4 Technology Trends from the Moving Industry
In recent years technology has been a hot topic across the relocation services sectors, the moving industry is no exception. High-tech innovations are improving service quality and efficiency for moving companies and customers alike, on a local scale and globally.
Here are 4 ‘smart moving’ technology trends available not just to moving companies but also to relocating clients themselves as part of the moving package. The 4 AI options which I describe below are designed to make the whole process of moving simpler, easier and more cost-effective for all parties…
1. Self-booking and client autonomy
Forward-thinking moving companies are availing themselves of new smart moving/relocation solutions to offer increased customer contact and accessibility. Relocating clients can now book a short-notice moving service, or schedule removals services well ahead of time via a variety of apps focused on the process of moving and relocation. Clients also have the comfort of being able to modify or cancel their service bookings using the apps.
Moving companies with the capability to offer this kind of app technology can win over their competitors by handing power to their clients, making the customer experience hassle-free. Providing visibility of the moving process via a mobile app on smartphone or tablet allows customers the convenience of managing a move ‘on the go’. This customer autonomy enhances the client’s overall service experience.
2. Household goods tracking
Moving services clients are now frequently being offered real-time service updates and goods tracking via apps and online as part of their moving services package. The journeys of household goods and corporate/commercial property are automatically tracked from start to finish giving clients a sense of control and reassurance, as well as reducing enquiries for the moving business.
A significant benefit of the ability to track is the resulting capability to create realistic timelines and scheduling. This is good for both for the moving company handling multiple service requests, and the relocating client planning their own arrival. Again, this massively enhances the customer experience as they are never ‘out of touch’ with their personal effects and allows the moving company to predict and handle delays and improve workflow efficiency when booking moving jobs.
3. Cost Estimation Tools
Many tech-savvy movers are making use of artificial intelligence to produce cost estimations and quotes. Customers and movers alike can now enter the type of goods they are trying to move, whether international or domestic household goods for example, along with drop off and pick up locations. This information can be entered via mobile apps which enable customers to receive a price in record time without the hard sell.
Many clients will be attracted to a moving company offering this type of service for the accurate, speedy and self-generated nature of the quote. This builds on the idea of enhancing the client experience by handing the client a degree of control. Apps which allow clients to ‘self-generate’ a quote from a moving services provider deliver an easy price comparison option as well as a realistic budgeting tool whilst again reducing work for the moving company via automation.
4. 24/7 Customer Support
In the world of large movers, AI and chatbots are hot topics of conversation. Some businesses are moving toward 24/7 customer support, which is particularly useful for international movers. The chatbot software being implemented at some moving firms can interpret user’s text or voice messages to trigger an accurate response to common queries as well as displaying real-time move tracking. Chatbots can be available online at any time, in any location, 365 days of the year.
These AI systems can handle numerous conversations with various clients at the same time. This constant customer support availability is well received by both moving companies (which save time on answering common questions by human customer services) and clients (which appreciate the speed of the response). Chatbots can be customised to give a ‘human feel’ to the robots providing this level of proactive customer interaction. Human customer service agents can then devote more time to handling more complex enquiries.
As a long-time Recruiter dedicated to the moving sector, I am in constant contact with moving and relocation industry professionals and client companies at all scales. These trends in technology are not just for the big multinational mover, many smaller domestic movers are also ensuring they don’t fall behind by implementing AI within their workspaces to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
The core trends are all surrounding empowering the moving client from initial cost enquiry to booking, tracking of the physical move and of course reviewing their experience online after the event. Professionals operating within the moving sphere will be aware of this and will be looking to capitalise on any opportunities afforded by this process automation – which mostly come in the form of time-savings which allow the upscaling of ‘human services’ or soft skills elsewhere.
Written by Ray Inskip - Head of Global Moving Services at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd.