This year’s IAM is shaping up to be stellar show, and we’re excited to build on our first ever attendance last year, down at Long Beach.
We’re looking forward to seeing old friends Schmidt Global, UTS, Andreas Christ, Anglo Pacific, Dolphin Movers, Euro Movers, Eagle Relocations, Clockwork Removals, Mondial Movers, John Mason, Bournes Relocations, AGM Group & PSS Removals. And hoping to make a few new ones too!
We’re sure as well that there’ll be plenty of healthy debate about the future of the moving industry. Here are three major trends we’re predicting for this year’s IAM …
Trend 1: The future is digital
Whether it’s healthcare, insurance or television, large swathes of the population now prefer digital services.
People can enjoy digital services on-demand and with minimal disruption to their day. To watch a film, you no longer have to walk to the video store during opening hours, you just load up Netflix whenever you like. And why should moving house or offices be any different?
Part of the process that’s crying out for a digital revamp is the moving survey, where customers must have someone physically enter their property between 9 and 5. That’s every bit as inconvenient as it is intrusive.
Imagine if, instead, customers had the option to do the survey whenever works for them – including after work or at the weekend – all from the convenience of their mobile phone?
Video survey represents a Netflix, rather than a Blockbuster, service for moving customers. And it offers faster turnaround times too: by eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth between customers and movers, customers can get cubed, quoted and sorted that bit quicker.
Customers won’t necessarily want this level of service all the time, just as the most avid Netflix enthusiast sometimes – often even – prefers to slap on a good old-fashioned DVD. So face-to-face surveys certainly aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
But, in a growing number of cases and especially for millennial customers, a strong digital offering up front is the key to winning the business.
Trend 2: Leaner operating models
The rise of digital is not all about convenience and flexibility, digital services are also cheaper to orchestrate, which saves money for providers and ultimately leads to lower prices for consumers: a win-win.
Digital alternatives to time-consuming and costly physical processes help movers operate leaner and with more agility. Now, the move itself is a tough one to digitise – until we develop a Star Trek-style Transporter – but digital tech can help across customer acquisition, like during the survey.
This isn’t to say it’s feasible – or even desirable – to do every survey by video. What having video in your mix really means is that you can effectively segment your jobs on their value and characteristics: save your experienced surveyors for those jobs where their expertise makes a real difference on the ground, without them going round the houses on routine work.
You wouldn’t pick up your groceries in a sports car, and neither should your surveyors be doing every odd job in person. Instead, recognise those cases where face-to-face service is your trump card – and use it strategically.
So, complementing physical surveys with video is not just an excellent play from a customer perspective, it’s a great way to reduce movers’ cost base – by eliminating vehicle, fuel and people costs at least for certain types of job. And that’s before we even get on to the environmental benefits.
And before we forget: digital technologies aren’t just leaner, they are also easier to scale than old-fashioned physical processes. With demand for relocation services rising, in particular for corporate and international moves, video can be a powerful enabler of new business.
Indeed, we estimate movers could conduct x2 as many surveys a day by using our buzzsurvey tool – come to Booth 517 and we’ll show you how.
Trend 3: International moves
As our world becomes more and more globalised, we take moving continents as much for granted as moving down the road – regardless of whether we’re a business or an individual.
However, this has serious impacts on movers. Customer acquisition costs a lot more for international jobs. And the need to send surveyors to far-flung locations doesn’t just make existing long-haul work less profitable, it hampers movers in their bid for potentially lucrative new business.
We predict international moves will be a major discussion topic at IAM: both in terms of market trends and mover strategies.
It’s here in particular that video surveys can act as a major enabler of new business, by eliminating those prohibitive upfront costs and logistics. The ability to remotely cube a job on the other side of the world – and with no loss of accuracy – lets you jump straight to the front of the queue.
Wherever we go these days, we find good internet, digital literacy, and a will to reduce costs and boost convenience. So, for movers with video surveys in their arsenal, the world is very much their oyster.
We’re demoing buzzsurvey at the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo in Washington DC! Come see Menno Martens, Charlie Vinall & Roelien Ruys at Booth 517. All enquires to Charlie Vinall, email@example.com.
Want to contribute to the debate? Reach us via our hashtag #futureofmoving.
Interested to read more about video surveys? Well, check out our recent interview with TLC Movers.