Are PSS what you are looking for in a removal company?

There’s so much to consider when moving home:

Getting insurance, setting up a re-directory for mail with the post office,  taking final meter readings, changing your details on the electoral roll, notifying the TV licencing company about your change of address, moving your digital TV and broadband to your new address, informing your car insurance about your new address, notifying your banks, sorting packing material, actually packing, getting all the right keys from the previous owner… the list really does go on!

Not to worry, because most people do most of these things when they get to their new home… apart from one thing that’s often overlooked, yet tends to be the most essential:

Securing a perfect removal company.

Why?

Because it’s vital you match with a professional and vetted removal company so you can be rest assured that the specialist have got all the hard work covered.

What’s the best way to do it?

Learn a bit about their professional history, values and ethos.

Read below to find out who PSS are and if they’d be perfectly suited to you.

What does PSS stand for?

First and foremost: Quality!  It also stands for Personal Shipping Services.

How many years have PSS been around?

36 years.

What have you learnt along the way?

Moving overseas is extremely stressful especially for first time migrants. As we are usually the last migrant service a client will use. That means we have to ensure that we are sympathetic to their needs. We always try to be understanding and try and help as much as possible when we do the move.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever moved?

A World War 2 ambulance was one that we actually shipped; however we  have been asked to ship a number of strange items that we were unable to as customs would not allow them in at destination!

We’ve become experts over the years on what goods are prohibited or restricted. This has saved our customers a painful battle with customs which can sometimes lead to a hefty fine, their item being returned to their old home or it being destroyed!

 This is especially case with the UK’s unfortunate past reputation with foot and mouth etc. There are other items which may have the potential to incur additional charges or delays in customs so find out the regulations for your country. Ask your removal company for advice.

Items to be wary of:

New goods or those less than 12 months old – These may incur import duties in many countries.

• Prohibited and restricted goods – These differ for every country so check beforehand. For example, Australia and New Zealand – Wicker, cane and bamboo is classed as restricted as these items may be a biosecurity risk. If not processed sufficiently may contain boring insects, fungi, and other contaminants that have the potential to introduce exotic pests and diseases.

• Food & plants – Generally not allowed in order to protect native species and avoid the spread of diseases.

• Alcohol / Wine – Can be more trouble than it’s worth with import duties etc. Best save it for your farewell party! If you do have an expensive wine collection then it is possible in some countries to avoid duty if you have the relevant certification.  Talk to your removal company to get the best advise.

• Gas canisters and flammable items are not normally accepted by shipping companies if the intention is to ship these with your personal effects. If you do have any items like this please talk to your removal company as there are other options available.

• Lawn mowers, garden tools, golf clubs, bicycles and camping gear especially ground sheets and tents –These items can be sent; however it is important that they are properly cleaned before you ship them. Upon arrival it is possible for the country’s agricultural or quarantine department to instruct these items to be fumigated or cleaned. That means an additional fee maybe applicable at destination.

What kind of events / celebrations / awards do you do in-house for your staff?

PSS believe in recognising our staffs achievements – our reputation depends on the work they do!  We have a weekly prize  for the staff member who has been voted for by their peers for outstanding contribution for the week. We also have prizes for staff who consistently receive good feedback from clients, and we regularly have team building events.

How many removals did you carry out last year?

Just over 5000 moves.

How has buzzsurvey helped your business?

It has allowed us to engage with a lot more clients and achieve a better understanding of their needs. This also gives us a more accurate insight into what they are looking to send abroad. A face to face dialogue enables the client to ask as many questions as they may have. It also helps them to build confidence in the individual conducting the survey.

What’s the most popular destination to ship to at the moment? Has it changed over the years?

Definitely Australia and NZ seem to be the choice destinations and have been for the last 10-15 years.

Why did you start teddies travels?

It all started 20 years ago when the company began doing a number of exhibitions and we found it a great way to keep the young children occupied whilst we spoke to mum and dad. It has now grown to having clients send us photos from abroad with their teddy getting involved in numerous activities. We have now set up an Instagram account for Teddies Travels to share his adventures.

Why should anyone choose PSS over another international removal company?

Besides having all the necessary accreditation’s, we are a family run business who understand that moving abroad is one of the most stressful things you may have to do. If you opt to send your personal belongings, especially any sentimental items, you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company who understands your needs and requirements. We have also a great reputation in the industry for retaining staff, meaning they have a wealth of knowledge in dealing with international moves.

 

Is the BAR for everyone?

Last week, Tammy Rahman and Charlie Vinall attended the BAR conference annual in Bournemouth.

It was jam packed with delegates, sponsors, speakers and exhibitors.

It was also for a fantastic cause because over £9000 was raised for the Removers Benevolent Association in an auction.

Realistically, there are 100’s of conferences that we could attend this year but BAR was one we knew we couldn’t miss out on.

Read below to find out why.

Charlie Vinall, Head of Sales & Partnerships

Why did you think it was important to attend?

Because it’s got the most respectable and knowledgeable companies in the industry. Not only would we meet influential characters, but we’d actually learn a lot.

What was the conference like?

The conference had a relaxed and friendly environment. We felt as if we could approach anyone comfortably. The atmosphere was great for business and for connecting with new and old friends.

On the second night we had a 1940s themed evening in a tank museum. It was fantastic to see how much effort the majority of attendees put into their fancy dress outfits.

What did you learn?

The conference reinforced my understanding of how important it is to network in the industry, the attendees like seeing a face to put to our brand.

What weren’t you expecting from the conference?

I wasn’t expecting the talks to cover so many topics. There was the opportunity to learn about every aspect moving such as logistic, customers service, storage, packing material, sales and there was even the AGM international.

Who was the best person you met and why?

Simon Weston was a key note speaker. He spoke about his struggles after the Falklands war and his recovery after his ship was hit by a bomb, it was an inspiring speech which helped me see a new perspective on life.

Tammy Rahman, New Business and Accounts Executive

How did you find the BAR get together?

The conference had a very chilled and friendly atmosphere which made it very comfortable for people to approach each other and engage in conversations.

It was my first time at a BAR event, and I must say it gave the opportunity to understand the association and what a difference they make to the British moving Industry.

I was very keen to meet Mr Simon Weston, he speaks about overcoming adversity and positive mental attitude as well as his experiences of being in the public eye for the last three decades. His sense of humour engaging enthusiasm was one of the highlights of the conference. it made me realise how short life can be and to make the most out of every situation with positivity.

What weren’t you expecting?

The 1940’s themed party at the tank museum really exceed my expectations.  Not every day you get to have a meal with tanks parked around you!

It was not only fun but educational, we had guided tours about how soldier lived and fought in the wars in the 1900’s up to our modern troops.

What was your main takeaway from the conference?

One thing I have taken away from this conference is about the people in the moving industry, they are keen to move forward with technology, however, are very proud hardworking people who respect their graft!

Why did you think it was important to attend?

Mainly because we knew our clients were going to be there, so we went there to renew our friendships with then.

Most of the conversations we have with our clients are usually over the phone or via email, so it was refreshing to see them face to face.

It was a way of us letting them know, this is buzzsurvey.

On top of this, it was just nice to get to them on a personal level. It becomes more than just business.

6 things to think about before moving country for work

I’ve made a few international moves in my career, but the ones where I learnt the most were to the USA in 2005, to take my MBA and then a subsequent move back to the UK, in 2015.

This was a move with my wife, Catherine, who works, my daughter, Charlotte, age 9, and my son, Jack, who has disabilities, who was 6 at the time.

My Son, Jack, in the dining room of our house in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2015

1. Ensure as early as possible that your paperwork is in order

It required a mountain of paperwork to get my US Visa, including difficult tasks like demonstrating that I had a certain, rather large amount of money, in my bank account.

Further down the road, when I finally got my US Permanent resident card (‘Green Card‘), it was even harder. I’m a lawyer by training but because there were so many hoops to jump through, I had to hire an Immigration lawyer to help navigate this process, at considerable expense!

Right now my American wife, Catherine, is having to go through this same process, the other way around; this includes showing HM Revenue and Customs documents, Department for Work and Pensions documents, DVLA, TV Licensing; Utility bills, Bank account going back one year, and so on. Of course, we need an expensive lawyer again to work through this.

Where’s my car gone? I need to get to work right now!

2. Watch out for the weather

My second shock was rather more prosaic; I was just not prepared for the weather in Boston.

In the winter, it gets down to -10 C and that’s -20 C or more with windchill. You also have big snowstorms. For example, during the last winter, I was in Boston, in 2015, over 14 feet of snow fell in the city. In the summer, you NEED air conditioning in your apartment. It gets up to 40 degrees C and it’s also humid in the city. Try not to move during a snowstorm or a heatwave. Make sure you have the right clothes prepared.

3. Do whatever you have to, to save time

Corporate employee relocations have experienced a paradigm shift in the last 50 years.

In the 20th century, the husband usually was working and wife, who did not work, would manage a lot of the challenges of moving.

Today, more often than not, you are dealing with 2 parents, who both have to manage demanding jobs, throughout this corporate relocation.

Therefore, anything that will save them time (above all time) and money (less important ), is an absolute necessity.

Make sure you employ all the help you can get.

For this, we used a corporate relocation company to manage our move for us. We also used a veritable army of staff. It ensured that this mammoth task went relatively smoothly.

4. Make sure you employ technology to your advantage

We live in a digital world for a reason. It’s fast and efficient. We used every type of technology available to us; from DocuSign to sign all our documents (including the sale of our house in Boston) to Skype for all those foreign calls, to using a video survey tool to track where all our furniture was; particularly useful when you are moving from a standard 2,200 square foot house in the USA to a standard large garage sized house in London and you have to put half your furniture in storage!

To watch a video on the introduction to video survey click here

5. Be as flexible as possible

Some people think working from home is for slackers.

But when you’re moving home, you’re trying to pack, get the removals guys round to survey your house, organising real estate agent,  renovating the house so it will be sold quickly, getting the passports and visas for the kids… the list really does go on!

So imagine on top of this having a commute that will waste precious hours and by the time you get home after a long days work, you’re just exhausted and don’t even want to think about organising the move.

That’s why it’s so important to have a flexible working environment.

There is no way we would have managed this move so effectively without remote working.

On top of organising the move, I had 2 weeks training  Austen, Texas and I travelled back to Europe a number of times to run conferences there. There was a Sales kick-off in Las Vegas and numerous trips back and forth to London to orchestrate the move.

Throughout this, my company allowed me to work remotely, running demand generation for EMEA, from Boston, USA, for almost 4 months.

If I didn’t work remotely, I would have never been able to handle this move successfully. Let me spell this out to sceptics; I successfully managed demand generation in Europe for a medium-sized (1000 employees) cybersecurity software company, for 4 months, 3,300 miles from the office, in another country, and with a 5 hour time difference!

6. Be prepared for setbacks

When moving, we first had trouble selling our house in Boston.

We had to change real estate agents mid-move which was a major hassle.

On top of this all, Catherine and I were both managing demanding jobs.

To make matters worse, I also had my passport stolen in the UK and had to get a replacement in the USA. That was tricky and required outside help (again!).

What does this tell you?

When you’re moving an entire family, with 2 working parents, it’s a lot of work and not everything will go to plan.

Want to avoid the drama?

Make sure you are prepared, be flexible and get as much help as possible to cut your crazy workload.

Moving in the 21st Century

The Young Movers Conference (YMC) is a yearly get-together of young industry professionals from all over the world.

The main purpose of the young movers conference is to offer both an educational and networking environment during which the latest industry trends are exchanged and new business relationships are made.

The Panel at YMC

The main topic of the conference was how technology will affect the moving industry.

So with product like buzzsurvey, why would we not get involved?

Attending YMC was a pleasure because we agree that in order to be successful you need to stay relevant to your new generation of customers by floating on the ongoing & ever growing tech-revolution wave and digitization of the removals industry.

A lot of people may say “Video surveys aren’t going to replace face to face surveys though, are they?”

But this is based on a misunderstanding about what video surveys are for and what the real benefits are.

The ability to offer greater choice and convenience with video surveys is just the tip of the iceberg for removal firms.

The real benefits go much, much deeper.

And that’s because video surveys are not designed to replace physical, face-to-face surveys.

Quite the contrary: they’re designed to complement them.

At the conference we wanted to demonstrate that video surveys are a way to work smarter, not harder but we were also excited to exchange industry knowledge and build new relationships.

So what were Tammy, Neil and Nick’s main take away’s?

Read below to find out.

New Business Relationships Executive

How did you find YMC?

“Young movers 2018 was a blast!

It was very educational because I had a chance to get a real insight into the industry, exchanging and learning the latest industry trends, not to mention making amazing new contacts and renewing existing ones.”

Did it seem a like a conventional conference?

“The chilled atmosphere at the conference gave us a real possibility to network with like minded professionals, who are all looking to improve the future of the moving industry.

The three days where jam packed with activities and events taking place, from chocolate making classes to guided city tours, which compared to conventional conferences was very refreshing!”

How did the photobooth go down?

“Everyone loves a photo (just like me!) so it was cool that everyone had a chance to take home a Polaroid momento of the conference thanks to buzzsurvey.”

What did you learn?

“One thing I have learnt during this trip is that people are open minded about video surveys, eager to learn and move with new disruptive technologies.”

VP of Global Sales

Why did you like YMC?

“YMC was an outstanding experience and an amazing networking opportunity because we met so many friendly new faces from around the world and discussed a variety of subjects naturally dominated by the removals world.

The hotel was really nice and the event organisation was first class. The evening meals were delicious and there was plenty of space to make new introductions over a cold beer, soft drink or glass of wine.”

How was the  Go Active: Air Soft Adventure event?

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to attend but I was so happy to hear that the Go Active: Air Soft Adventure that we sponsored was sold out.”

What was your favourite event?

“The boat tour in the Port of Antwerp was beautiful trip, especially along the canals. It was fun because we got to meet so many people in a relaxed casual environment aboard a boat.”

“It was interesting to learn about the port of Antwerp from the tour guide and to engage with removal companies from around the world.”

Apart from the breathtaking views, were there any other takeaways?

“Even though it was in a chilled environment it was easy to build new friendships that spanned many continents and business cards were exchanged frequently.”

“The evening event on Friday and Saturday was vibrant and it was great to see colleagues and acquaintances throwing their best dances moves on the dance floor.”

What did you learn in YMC?

“I learned that the removal industry is receptive to disruptive technologies in particular, video surveying.”

Business Development Manager

What were your 3 main takeaways from YMC?

  1. The removal/relocation industry through Germany/Netherlands/Belgium is one that is very open to technology and see the value in a video survey capability.
  2. Maurice Henk from Henk International made the point, which others echoed, that above all else, doing business in those countries is about relationships and working with partners you know you can trust to deliver on services.
  3. No one who is using a video survey platform other than ours (you know who I mean) was entirely 100% happy – there were always things that they felt could be improved.

Who was the best person you met and why?

“Anne Van Gils from Gosselin – she came over to us and thanked us sincerely for our sponsorship and support of the event. She also said we were by far the most engaged, active and creative group at the event.”

To conclude,  we strongly believe that buzzsurvey has and will continue to help and enhance the removals industry.

Why?

Because it’s been developed by moving industry experts that know what converts more customers, increases revenues and cut overheads.

That’s why we can say with confidence that this live video surveying tool is the future because it’s been created to help you work smarter, not harder.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your free demo now.

How to convert your leads

More conversions means more cashflow for you

First things first…

It’s vital that you are aware of a lead as soon as it reaches your inbox, so it’s a good idea to set up an email alert on your phone. If you only check your emails periodically then this first step is especially important, as any delay between you receiving the lead and contacting the customer may result in the customer opting for a removal service that was quicker to the punch.

You should also ensure that you are not calling from a private number, as some customers may ignore, or even block, such calls.

Early bird catches the worm

To give yourself the best chance at converting, you should always aim to be the first service to contact the customer. Use all three means of contact (phone, (text) email, and the buzzmove messenger) as soon as you receive the lead to increase the likelihood of the customer choosing your company for the job

If you’re too busy to type out an email or message, try your best to phone the customer ASAP as this is traditionally the best way of converting a lead.

No answer? Keep trying

If the customer doesn’t answer or respond immediately, don’t assume that they’ve chosen another service or are no longer wishing to move. In all likelihood, the customer is simply busy at the time or away from their phone, and if you keep trying you’ll soon get through to them.

A home survey goes a long way…

We know that it can be difficult to quote for a job without having visited the property yourself. This is why we recommend carrying out a home survey so that you can set the price accordingly. This gives you a better idea of the volume of the move, if there are any awkward steps, available parking and other variables.

Importantly, this also gives you a chance to sell your service in person, making it more likely that you get the job.

Of course, these days a more efficient option is to carry out a video survey. This is where you call a prospect on their smart phone. They open the survey app on their phone, and they connect with your surveyor on a video call.

This gives your surveyor the chance to create that close personal connection, before getting your prospect to show them around the property. You’ll see exactly what they need to move, and you’ll be able to calculate the volume later by reviewing the recorded video of the call.

Our video survey clients are reporting an average conversion rate from video to job of around 40% – almost the same as face to face, and for a lot lower cost.

Click to read more about the benefits of video surveys for moving home.

Send that quote over

As soon as you are in a position to offer a quote, go ahead and do it.

Nobody likes hidden charges, so be upfront with your customer and give them a breakdown of the quote if possible. If they are reluctant to accept the price and terms immediately, let them know that you’ll give them a call once they’ve had a chance to think about it, and that you’re available to answer any questions which they may have.

The follow-up call…

Now that the customer has your quote, it is vital that you make the follow-up call. This is your chance to answer any queries that the customer may have, and the best opportunity to clinch the job.

To summarise:

  • Set up an email alert on your phone, and ensure that you are not calling from a private number
  • Contact the customer immediately, using all available forms of contact
  • If the customer doesn’t respond or answer, keep trying. Chances are they are busy
  • Always try and book a home or video survey
  • Send a quote as soon as you can, and include all charges
  • Make a follow up call, and confirm the job

Video surveying now available to customers in Guernsey for the first time

Removals video surveys now in Guernsey
Celebrating the arrival of video surveys in Guernsey

Removal firm Relocations has become the first company in Guernsey to introduce video surveys for home movers to help make the whole moving process easier and less stressful.

This is great news for Guernsey residents looking to relocate, or for anyone looking to move to the island. It’s also great for us when our clients are so happy to be using our service.

In a statement, Relocations said:

Relocations is proud to announce a first in the Guernsey removals industry: the introduction of a professional video surveying service.

This service will create a “sea change” in convenience for our customers, who will now be able to have their homes professionally surveyed at any time between 6.30 am and 10 pm.

Because a video survey simply requires the customer to use their smartphone in a dedicated manner, there is no requirement to fit in around anyone else’s busy schedule.

As a result surveying really can be undertaken “at your own convenience” for the first time ever.

Customers will interact with the company via face-to-face video calls, ensuring that everything is progressing smoothly and they have the familiar guidance of a professional throughout.

Thanks to this innovative approach to removals, surveying can now be accomplished from anywhere in the world.

This cuts out middlemen often involved in international moves, meaning customers can be assured of a reliable service, with a single service provider, throughout.

Relocations is the only Guernsey company offering video surveying. The service itself is provided by industry-leading removals comparison platform Buzzmove, an expert at the intersection between removals and technology.

Despite its obvious potential and increasing popularity, video surveying is an addition to Relocations’ service offering – not a replacement.

Customers who are used to a more traditional approach can still arrange a visit from our surveyors in person, and we continue to offer the same high levels of service that we are known for.

Relocation video surveys Guernsey

If you’re planning to move to and from Guernsey, why not drop the company a line at relocations@cwgsy.net, or visit the website: www.guernseyremovals.com

Top 5 Gobuzzsurvey features, according to our removal company clients

Here are the top features of our Gobuzzsurvey video survey tool for removal and relocation companies, as named by our current clients.

1. Easy inventory tool

With the easy search function on our inventory tool, you can cube as you survey. No more frantic scrolling down an inventory list to search for an item whilst also trying to talk to your customer.

With Gobuzzsurvey, you can cube each item in seconds with our inventory search bar feature. Or you can wait to cube the job when you re-watch the video later.

2. Easy to use for you and your customers

Feedback from our removal companies is that it’s simple for surveyors and customers to start a survey. It begins with a whitelabelled text to the customer’s mobile phone that is branded with your company name. The customer then clicks a link in the text to download the Gobuzzsurvey app via the App Store or Google Play Store.

When it’s time for the survey to start, the customer gets another whitelabelled text to start the survey. They click the link in the text, which opens the survey app and they get the call from you – or from us if it’s a full-service survey. Then you (or our professional surveyors if full-service) talk the customer through the survey once they answer the call.

3. Book more video surveys and make more sales

Our website integration allows you to advertise video surveys directly to your customers on your site. All you do is plug this into your existing website, and your customers will be able to ask for, schedule and book a video survey in just 3 clicks.

This works whether you do your own DIY video surveys or take full-service surveys from us.

Those of our clients who we’ve done this integration for say that it has made their lives a lot easier. The process is smoother and quicker for your customers.

And for full-service clients we’re offering “just in time” scheduling too – a great option for when you need out-of-hours support. This means that your customer can book a survey at 6pm, say, for an hour ahead. Our surveyor does the survey for you by 7pm, and you get the recorded video and the cubed inventory by 9am the next day.

4. Customer reviews

Many of our moving clients asked us to build in an automatic customer review of the video experience into our smartphone app. So we did.

All your iPhone customers who take a video survey with you – whether you do it or we carry it out for you – are asked to rate the experience, how well the surveyor did, and whether they would recommend the service to a friend. They rate these points out of 5.

This will allow you to get a really good picture of how your surveyors do and how your customers are responding to video surveys.

5. UK-based BAR-accredited surveyors to carry out full-service surveys

This is a “feature” that I’ve mentioned before. No, it’s not a technical feature per se. But it’s massively popular with those removal companies that use it.

Basically, it allows removal companies to outsource their video surveys to our experienced, BAR-accredited surveyors. We have 8 full-time UK-based surveyors, plus 3 remote surveyors based in other parts of the world to help provide us with full out-of-hours coverage.

Between them, these surveyors have over 100 years of real industry experience gained at some of the world’s leading removal and relocation companies. They are all either accredited by or in training with the British Association of Removers (BAR). We also have a Quality Control Officer who checks the quality of each and every survey we do.

You can meet some of our surveyors here.

Why not try a free demo of Gobuzzsurvey in your business?

There’s no cost. It takes an average of 20 mins to run through all the features and benefits. And you’re under no obligation to continue. 

Click here to claim your FREE demo today

Meet our video surveyors…

Menno Martens, Head of Video Surveying
Menno Martens, Head of Video Surveying

One of the biggest benefits our removal company clients say we give them is the chance to outsource surveys to experienced, BAR-accredited surveyors.

“It’s a great time saver. I don’t have to leave the office anymore to go out and do those long-distance surveys. Which also saves us money, of course.” Thomas Long, Transport Manager at TLC Movers.

“We have so far found the quality of Buzzmove’s surveying staff to be far superior to our previous experience.” Kirk Dugard, Simpsons International Movers.

The success of our outsourced surveys is down to the experience of our 8 full-time surveyors. We also have 3 remote surveyors who are based in other parts of the world to help provide us with full out-of-hours coverage.

Between them, these surveyors have over 100 years of real industry experience gained at some of the world’s leading removal and relocation companies. They are all either accredited by or in training with the British Association of Removers (BAR). We also have a Quality Control Officer who checks the quality of each and every survey we do.

Here is a quick sample of our video surveyors, so you get to know some of the guys who will be carrying out video surveys for you if you start working with us…

Menno Martens, Head of Video Surveying
Menno Martens, Head of Video Surveying
Menno Martens, Head of Video Surveying
  • 18 Years’ Experience
  • BAR Accredited
  • International Experience
  • Multi-lingual
  • Experienced Leader
  • Knack for Sales
Harry Utting, Implementation Manager
Harry Utting, Implementation Manager
Harry Utting, Implementation Manager
  • 5 Years’ Experience
  • BAR Accredited
  • Nationwide Experience in the UK
  • Experienced in Move Management, Operations and Surveying
  • Knack for Building Customer Relationships
Sam Bloom, Lead Video Surveyor
Sam Bloom, Lead Surveyor
Sam Bloom, Lead Surveyor
  • 5 Years’ Experience
  • BAR Accredited
  • Nationwide Experience in the UK
  • Experienced in Operations and Surveying
  • Knack for Sales

 

Why not try a free demo of Gobuzzsurvey in your business?
There’s no cost. It takes an average of 20 mins to run through all the features and benefits. And you’re under no obligation to continue. 
Click here to claim your FREE demo today

How video surveys for removals can improve your bottom line in 2018

Video surveying helps with clients further afield
TLC Movers: Winning more customers from across the UK

Now we’ve entered the first quarter of 2018, it’s clear that remote video surveying is becoming more popular than ever in the moving and relocation industry.

The important point to remember is this: video surveying is not about reinventing the industry. It’s about helping you close more sales while also working more efficiently.

Think of it this way, there are two main options to convert an inquiry prior to video surveying…

Option 1: a face-to-face survey. Great for building rapport. Usually pretty high conversion rates – typically around 40%. But what if your customer is too far to drive out to? Or you don’t have time to go and see them?

Then there’s option 2: calling them on the phone. You get as many details as you can by asking pertinent questions, then you email over an inventory. From that, you might convert about 20% of your prospects.

And that’s not to mention the risk of inaccurate information. Your customer has probably underestimated the volume of stuff they need to move. Or they try to add something at the last minute. Bang goes your cubing estimate, your pricing and your margin.

Winning more customers

Video surveys can change all that. Take the example of TLC Movers, a relocation firm based in Cardiff, UK, that specialises in European moves.

Video allows TLC to win more jobs from further afield. They can now carry out surveys for customers in mainland Europe that would have been impossible for them to do personally before – enabling them to win the “backload” jobs that are so crucial to making a profit each time they do a relocation.

“We won a couple of people already on backloads,” says Thomas Long, Transport Manager at TLC Movers. The company can also survey all of the UK from outside their local Cardiff area, enabling them to access more prospective customers than ever before.

“When you add up all the costs, it could be £120 just to go and carry out a face-to-face survey. And even then you’re not guaranteed to win the job,” Thomas explains, adding: “With video surveys, we’ve been able to survey people as far away as Sheffield and even Aberdeen, accurately price the move and then win the job without even having to travel there until move day.”

Benefits of Gobuzzsurvey
Simpsons have benefitted from using video surveys
50% conversion rate from video to paid job

High conversion rates are another clear benefit for TLC. “We won 90% of people who did video surveys over Christmas,” Thomas adds. “That’s partly the nature of people moving at that time of year – they’re just more likely to convert, to be honest.

“At the moment we’ve got lots of people who’ve done video surveys who aren’t moving until March or April, but looking at the number so far, I’d say we’re averaging almost 50% conversion from video to a job.”

Simpsons International Movers, based in Kent, UK, also saw the potential for video surveys to grow their sales by improving the convenience for the customer:

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“We perceived the potential for an out of office hours and out of area surveying system that was relatively cheap and cost effective to use as an added string to our bow,” says Kirk Dugard, Project Manager at Simpsons.

For Simpsons, being able to outsource surveys for out of hours and international clients to industry-experienced and professional surveyors was a key benefit. And not all video surveying services are created equal.

“We trialled a video survey service just over a year ago and found the quality of the surveys suspect, so much so that we discontinued offering the service to clients following surveys that produced volumes wildly different to our own surveyors and the inevitable problems associated to this. We have so far found the quality of Buzzmove’s surveying staff to be far superior to our previous experience,” Kirk adds.

Thomas at TLC Movers also values the outsourcing aspect of video surveys: “It’s good because we can re-watch the videos and see exactly what to expect before sending our staff out on the job,” Thomas says. “And your cubing is accurate. Plus it’s good to be able to rely on surveyors with BAR training in practical estimating. I can always be confident of them doing a good job for us.”

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Case Study: “Initially we were sceptical… but it’s been very beneficial”

TLC Movers benefits from video surveying
“£120 to carry out a face-to-face survey… even then you’re not guaranteed to win the job” Thomas Long, TLC Movers

How TLC Movers uses video surveying to win more jobs while saving time and money

TLC Movers are a removal company that specialises in moves to and from Europe, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, France and Spain. Based in the Cardiff area, the company moves customers to Europe from across the UK, including as far afield as Sheffield, Aberdeen and London – something they can now do much more effectively using remote video survey technology.

What drew TLC to start using video surveys?

“We saw you at the Movers and Storers Show in November,” says Thomas Long, Transport Manager at TLC Movers.

“Initially we were sceptical about whether video surveying would be useful for our business, but since we started using it it’s been very beneficial.”

Based in Cardiff, TLC carries out moves from the UK to mainland Europe – and “backloads” taking belongings from mainland Europe back to the UK. For customers based in the local Cardiff area, the company saw no need for video surveys. Where the technology has proved more useful is for surveying the properties of UK movers from further afield.

Thomas explains:

“When you add up all the costs, it could be £120 just to go and carry out a face-to-face survey. And even then you’re not guaranteed to win the job.

“Where video surveys have proved most useful is for customers further afield. We’ve been able to survey people as far away as Sheffield and even Aberdeen, accurately price the move and then win the job without even having to travel there until move day.”

Video surveying helps with clients further afield
Winning more customers from across the UK
How Gobuzzsurvey helped

Having discussed TLC’s challenges with winning jobs from prospective customers they couldn’t easily reach for face-to-face surveys, we talked to TLC about other ways they could benefit from using video surveys.

Because TLC has a small number of surveyors responsible for booking and arranging moves and surveys, they were using a lot of time of surveying that could be better spent on following up with customers and closing jobs.

So we suggested that they try our full-service survey option, where our BAR-accredited surveyors carry out video surveys, cube the job and send over the information for TLC to work out pricing.

Video surveys help TLC be more accurate
“It’s a great time saver”
How video has helped TLC win more jobs while also saving time and money – and more…
Saving time and money

“It’s a great time saver,” Thomas says. “I don’t have to leave the office anymore to go out and do those long-distance surveys. Which also saves us money, of course.”

Winning more jobs

The company has won several jobs taking loads back to the UK from Europe. “We won a couple of people already on backloads,” Thomas says.

On the whole, video allows TLC to win more of these backload jobs. They can now carry out surveys for customers in mainland Europe that would have been impossible for them to do personally before. They can also survey UK from outside their local Cardiff area, enabling them to access more prospective movers than ever before.

And the increased convenience for customers is a benefit too. “It’s much easier now to work around people’s schedules, having you guys do surveys on our behalf in evenings or at the weekend – whenever they like,” Thomas adds.

A 50% average conversion rate

Despite only starting to use Gobuzzsurvey around the Christmas period, the response from customers was very enthusiastic.

“We won 90% of people who did video surveys over Christmas,” Thomas adds. “That’s partly the nature of people moving at that time of year – they’re just more likely to convert, to be honest.

“At the moment we’ve got lots of people who’ve done video surveys who aren’t moving until March or April, but looking at the number so far, I’d say we’re averaging almost 50% conversion from video to a job.”

Great response from customers

“We’ve had good responses back from customers. You explain about the video survey and they go, ‘ooooh, that’s good’,” Thomas says. “And it is good. It’s good to keep up with technology.”

Accuracy and professionalism of the Gobuzzsurvey surveyors

The company also values the accuracy of the cubing carried out by Gobuzzsurvey’s professional surveyors. “It’s good because we can re-watch the videos and see exactly what to expect before sending our staff out on the job,” Thomas says.

“And your cubing is accurate. Plus it’s good to be able to rely on surveyors with BAR training in practical estimating. I can always be confident of them doing a good job for us.”

“No surprises”

“It’s really useful for staff to show them the video recording of the survey. Then they know exactly what to expect and there are no surprises. They’re properly prepared,” Thomas says.

“Before, I’d be doing surveys and I’d take along my tablet only to find there’s no internet connection,” Thomas explains. “Or if I was in a hurry I’d forget my tablet. Either way, I’d end up having to jot notes down on paper. Then sometimes I would lose that piece of paper, or end up not being able to read my notes properly. So we might end up sending too many boxes for the job – things like that.

“With video, it’s easier to be much more organised.”

How do TLC see themselves using video surveys in the next 12-18 months?

“It’s still the quiet season now,” Thomas says. “Despite that, we’re getting quite a few video surveys come through. We have to see how it develops, but we’d expect to at least double the number of video surveys in the summer when it’s peak moving season.”

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About TLC Movers UK LTD

TLC Movers UK LTD is a family-run company based in Cardiff Bay, South Wales, offering European removal and storage services. With over 10 years of experience in removals, TLC Movers offers a professional and efficient removal service to clients all around Europe.

As a family-owned removal and storage company in the UK, TLC Movers is founded on the principles of giving customers friendly and efficient home removals, as reflected by their high customer satisfaction ratings and reviews.

TLC has access to removals and transport network of over 500 vehicles spread across Europe every day, meaning they can arrange any removal – whatever size you need.