Category Archives: For Business
With 85 percent of consumers searching online for local businesses, getting found and standing out is more important than ever. But how do you compete without endless resources or a bottomless marketing budget?
With a little time and some creativity, you can get your business noticed without breaking the bank (or spending all your downtime on marketing distractions.)
Here are three effective and totally free marketing tips to grow your moving business.
Build Credibility and Trust With Online Reviews
According to SearchEngineLand.com, 7 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Be sure to actively monitor reviews about your company, take the feedback seriously and incorporate it back into your business.
- Inspire rave reviews by doing an amazing job.
- Make it easy for customers to review you by keeping the process short, simple and timely (while the experience is fresh in their mind).
- Never review yourself or your competitors.
- If you do get a negative review, take the high road, stay professional and respond privately and publicly (when appropriate).
- Remember, it’s not about what one person says, but rather how you as a business respond and resolve issues.
Get Listed Online So You’re Easier To Find
Make it simple for new customers to discover you by optimizing your listings and citations on the web. A citation is simply a mention of your business name, along with your contact info, address or website (think Google+ or MovingCompanyReviews.com).
- Start by identifying where your listed (and not!) and making sure all your info is consistent and up to date: business name, website, phone number, address etc.
- There are dozens of free listing sites. Ask prospects and customers how they found you and prioritize for your best referral sources.
- Look up your competitors to see where they’re present, and where you might be missing out on opportunities.
- Not sure where to start? Check out Moz Local.
It takes time to claim and update your relevant listings. But it’s time well spent. You’ll not only be more visible online (in all the different ways potential customers may find you), but you’ll also rank better in local searches.
Turn Your Assets Into Great Content
Content marketing is a powerful tactic to differentiate your business by establishing trust and authority. You can turn nearly every aspect of your business into shareable content.
Here are a few ideas to convert your crew, your experience and your customers into awesome content.
- Take pics or video of your team being the best at what they do (i.e. piano moving, packing dishware etc.).
- Create mini-bios or profiles of your move crew so prospects feel they “know” who will be in their home.
- Develop how tos, FAQs or tutorial content with consumer tips for a happy move.
- Share quirky moving stories about memorable customers or interesting items handled.
- Engage customers to submit top questions and concerns, then address them in your content.
The great news? After you create your content, you can publish it everywhere! Repurpose and repackage your content for your blog, social media, newsletters and emails.
- Include compelling images next to engaging content
- Include relevant keywords (naturally) to help your content get ranked
- Curate and repurpose content you find online. Just be sure to cite your source.
It’s now easier than ever to share your MCR reviews on Twitter. Here’s how to tweet a review:
Go to your profile on the site. (You can access from your dashboard, or just perform a search in your area). Then click on your listing and look for the Tweet button next to the review you want to post.
Log in to your Twitter account and post. That’s it.
Nothing’s more powerful than praise from your past customers. So go on and get Tweeting!
Every now and then we like to share a peek at how we do things here at MCR. There’s an important key to keeping the business running smoothly (and why we all look so happy and friendly in our pictures) . It’s our chat room. We use a tool called HipChat for Instant Messaging (IM) and the team shares a room for everything MCR-related. But it’s more than just IM. It give us information, it helps our remote workers feel like they’re here in the office (hello Brock in Minneapolis or Dave with twins at home or Denzell with his new comfy apartment!), it makes us laugh and it helps keep everyone up to date on some of our most important metrics.
Here are just a few examples of how we use our chat room every day:
Canons go off to celebrate when we have a new sale:
Someone – often The Rock – applauds when a mover receives their first quote from MCR:
We quickly access information, like moving licensing requirements for a certain state:
Our developers share new features with the team when they’re ready to review:
We see every time a new move is created and which movers the consumer selected. Through these notifications, we know which days are busiest, which cities are on the rise and how far ahead people plan (not much). Most of all, it helps keep our consumers “real” and remind us that we’re helping people plan one of the most important and stressful events of their lives.
And we have a little fun:
Ok, a lot of fun and silliness:
As we continue to grow with more consumers visiting our site and creating moves, and more mover customers working with us to grow their business, we’ll keep looking for ways to use our chatroom to keep everyone on the team in touch with the business and our people.
It’s been an exciting year here at MovingCompanyReviews (MCR)! Nearly two years ago, we started MCR to give consumers a better option for planning their moves, and to help great movers grow their business. In 2014, we grew our traffic exponentially, added hundreds of new verified reviews to the site, and generated thousands of free move referrals in what was the busiest move season in years. We also introduced our first paid mover product offering, Suggested Mover. We’ve been thrilled with the results and feedback we’ve gotten so far from our loyal mover customers. Please keep that feedback coming. We have lots more exciting stuff in the works for the coming year. Cheers to a great 2014 and an even bigger and better 2015.
- The MCR Crew
Shirlee, Shannon, Heather, Czarina, Marcus, Denzell, Dave and Brock (Doug not pictured)
We get it. Winter is here and with more holidays around the corner, it’s tough to book jobs.
The good news: People still need to move. We know because every day they’re requesting quotes from great movers like you on our site.
The even better news: In select markets*, we’re offering an exclusive cash back rebate, called “MCR Moving Deal,” to encourage consumers to book a mover from their MCR quote request. The rebate is paid and managed by MCR.
What do you need to do?
Nothing! If someone contacts you about our rebate, confirm with them that MCR sends the check after the move and send other inquiries to email@example.com.
How does it work?
- Consumers request a quote from the mover(s) of their choice on MCR.
- If eligible, we email consumers the rebate offer encouraging them to book with a mover from their quote request. The Rebate Offer: Pay $25 and receive $75 cash back from MCR for booking and reviewing a participating mover.
- After the move, when the consumer reviews their mover on MCR and we verify it with their Bill of Lading, we’ll send them $75.
The rebate is paid by us and does not indicate a discount on your services. It’s our way of thanking consumers for sharing their experience, while helping you book more jobs and get more reviews.
Like it? Love it? Lukewarm? Give us your feedback.
*We’re offering the Moving Deal only in states without restrictions regarding rebates/discounts. Currently confirmed states that permit the MCR Moving Deal are AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, NC, NJ, TN. TX, VA, WA, WI and Washington D.C.
The votes are in! We combed through all of our reviews to determine what the highest rated movers on MovingCompanyReviews.com have in common. Check out the traits of the best movers in the biz!
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!
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!