Long Distance Move: A Case Study

Moving from MI to NYC

The challenge

Our colleague, Jen, is moving from Michigan to NYC in a few weeks. Naturally, she came to the MCR team to guide her in planning her move. In addition to advising her to use MCR, our best piece of advice: get estimates NOW! Jen will be moving in mid April so we told her she’d have a better shot at getting what she wanted if she started planning asap.


Jen submitted a quote request via MCR and was contacted within minutes by a major van line. The call center rep conveniently scheduled two in-home estimates with two different agents – Agent 1 and Agent 2 – within an hour of one another. “Great!” Jen thought, “I’ll have this part done in a day.” As the date approached, Agent 1 contacted her to confirm their appointment but Agent 2 did not. When Jen contacted Agent 2 directly, they said they often have scheduling issues with the call center and they’d need to set up an alternate time. So much for the two-birds-with-one-stone approach. By this point, Jen was frustrated: “Goodbye Agent 2!

Comparing costs

Agent 1’s in-home visit went well and the surveyor provided her with a detailed inventory and simple written estimate. They gave her two options: (1) transportation in a moving truck with other people’s belongings, with delivery date within a 2 week window (2) transportation and delivery via a crate on a truck with a guaranteed delivery date. Here’s a summary of the 1st version:

Estimate from major van line
Quote from Agent 1


But she needed more options. After contacting one portable storage container company by phone (and waiting on hold for way too long), and submitting an online estimate for another, she discovered it would actually cost LESS to move with Agent 1. The portable storage container company  – Company 3 – provided her a detailed breakdown like this:

Estimate from Portable Storage Container Company
Estimate from Portable Storage Container Company


More scheduling

Jen knew she needed another quote from a moving company in order to make an educated decision. After performing a search in her area on MCR, she submitted a quote request to a Michigan mover, Agent 4, who contacted her promptly. However, he admitted she’d pay for travel time because he wasn’t nearby. He referred her to Agent 5. This mover also came to Jen’s house for an in-home estimate.

The decision

Like Agent 1, Agent 5 offered two options: (1) Shared truck transportation with a 2 week delivery window (Agent 5 cost $75 less than Agent 1) and (2) a portable crate with guaranteed delivery date (Agent 5 cost $700 LESS than Agent 1). In the end, she based her decision on convenience and price and chose Agent 5. Although Agent 1 had better customer service, she liked the guaranteed delivery date with the crate option and the $700 cost savings sealed the deal.

Takeaways for movers

So why does this matter to you? Here are our top takeaways from Jen’s experience:

1. Closing a lead begins the moment you pick up the phone

  • Call immediately
  • Make scheduling as easy as possible: Provide flexibility, confirm appointments and show up on time
  • Putting someone on hold or having to follow up multiple times can be deal-breakers

2. Cost and convenience go hand in hand

  • In the end, Jen chose the more expensive option from Agent 5 but the less expensive option compared to Agent 1 (despite preferring Agent 1’s professionalism and demeanor). Making people comfortable and offering options to respect their busy schedules is key in their decision.

3. There’s a long way to go…

  • The diagram below shows all the steps Jen took to find and book her mover. How can we as an industry improve this? Share your thoughts below! And stay tuned for the story of Jen’s actual move.
Long Distance Move process
The long process of booking a long distance move

Three Free Essential Mover Marketing Tips That Work

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.

Pro Tips:

  • 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).

Pro Tips:

  • 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.

Pro Tips:

  • 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.