- programs your company is affiliated with (example moveforhunger.org)
- advice on packing
- full contact information
#5 Provide a Bill of Lading
This is a document that serves as a contract and has all the information about the move and the inventory. The customer should always receive a copy of it, signed by both parties. It’s one of the most important things when it comes to best practice skills.
The information this document contains is most often related to the whole inventory, condition of items, costs, and destination. The bill of lading should come together with an order for service, with an extra copy for the customer.
This document should be made for every transport the moving company accepts.
#6 Be always on time
We know things happen unexpectedly. In some situations, there’s absolutely no way to get where you have to be and that’s why communication is important. However, stories of moving companies that don’t respect their appointments are everywhere on the internet. This seems to be the most common reason for negative reviews online.
Being on time is a good practice everyone accepting an appointment should follow. Moving companies have to deal with customers who are already stressed, nervous and tired. Even though the first impression always matters, the physical aspect of it is not enough.
Many people have fixed schedules, even when they decide to move. If your team is 1-2 hours late, it is very unprofessional. Even if you are 10-20 minutes late, you should always contact your customers and let them know. If possible, avoid doing it altogether.
#7 Don’t request a big deposit
This is actually one of the things people look for when trying to separate a legit moving company from a scam. Scammers have the habit of asking for hundreds of dollars upfront.
Reputable moving companies don’t request large sums of money before a move. They accept payment after the move is done and secure it with a contract. It should best if your company offered the possibility of paying with a credit or a debit card as well. Most customers will take this a sign of security.
#8 Assembly/ Disassembly
It’s best to have at least someone on your team who can be dispatched to jobs requiring special handling. Every moving company should offer similar services. This would raise the final costs, but unfortunately, not everyone who is moving is able to do it themselves.
We would assume the man in the house can do this, but many people move on their own. There are also many seniors that chose to move, and they require special assistance when it comes to furniture.
eMove.io has options for items that require special handling. It’s available for every item in the 3D inventory and for custom added ones.
The more services your company is able to provide, the more customers you will find.
#9 Don’t take more than you can handle
Only accept jobs that you are able to fulfill. If the job you were offered requires 3 people and you only have a 2 people team, it will be difficult and could result in a bad review.
There is the option to hire temporary workers for some jobs or for the time of the year when most moves happen. However, never tell your customers you can do a job when you know you don’t have the manpower or the equipment to handle it. This is especially important for longer-distance moves when making multiple drives back and forth is not possible.
#10 Have a professional-looking team
We’re not saying you MUST dress every worker in a uniform but looking professional is a best practice skill that can be achieved in many ways. It’s not a bad idea to have your team members wear a badge. Your company’s logo and the worker’s name can be displayed on it. It would make it easier for your customers to address them.
Keeping a clean look and practicing good hygiene is an important part of everyone’s work reputation. Working in the moving business can make you get home looking quite disheveled, but it’s important to get to work in the morning looking fresh.
As a moving company owner, you should always research online what people want. Listen and make adjustments to your everyday good practice skills in order to satisfy the needs of the many. Everyday common sense practices also should apply to your work habits. Don’t forget to also check the requirements for the state/country you live in.
eMove.io is a moving software that will help you every step of the way, with a dedicated team ready to answer your every question. Visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.