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!