Author Archives: Shannon Cullins
A consumer needs a moving company in your market. They come to MCR to research movers and request estimates. But instead of selecting you, they select your competitor. Maybe you don’t have quite as many reviews as they do or you’re listed a bit further down the page. Either way, you miss out on the opportunity to bid on and win that job.
Introducing Suggested Mover, a new paid offering from MCR that suggests your moving company to consumers browsing MCR.
You’ll always receive free Referrals on MCR when consumers choose you. But with Suggested Mover, you’ll receive increased visibility and the opportunity to provide estimates to more consumers. We’ll even show you which Referrals came from Suggested Mover placements.
Here’s more info about the offering. Shoot Denzell a call or email if you’d like to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org / 312-605-9934.
Talk to you soon!
Chicago-based start-up shifts the moving industry through technology and transparency
Chicago, IL – September 23, 2014 – MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR), a site that connects consumers with reliable moving companies, today announces its official launch from a beta period. Shannon Cullins, MCR vice president and general manager, co-founded the moving review site in 2012 with HomeFinder.com CEO, Doug Breaker. MCR was founded as a unit of HomeFinder.com to create happy move experiences for consumers.
MCR was born out of a belief that technology and transparency can improve the stressful experience of moving. MCR uses verified reviews to help consumers make informed decisions when choosing from more than 7,000 listed movers nationwide. MCR visitors are only contacted by the movers they want to hear from and will not receive phone calls or emails from unwelcome movers. Unlike other mover review sites, MCR verifies each review with a bill of lading (mover issued receipt) to ensure it was written by a real consumer, from a real move.
“Our goal is to instill confidence in both the consumer and the mover with the authenticity of a verified MCR review,” says Cullins.
To further confirm authenticity of a mover, MCR displays if a mover has the required state and federal licenses. Mover license rules vary by state, so if a mover lacks the required licenses and/or has demonstrated a history of poor service or dishonesty, MCR will display a caution badge on that mover’s profile.
“MCR works closely with the moving industry to address our challenges and to make it easier for consumers to distinguish the reputable movers from the bad ones,” says Andy Newitt of A-1 Moving & Storage and Chairman of the Florida Mover and Warehousemen’s Association. “On most moving sites, any company can post reviews. MCR researches and confirms that its reviews are written by real consumers. MCR makes it easier for people to find the movers who are most likely to perform a great, professional move.”
MCR also helps consumers streamline the process of getting a mover estimate, by using HomeFinder.com’s listing data to pre-populate home information (beds, baths, square footage, etc.), and suggests licensed movers in a consumer’s area. Consumers receive free pizza as a thank you on moving day when they use MCR’s easy and automated phone system to review their mover.
For more information on MCR, visit www.MovingCompanyReviews.com.
MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR) connects consumers with reliable moving companies to create happy moves. Through verified reviews and vetted movers on an easy-to-use platform, MCR helps consumers make informed decisions when choosing a mover. Unlike most moving sites, MCR visitors are only contacted by the movers they want to hear from so they won’t be bombarded with phone calls and emails from unwelcome movers.
MCR offers moving companies exposure to ready-to-book consumers. In addition to giving movers the opportunity to respond to reviews, MCR is also the only site that sends free leads to movers when consumers request a quote from them.
MCR is helping to shift the moving industry with its focus on honesty, fairness and transparency. MovingCompanyReviews.com is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a unit of HomeFinder.com.
Hi Movers, we’re back at it, brainstorming and prototyping new mover offerings. Here’s the latest. Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Consumers pay $40 for a $200 cash rebate. You get a booked move.
Consumers love discounts and are willing to pay for them. Groupon, Restaurant.com, Rent.com and others have proven this in big ways. Why not offer similar discounts to consumers when they book moves with participating movers (you!) who are willing to contribute a small percentage of your booking revenue to the discount.
How it would work:
- MCR promotes a discount to consumers like this: Get a cash rebate on your move when you book and review your mover through MCR.
- The consumer:
- Purchases the discount on MCR for $40
- Finds a qualified mover on MCR (one that is participating in the program) – for this example, let’s call them Doug’s Moving
- Moves with Doug’s Moving and pays Doug’s Moving $800 for the services
- Reviews Doug’s Moving on MCR
- MCR sends the consumer a check for $200
- Doug’s Moving pays MCR $80 for the booked move (or some other small percentage of the booked move revenue)
Rather than pay for leads, you pay MCR for a % of the booked move cost. This way you’re only paying for jobs you’ve performed.
Like it? Have any suggestions? Want to be a beta tester? Let us know in the Comments section!
Convert more MCR Referrals to Booked Leads
You may have noticed a new callout in the MCR Referral notification emails you receive from us.
You can now email a consumer directly from your MCR Referral notification email to request more info or communicate next steps. Movers who respond within minutes to a quote request are significantly more likely to book a job than ones who take several hours to respond. With Email Reply, it’s easier to be the first to respond to consumers who’ve requested a quote from you.
How Email Reply Works
- When you receive an MCR Referral Notification Email, just reply to the email.
- Add whatever info you like to the content of the email. See the “Do’s and Don’ts” below for suggestions on what to include.
- Any consumer responses to your email will come directly to you.
- You’ll see these MCR Referrals under the Emailed tab in your dashboard.
- Coming Soon: Your email history and transcripts will be available in your dashboard so you can reference full conversations.
Email Reply Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep your replies short and sweet. Here’s what consumers want to know by email:
- Your hourly rate and suggested number of men based on the info they provided
- Any additional information you may need to finalize an estimate
- Availability – Are you available on the date they requested? If not, are there alternative date(s) you can offer?
- How should they contact you to book or get more info. Should they call you? Email you back?
- Here’s an example of a “Do” mover response:
- Ask the consumer to repeat all of the information they provided already to MCR. As a reminder, MCR provides you with the following for every MCR Referral:
- Consumer name*
- Desired move date*
- Moving from address*
- Moving to address*
- Property type
- # Beds, #Baths and Square Footage
- Additional notes
*Consumer is required to complete these fields when submitting a Request for Quote on MCR
- Here’s an example of a “Don’t” mover response:
Finally, you’ll notice a new message at the bottom of our Referral notifications. Why do we want you to reply or update the status? If we know you’re unable to accommodate a move, we’ll let the consumer know and suggest other movers. When consumers don’t hear back from movers, they get really frustrated! When you don’t reply or update your status, we think you’re not interested in receiving free MCR Referrals and may remove you from the program.
Still to Come
Some other features we have planned:
- Ability to save templates for your business so you don’t have to cut/paste or craft new responses every time you respond to a customer.
- Ability to save rate tables and other standard information.
- Ability to customize your template with your company’s logo and branding.
As always, we’d love your feedback. Let us know what you think in the comments section!
A peek inside the Idea Machine
You may have heard us say that we’re a “small team.” Well, it’s true – there are just 8 of us (one out on maternity leave) cranking away to make MCR the best moving site around. It’s hard to do everything we want to do with such a small group, but a lean team helps us work quickly and smart. We are constantly debating and prioritizing which new features are going to make consumers happy and drive more business for our mover partners. These are always tough decisions because there’s so much we want to do.
But once a month, we get to roll up our sleeves and join the HomeFinder team in Prototypes Week. Here’s how it works: Someone has an idea and pitches that idea to the company in an attempt to form a team. Anyone in the company can join a team, whether it’s a customer service rep, salesperson or a software engineer. Then, for 2.5 days, the team cranks away at building the idea into a “prototype.”
At the end of the week, the teams present it to the rest of the company over beer. Awards are handed out for “Best for Business”, “Best for Technology” and “People’s Choice.”
Real-time chats with hot prospects
This past week, the MCR team swept the awards with their Mover Chat prototype. Here’s how it works:
- Consumer is searching on MCR for a mover
- They find a mover they like and can click “Live Chat” to chat with them immediately
- Or, they may still be deciding on a mover and ask to chat with an available mover in their area
- Before initiating the chat, the consumer will provide some basic info about their move
- The participating mover will see chat notifications in their dashboard and have the opportunity to respond back to the prospect in real-time.
- With the chat, they’ll receive the info that the consumer entered – name, move date and contact info – so that they’re up-to-speed when they begin chatting
- The mover and consumer can chat about things like availability and price and even schedule the move on-the-spot. The consumer doesn’t need to hop on the phone, but the mover still gets to ask the questions they need to price out and schedule the move. Instant gratification!
Why do we think this is cool? Consumer want quick answers, but movers sometimes complain that consumers – even when they’ve submitted a Request for Quote - are difficult to reach. Voila! Movers and consumers can immediately connect. And participating movers can get a leg up on their competition by being the first to respond.
What do you think of our prototype idea? Would you use it? Share your comments below!
Your Moving Insurance Options
Any idea how much will your mover is required to reimburse you if they break your flat screen TV during your move? $20.
Yep, that’s right. Just $20. The standard liability coverage your mover offers you is based on the weight of your items; not their monetary value. Your mover is only required to compensate you for $0.60 per pound, so for a 46″ flat screen TV, that could be as little as $20.
Particularly if you have precious belongings and/or are moving long-distance, consider investing in supplemental move insurance. First, check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider to see if you’ll be covered under your existing policy. If not, consider one of the following options.
Mover-Provided Coverage - Released Value Protection
- This type of coverage MUST be included in your mover’s quote and offered at no additional charge
- In the event of loss or damage, your mover will reimburse you for $0.60 per pound. So if they damage a 5 lb stereo speaker, you would be reimbursed $3.
- Boxes you pack yourself are not covered
- You must sign a statement on your Bill of Lading to agree to this type of coverage
Mover-Provided Coverage – Full Value Protection
- This coverage is offered by your mover at an additional charge
- The cost may vary according to your mover and may have different deductible levels impacting your possible premium rates
- In the event of loss or damage, your mover will repair, replace or reimburse you for the item.
- Your mover will not cover “high value” items unless specifically detailed by you prior to the move (e.g. jewelry or china)
- In most cases, boxes you pack yourself are not covered
3rd Party Moving Insurance or Protection
- Your mover may recommend a 3rd party for Released Value coverage, or you may choose one on your own
- You make this purchase yourself and not through your mover
- We recommend our partner, MoveProtection.com, which offers affordable premiums for some of the most comprehensive coverage on the market. Unlike most insurance companies, MoveProtection.com also covers boxes you pack yourself.
Learn more about all of these options at ProtectYourMove.gov.
Special MCR Awards go to:
- Jaime: 5th fastest woman in the Sunday 5k!
- Denzell: 5k newbie
- Marcus: Also rocked his first 5k AND blew past tons of seasoned runners
- Dave: Ran a time LESS than his age
- Shirlee: Biked to/from the race (Marcus gets points for this too)
- Heather: Got the MCR team out running at 6am on a Sunday
- Shannon: Fed the team post-race mimosas
We all know that positive reviews can increase consumer interest in your business and lead to more booked moves. At MCR, we go out of our way to ensure our reviews are honest and real so that people looking to move can make an informed decision.
The list below will help you understand what you can do to increase your reviews on MCR, how we decide when not to post reviews, and what you need to know about our reviews policy:
I want more reviews! What can I do?
A great place to start is to place an MCR “Review Us” badge in your customer communications and on your website. You can also take advantage of our Review Advantage offering, where we’ll collect reviews on your behalf. Contact Denzell or Heather at email@example.com to learn more.
How long does it take a new review to appear on my listing?
Most reviews are posted within 24-48 hours after undergoing our moderation process.
My incredibly happy customer reviewed us, but it’s been days and their review hasn’t been posted.
Most likely, their review was rejected by our moderation process.
Moderation process? That sounds like another word for filtering.
Sadly, review fraud is all too common. Therefore, we employ measures to protect the integrity of our reviews. Each review undergoes both a manual and automatic fraud detection process. We do our absolute best to ensure every real review is posted, but occasionally a valid review will be flagged as fraudulent. We believe this is a risk worth taking to ensure our reviews are always authentic. You can read more about our reviews policy here.
Remember: NEVER REVIEW YOURSELF. Submitting fraudulent reviews for your business could result in a lower ranking on MCR and a caution badge next to your listing.
I received an email from MCR asking me to respond to a review of my company. How should I respond?
If someone raved about you, post a genuine thank you. A heartfelt, personal note can go a long way in ensuring a repeat customer and standing out with other prospects. The Professionals in Chicago do an excellent job at this.
If someone wrote a negative review about you, use this as an opportunity to display your professionalism to potential customers.
This is your chance to tell your side of the story and to apologize if warranted. Take a deep breath and think before you respond. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to an unhappy customer directly. You want to avoid making the customer feel like the only way to be heard is by “going public.”
And the #1 rule for MCR reviews is…
Provide outstanding service. Do such an amazing job that your customers can’t wait to tell others about you. Believe us, it happens!
The MovingCompanyReviews team has been working hard this past year to make the best online moving resource out there. But what happens when we use the site for our own move? Are we getting it right? Are there parts of the process we could do better? I recently put our site to the test with my own move, and learned some things along the way.
Introducing the Caution Badge
To help you choose the best mover, we recently added a new feature to the site to identify movers you should avoid. Other sites have been reluctant to do this out of fear of mislabeling companies and possible backlash from impacted companies. But, our job is to make it incredibly easy for you to find great movers, which also means helping you avoid the bad ones.
It doesn’t get much clearer than this:
We’re doing a bunch of homework on our mover listings so you don’t have to, including checking that they have the licenses required to do the moves they advertise, researching any history of complaints and verifying moving association memberships (generally a sign of a good mover).
But when all is said and done, you just want to know who you can trust. The Caution symbol helps make this incredibly easy.
Our Caution Badge Criteria
A company must meet several of the criteria below to receive the symbol. We’ve found that these companies are riskier choices and warrant significant additional research before making a decision to book with them.
- Multiple unresolved consumer complaints recorded at the state or national level
- Company was caught by law enforcement holding goods hostage and/or committing other illegal behavior
- Negative reviews on MCR and other review sites
- Mover submitted fraudulent reviews on MCR
- The address the company advertises cannot be verified and/or does not match what is on the license(s) they claim to possess
- No state license where required
- No USDOT/MC license where required (if their state requires, or if they claim they handle interstate moves)
You can read more about our criteria here.
Great movers are behind happy moves. Here’s to helping you find yours!
Any questions or feedback? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Movers: We’d love your feedback as well. And if you ever see the symbol associated with a company (yours or otherwise) that you think has been wrongly assigned, or, if there are questionable movers in your market, let us know at email@example.com.