5 Must-Do Accounting Processes for Moving Companies

SUMMARY

  • “For the first seven years I was in business, I ran my moving company essentially blind because I didn’t really know my numbers.”
  • “Things like a Profit and Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, Marketing ROI, Cash Flow Statement, etc, were all foreign to me. It wasn’t until the recession hit in 2008 and money got tight, that I realized I didn’t really know where any of the money was. Talk about a scary feeling!”
  • “After sitting down with my accountant and actually learning how to run my business from the numbers, I finally found the clarity I needed and fortunately, I was able to make it through the recession. A lot of companies didn’t make it.
  • “If you have achieved some success in your moving company up to this point without knowing your numbers, it will be like adding a turbo-charger to your company when you get these accounting processes implemented.”
  • Watch the video to get full training.

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TRANSCRIPTION

Louis Massaro:
What’s up, guys? Welcome back to the Moving CEO Scaling Series. What is this? Episode nine. We’ve been going strong for nine days in a row, working on scaling your moving company, taking it to the next level, taking what’s working and stacking and growing and stacking and growing. We started off by stabilizing, right? There’s really a few things that need to happen before we could scale. We started off by stabilizing. We went through a few days of just kind of getting things back in line, stabilizing what’s feeling a little chaotic.
Today, we’re going to talk about systematizing your accounting. Some of you may have scrolled through and saw accounting and just said, “You know what? Let me keep scrolling,” because it’s not the sexiest of topics. But I used to feel that way myself. And then it became a whole different ball game for me when I realized the true benefit of what it can do for my business. And so, this is actually a really, really, really important episode. A lot of people will dive in, “Tell me the marketing stuff. Tell me the sales stuff,” but when it comes to the accounting, people kind of turn a blind eye to that. And I’m here to kind of plead to you that, make this a priority. Make accounting, make your numbers a priority because if you are trying to run a business and you don’t know what your numbers are, it’s like being a captain of a ship without any coordinates of you’re going. And it’s a big ocean and it’s a big sea and you might be out there for a while and be okay, “Well, I’m sailing, I’m cruising.” And you might feel like you’re really doing good. And you might be doing good. You might be making money. Then all of a sudden, you hit the iceberg. And now, you’re the Titanic. You might have had the biggest, best ship, but now you’re going down because you hit the iceberg.
And I’m saying this because this happened to me. When I started my company, again, I was 19 years old. And almost right away, after getting through some initial hurdles, it started making money. And so, I based everything off of, “How much did we book today? How much did we do today? How much money’s in the bank?” And that was the extent of it. I’d have my CPA saying, “Louis, your P&Ls, your P&Ls, your P&Ls.” And I’m like, “All right. Yeah. What do you need to figure that out? And you figure it out.” And, to me, it was just something extra in the business that I felt like the accountant needed. My mind was focused on, “I need to book jobs. I need to hire some movers. I need to get more business, more trucks. Get into storage.” That’s where my mind was. And it just felt like, to slow down and review these reports, that the first few times I tried to look at them just felt like they were… it was like reading hieroglyphics. I’m like, “What am I even looking at here?” And I ran my business, I’ll admit, I ran my business for probably the first seven years and built a massive company in that time not really knowing my numbers, not really reviewing my profit and loss, my balance sheet, and my cash flow statement.
And it wasn’t until the recession hit in 2008, where all of a sudden, cash flow got really tight, meaning there wasn’t enough money to pay the bills. And at that time, I had six locations. And I was scrambling. One office was doing okay; another office wasn’t doing okay. And it became this like, “Where’s the money? What is going on?” And I had no clarity. And so, imagine nowadays driving, and just being totally lost. And you don’t have your GPS with you. You never learned how to read street signs. You never understood the logic of how they put streets together, and what northeast means, and how one side of the street’s even numbers, the other side, odd numbers. Imagine you just never knew any of that, and you didn’t have your GPS to tell you where to go, and at the same time it was rush hour. That’s what it felt like. It was like, “Man, there is so much that I need to know and I need to see to navigate myself through this tough time, but I don’t have the information to do it.” And that’s when I got really, really serious. It was like, “Okay,” you know?
Listen, it’s human nature, right? We know we should do something, we know we need to do something, but until we feel the pain of not doing it, until we have that heart attack from the food we’re eating and not working out, until we know are totally depressed and miserable because we’re not taking care of our well-being, until our business is on the verge of going under, we don’t feel enough pain to do the things that aren’t the fun things to do. And that was my moment. That was my time, where it was like, “Look, I need to know these numbers. I need to get these on point.” And I became a student of it. I went to my CPA and I’m like, “Let’s go. Teach me this. Start the clock. Whatever you need to charge me. And let’s go through this. I need to know what this means, what that means. I need to understand all of it.”
And I got to tell you, as hard as it was to go through that time, that recession period, it forced me to grow as a business person, it forced me to grow as a leader, and allowed me to learn the stuff that was totally outside of my comfort zone. Totally outside of my comfort zone. I felt like I knew what I was doing, but I avoided that because I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t know how to do it. And I wasn’t feeling enough pain from not doing it to get me motivated to do it, if that makes sense. And so, when I finally did, it just… listen, I became a whole new person, a whole new business person. My level of clarity that I had to be able to run my business off of numbers was incredible.
That’s what really allowed me to get to that next level, is understanding, look, the numbers don’t lie. We could all mask it with, “We’re booking a ton of jobs. Look at all these pretty trucks. Look at this. Look at that.” And what I know now is sometimes that’s a facade. It might look like a company’s big and doing a lot, and they might be doing a lot of gross revenue, but where are the profits?
And so, by knowing these numbers, man, I just… it’s hard to explain. It’s like you finally learn how to play a game. You think you’ve known how to play a game all this time. Maybe you played poker when family was over, just messing around, and then you finally learn how to go play Texas hold ’em or whatever. You learned the rules of the game. And accounting is the rule of business.
And in the moving business, there’s only five things that make up everything you do: lead generation, your marketing; booking moves, your sales; servicing moves, operations; creating raving fans, your customer service; and accounting, knowing your numbers. That’s it. You get those five on point, you learn the rules of the game: you go where you want to go. You scale how you want to scale.
… weren’t looking at their numbers before, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not guilting you. I’m not shaming you for not doing it. I’m not saying that you’re not a true business person. What I’m saying is the level of success that you’ve achieved so far without knowing your numbers, if you know your numbers, it’s like you just got the juice. You just got the turbo charge. You’re on a whole different level now. And it’s not even what you could accomplish; it’s the clarity. It’s the peace of mind of truly knowing how you’re doing.
It’s about knowing and understanding where you’re truly at. I mean, how many of you have thought that you’ve had a great month and great summer, great year, and then you’re like, “Where the is money? Where’s the money?” Because there’s profits, and then there’s… I use the term profit, not as a technical sense. When I say profit and thrive, when I say, “Profit in business, thrive in life,” that profit is money for you to take home. But technically, when it comes to accounting and truly knowing your numbers, you could show a profit, but not have the cash. Profit on your P&L doesn’t always translate into cash in your pocket.
But I just want to take this little extra time up front here and set the tone on how important this is and acknowledge that, as many millions as I was making in the business, as many locations as I had in the business, as many moves as we were doing, I was still in the minor leagues until I learned my numbers. And I know companies that are doing great. They’ve got great businesses. They’ve got great staff. They’re making money. They’re taking money home. They’re living a good life. And they’re doing it consistently year after year, but don’t know their numbers. And so, my thing is, if you learn that and you knew that, you will unlock more potential in yourself than you could possibly imagine. You now have a tool, where you’ve been trying to use a screwdriver all this time to do all your assemblies, and now you’ve got to drill, a cordless power drill. That’s what it’s about.
Nick. Nick says, “Once I found my true numbers on monthly expenses and cost of goods sold, I have been a new businessman with a whole new perspective. Thanks, Louis.” Nick, I love it. I love it. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’m doing this. I don’t want you guys to go through the suffering and the pain and the waste of time. If I had known that early on, if somebody really, like my accountant passively told me about it, but somebody that I really looked up to and respected grabbed me and just said, “Listen, stop. Before you go any further, know your numbers. Get this stuff locked down,” who knows where I would’ve been. But there’s no looking in the past. We’re just looking forward. I want to save you guys from making those mistakes.
So, let’s talk about some steps that you could do to automate your accounting. We’re talking about systematizing right now. We’re talking about getting a system behind it because if you don’t have a system behind it, there will never be a day where you wake up, go into your office and say, “I’m going to work on accounting today,” or, “What should I do this week? I’m going to work on accounting this week.” It’s just not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen. So, we’ve got to kind of systematize it and make it easy and make it in a way where it’s just part of the process. Everything just becomes part of the process. And when it’s part of the process it gets done.
So, first thing you got to do is a daily closeout. Daily closeout. And so, again, if you guys are like, “Louis, I know. I do this,” just hear me out. Every day, in your CRM, you want to make sure that who… somebody. Again, when I say, “You, you, you, you, you,” I’m saying you need to make sure this happens in your company. You personally don’t have to do any of this yourself. You just have to make sure it gets done. I’m not telling you to go do all these steps that we’ve been going over. You just oversee it. You delegate it, and make sure it happens, and get it executed. But every day, close out. Close out the jobs. Meaning all the moves that were done for the day, go into your system and just close them out. Make sure that the money’s there. Make sure that the money’s right. Make sure the payroll for the movers is accounted for on that job. For those of you that don’t have a system that does all this, check out my software, SmartMoving software. Just go to smartmoving.com. We need to systematize this because when we get to the end of the month and we want to run reports and we want to see stuff and now we’ve got to backtrack and start filling in numbers, it’s chaotic and totally unproductive.
The other thing is payroll. We pay movers once a week. And in order to do that, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got accurate payroll records. And if you are in a situation where you are every week… I had this early on, for a short period of time. And I was like, “This is nuts. We need to do this daily.” To where every week, you’re going back through all the contracts, back through all the paperwork, back through your CRM, and trying to account for all of the hours that your guys worked, your movers worked, it’s totally unproductive. It’s a big waste of time. And whoever’s doing it, dreads it. Whoever’s doing it is dreading that process. And so, if you just close it out daily, making sure, “Hey, these are the jobs we did. Let’s verify. The job was $968. Did we collect $968? These three movers were on that job. This is how many hours they should get. This is how much commission they should get.” And do that every single day. Again, we’re systematizing. You might say, “Louis, I do that.” Okay. But are we doing it consistently? Daily? Systematic. Systematic. Not in theory. Is it getting done? That’s basic, but that’s the start of this whole thing.
The next thing we want to do is we want to automate our income and expenses. Automate income and expenses. So, when you look at financials, specifically your P&L, you’re going to have income at the top. This is what a profit and loss statement looks like. You’ve got an income at the top, all the money that came in. And ideally, you have that broken out by the type of income: is it local moving income? Is it long-distance moving income? Is it storage income? Is it packing income? The next section, you have your cost of goods sold. These are expenses that are associated directly with the cost of servicing the move, things like your movers’ payroll, any packing material that was used, and other things. And then after that, you have just general expenses. They might not be associated directly, like, you can’t pinpoint and say, “This is directly associated with the move,” but it’s other expenses in the business. And then you get down to the bottom of your net income and your profit.
And so, what we want to do is, in order to get accurate numbers, in order to get an accurate report, the numbers that go into your accounting software… don’t try to do this stuff by hand. Into your accounting software. I recommend QuickBooks online just because it’s easy to use, and it integrates with SmartMoving. And to get it all into QuickBooks…
That’s half the battle. Systematize. You don’t want to sit there at the end of the month, whether it’s you or a bookkeeper, whoever, and try to input all the income, input all the expenses. So, how do you do this? Well, first of all, Smart Moving. You get that going. I know a lot of you are on there already. If you haven’t, go get a demo. You owe it to yourself to at least go look at it. I don’t push it on anybody. You’ve got another CRM that works for you? Awesome. We’re still friends. It’s all good. But you go in and you connect it to QuickBooks. QuickBooks is your accounting software. That’s what’s going to generate your profit and loss, your balance sheet, cashflow, pay your bills. Everything is done from there. You need something like that. If it’s not QuickBooks, look up alternatives, if you’re against QuickBooks.
And what happens is when you connect that with SmartMoving, all of the income from the jobs automatically goes over to QuickBooks. And it will separate it out however you want it separated out. You do a couple little clicks of where you want things to go in the back end and you tell SmartMoving, “Hey, this line, that’s a long-distance move,” once in the back end like, “These are my long-distance jobs. These are my locals. This is my storage revenue.” And it will put it in QuickBooks already separated out, which to some of you, you’re like, “Okay. Yeah. Cool.” But for me, and a lot of you that never had this feature, it’s like we would have to take the revenue, the credit card statements that came in, the bookkeeper would have to go and look it up and see what the revenue was, do splits and journal entries, like, super time-consuming. And so, to be able to automate that is huge.
And your expenses, the same thing. You could hook up all of your credit cards and bank accounts to QuickBooks. And so, every transaction is automatically there. And now, all you have to do is go and tell QuickBooks, “Oh, that’s truck expense. This is marketing.” And once you do that a few times, it’ll start to remember what it is. I mean, it’s so simple, but you need to set yourself up to make the process easier because otherwise the process of like, “I got to do accounting?” And it just feels like it’s got to be this whole, day-long project of like, “I’ve got to get everything input… ” that’s what stops most people. You systematize it. We’re not doing this account accounting because the act of accounting is what we want. We want the outcome. We want the numbers. We want the reports. But we have to set a few things up. We have to systemize a few things in order for that to happen. So, automate income and expenses.
Next one is you need an accounts payable process. Accounts payable process. So, accounts payable is basically an accounting term of saying, “Pay your bills. What money do you owe?” And in your accounting system, it’ll say, “Here’s what’s owed. Here’s the accounts that we need to pay on. You have accounts payable, and then accounts receivable. Accounts receivable are people that owe you money. So, you need a process for this.
So, there’s a few ways you could do this. Back in the day, before technology, automation, all of this, I’d have my bookkeeper bring me what’s called a unpaid bills report. Unpaid bills report. And put the unpaid bills report on the front of a manila folder. Put all the bills that came, like, when all the bills used to get mailed to you. Put all the bills in the manila folder in the same order as they are on the sheet, so that if I had any questions or I needed to see like, “Why are we paying this for this?” I could go look at the invoice, and it’s right there for me. And there was a set day and a set time where I got that information. I was prepared for it. I knew. It was a block on my calendar. We talked about that early on. I went in. I reviewed it. I took the sheet. “Check, check, check, check, check. What’s this? Research this. Why is this? Ask them why this bill is this. Da, da, da, da. Don’t pay that right now.” And went through. And that was the process. Then she went and cut checks. And then I signed the checks. And so, that’s one way of doing it.
Another way is to just have a day once a month, twice a month max, where you have it on… you have reminders. You got a list of bills that need to get paid. Maybe it’s the same bill every month. And you just sit down. You pull up that list. And you go manually make the payments, if you’re the one that’s going to do it.
What we’re trying to avoid is we’re trying to avoid, “Oh, shit. I owe that money. Oh, I got an email. I got to pay this. Oh! Oh! Oh!” And it’s so reactive. This stuff doesn’t have to be reactive. What needs to be reactive: the phone rings? Let’s book the job. There’s a move? They need extra equipment? There’s enough reactive stuff in the business; this has to be smooth.
And another way to do this is just to autopay bills. Autopay bills. Put them right on your credit card. And let them just charge you once a month. Get the points. You know how many points that I’ve got over the years from paying for yellow pages and marketing and all this stuff on a credit card? I’m talking major trips on points. So, if you could autopay stuff, where you don’t even have to worry about it… obviously, you need to be in a good cash flow position to where you’re not needing to make those decisions like, “No, we can’t pay this. We can pay this.” But set up your accounts payable process.
The next one is, get yourself a bookkeeper. Get yourself a bookkeeper. Unless you’re going to learn accounting, which you should, by the way. You should learn it. You should always know what your bookkeeper’s doing and understand their process. But unless you’re going to learn it and actually do it: hire somebody. You don’t have to get a full-time person; you could get somebody part-time these days that works virtually. You don’t have to send them all your paper bank statements and all. We live in a virtual world now. You could easily find somebody for a few hundred dollars a month to make sure your books are on point. Make sure your books are on point.
I had a private client, when I first started work with him, this is, I don’t know, three years ago, four years ago. I still work with him today. And at first, I’m like, “Okay, I need to see your P&Ls. Let’s go through that.” And he’s like, “Oh, I don’t have it.” “All right. No problem. We got some other stuff to work on. We don’t need it right away. Let’s get some of this other stuff going. But get that done.” He’s like, “Yeah, I’ve got an accounting background. I’m going to get it done myself.” And after a period of time, we kept hitting roadblocks of things that we needed to figure out, answers that he was looking for, paths and strategies that we were trying to map out, that we needed to know numbers in order to make the right decision. And finally, I’m like, “Look, you’ve been saying you’re going to do this for a long time. Just hire a bookkeeper. You’ve got the money. Do it. I don’t care that you’ve got an accounting background. That’s great. You’re going to be able to look after and make sure they’re doing the right thing. We need this. Let’s look at how long we’ve gone without it. Do you really want to continue to go, do you really want to continue to not have that clarity?” He hired a bookkeeper right away.
And so, I see a question here: a bookkeeper as compared to an accountant? Here’s the thing. You need a CPA. You need a CPA, which is someone who’s going to be able to handle your tax returns and your accounting from a higher level, from a tax level. And you want someone that is familiar with business, small business tax strategy, so you’re not paying extra money. But as far as someone to manage and clean up your books and just keep them up to date and keep them up to speed, you need a certified QuickBooks bookkeeper. That’s what you need. So, good question there. Good, good question.
A lot of people will have an accounting office, a CPA office, and they’re like, “They do my books. They do my taxes.” Cool. Great. But be a part of the conversation. That’s what I had at first too. And they would send me these P&Ls and balance sheet. And I didn’t say, “Where’d you get that number from? How’d you do it?”
It’s a big, big deal. And so, a bookkeeper is just someone that’s going to help keep QuickBooks accurate. Get the numbers accurate. Depending on how you choose to do your accounting, there’s two accounting methods: there’s cash basis, there’s accrual basis. I’m not going to get into that today. We’re just talking about systematizing. But depending on how you choose to do that, there could be additional work involved other than just adding the income and adding the expense. There might need to be some journal entries and some… you need everything reconciled every month to make sure what’s in your books matches the reality of what’s in the bank and your credit card charges. So, get yourself a bookkeeper.
Like I said, I hired somebody full-time when I first did this. This was my first real hire, by the way. And now, you don’t need to do that. Now, you don’t need to do that. You could totally find someone virtual. Few hundred bucks a month. They could handle it for you. Whoever does your taxes, talk to them and say, “Do you guys offer bookkeeping services as well?” See what that is, and go from there.
Listen, think about everything that we do. He’s saying the daily closeout, he’s just been doing it whenever he does the deposit, but we were talking about doing it daily. The more that you can get in a rhythm in your business to where it’s consistent, it’s a consistent rhythm, week after week, day after day, your team can get on board with that. You can scale. You can delegate. When things are done, like, here and there and here and there and here and there, you’re the only one that could control that chaos. Nobody else could get really in there with you. And if they do, they’re just in the chaos with you. I want to get you guys out of that.
So, then, once we have that, we’ve got to make sure that we actually review these numbers. So, we need a monthly review as part of our systematizing, with a checklist. Monthly review with a checklist. And what this means is you need to block time on your calendar, set aside some time, and review your financials every single month. Every single month. This is so important because when you… those of you who do this, you’re like, “Yep, yep, yep. I know. Yep. You’re right. You’re right.” And those of you that don’t, hopefully I’m painting the picture on why this is so important good enough, but you won’t truly feel it and understand it until you do it.
For me, I remember looking at my financials one month. And at one point, I had six locations, plus a long-distance division, plus my corporate office. So, you’ve got eight sets of financials. Each one has its own individual set of financials. And I’m looking at this one office and I’m like, “Why are the claims so high? What is going on there?” And because I recognized that and I saw that, this is one example of so many, I went into the CRM. I drilled down into the claims. I looked at what was going on with the claims. We found out who was causing them. And we found out what specifically they were damaging. And we were able to find out that it was because they were damaging flat screen TVs, they were damaging marble tabletops, they were damaging pictures, basically stuff that needs to be packed in a very similar way. And it was a specific set of movers with a specific set of items. So, what did we do? We went in and we did targeted training. I wasn’t even there. I called the ops manager over there at that office, “Here’s what we need to do. Get it done.” And that was it. We solved that problem. The claims went down. You could identify problems so easy by looking at the numbers.
Maybe the first time you look at your… you may say, “Louis, I’ve looked at the P&L and I don’t see anything.” And that’s because you’re not comparing it to anything else. You’re going to need to review these for a few months in a row to start seeing what the trends are, to start establishing what your baseline and what your benchmarks are for certain numbers, what the percentage of income is for a certain category. “We’re spending X% on fuel.” So, if you’re spending 5% on fuel, and then all of a sudden… you’re looking. You’re like you know it should be right around that number. And now, it’s 8%. What’s going on there? This is actually another example. Found that going on. Drilled down into it. Looked at the fuel cards we were using. Found out guys were stealing fuel at the pump. They were fueling up other people and taking cash. That’s happening to a lot of you, by the way. Just saying.
I’m not a cynical person at all. I want to believe the best in people, but I’m a realist when it comes to business. And I know that if you leave the key in the door of the candy shop, people are going to go in and take the candy. You leave opportunities on the table for people to grab a little extra here and a little extra there for themselves, not everybody, but people are going to do it. But by knowing your numbers, you’re able to stop all this right away. You see it. You identify it. And now, you’re able to make changes. So, not only are you looking at problems, you’re looking at opportunities as well like, “Wow, how could we increase that? That’s working really, really good.”
So, just like anything, the only reason you’re confident in tying your shoes is because you’ve probably done it hundreds of thousands of millions, I don’t even know how many times. You’re going to need to do this month after month. And at first, you may suck at it. You probably will suck at it, the way I sucked at it. You probably will get a little frustrated with it. But stick with it month after month, and it’ll start making more sense. It’ll start becoming more clear. You’ll start to be able to know what’s going on by the numbers. When the numbers change and the ratios change and the percentages change, that’s the language of your business. That’s what you’ll be able to see. That’s what you’ll be able to make improvements on. And that’s what will really change everything for you.
And so, the reason I say, “With a checklist,” is because for me, I still use a checklist when I do my monthly review. I still use a checklist. Why? Because I don’t want to waste time. When you do something once a month especially, I don’t want to waste time like, “Okay, well, I do this first. Then I do this first. Then I do… ” no, I have my little checklist up, just as a little guide. And I’m like, “That’s the first thing I do? Boom. That’s the second thing I do? Boom. That’s the third thing I do? Boom.” Because there’s a little bit of work that you need to do in order to get the information you need and make sure it’s accurate. There’s a few step involved in the process. There might be a little back and forth with whoever’s handling your books. And I don’t want to waste time thinking about that. I don’t want to waste time thinking about it. And I don’t want to skip a step because my mind might be somewhere else at the moment or I might be overly confident that I’ve done this so many times, I don’t need a list. Monthly review.
Just start getting your income and your expenses put into QuickBooks. Just start getting that put in there. And set a date. Set a date with a goal of when you’re going to have completed financials to review on a monthly basis.
I’m throwing a lot at you here. Anytime you absorb information, never feel overwhelmed with the fact that you’ve got to go and implement it right away. And I understand that that’s what can happen. It’s a matter of take… it’s better to know what you need to be doing and realize, “Oh, wow. Okay.” Just maybe in this Scaling Series, “Okay. All this stuff? That might take me 18 months.” Okay, cool. But at least you’ve got to a path. At least you know where you’re headed. At least 18 months from now, you’re going to be on top. You’ll stop dealing with all the stuff that you’ve been dealing with. So, I’m kind of preframing it for you to not look at this and go, “I’m going to get this done this month.” That’s not me like, “Go get it done today. Go get it done today.” That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, understand the importance.
And the challenge I will give you is, do not let this go past the first of the year. You got three months. You get whatever your other priorities are of things you need to do? You’ve got objectives for the fourth quarter? Okay. No later than January 1st. Starting fresh in the new year. I’m giving you a lot of leniency here. You make that commitment. And you start reviewing those numbers every single month. I know most of you are like, “No, I’m on it now. I’m getting on this now.” But don’t get overwhelmed. Always take all like…
One of the things that I had to learn that’s really, really helpful, by the way, and I think you’ll appreciate this, is that, as someone who’s always looking for a better way, like, that’s how I have done everything in my life was just, “There’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a better way.” And when you do that and you go seek information, when you come and you watch videos like this, when you come to the seminars, when you get in courses, when you read books, these are the books that I choose to keep when I’m done because I’m like, “I’m going to read them again.” If they’re not good, they go. I donate them. And so, when you are on that path, you’re always getting ideas. So, having a little system, we talked about this a little bit earlier in the series, having a little system, being able to bring new stuff in and then decide when you’re going to put it into action is huge because otherwise, you’re like, “Shiny object! Squirrel! New idea! New business! This! That!” And you’re going to drive yourself insane. You won’t get that far. You’re going to be stressed out.
Accept the fact that you will have a massively growing to-do list or project list or idea list. It’s okay. It’s okay. I’ve got probably more ideas written down than I could accomplish in a lifetime. Are they all great ideas? I don’t know. We’ll see. I go through them periodically and I pull out whatever I think should be… as I’m doing planning strategies sessions for the year, for the quarters, for the months, weekly plans.
Don’t worry about ever having too much information. Don’t let it feel overwhelming because here’s the thing. Wouldn’t you rather know there’s a better way? Wouldn’t you rather know that maybe you’re doing something wrong or you could be doing something better, or a problem that you’re facing consistently day in and day out, that there’s an answer for it, than to not know? Absorb. Absorb. Absorb. Have a place to keep it all: notebooks, notes in your phone, whatever, spreadsheets.
And then you plan. Go back and watch planning and productivity in this series, if this kind of stuff interests you at all. But I say that because I know what it’s like, to watch something, to take a course, to read a book, to go to an event and be like, “Oh my God. There’s so much.” So, you know the one or two or three things that are really going to make the biggest impact through this Scaling Series.

Customer Service Best Practices for Moving Companies

SUMMARY

In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares how to systematize your customer service in your moving company.

  • “I see a lot of great moving companies out there that have integrity, they care about their customers and they really run a great business, but they get caught up because they don’t have their customer service process in place.
  • “No matter how good you run your business, there will be some problems from time to time. Complaints, damage claims, unhappy customers… These are all part of the business. So, it’s important to find a way to reduce them, handle them systematically, and use those issues as opportunities to improve and make your moving company better.”
  • “When a complaint does come in it can be easy to take it personal. Which is totally understandable, but the key is to get past that place and see that if you could just systematize your complaint process to where when the complaint or a claim comes in, here are the exact steps that happen, and you resolve it quickly and move forward.”
  • “Learn how to get your customer service process to be steady, consistent, and ready to grow with you as you grow your business by watching Customer Service Best Practices for Moving Companies now!”

Watch the video to get full training.

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Transcription

Louis:
All right. Welcome, welcome back to the Moving CEO Scaling Series day eight. We have finally crossed that halfway point, and we are still on systematizing. Those of you that have been with me for the last seven days, you know that we’re talking about scaling your moving company, taking what’s working, bringing it to that next level, whether that’s opening additional locations, franchising your business, whether that’s taking just what you do now and lifting it up and doing more of that and becoming more systematic and more profitable with what you do. At this point, you’re probably like, “Louis, let’s start talking about scaling.”
“Let’s start getting to that place where we could talk about, how do I open those offices? How do we start franchising? What do we need to do to start growing what we have?,” and if you’ve been with me for the last seven days, you know how important it is that we first stabilize, systematize, then scale, and we don’t move into the scaling aspect when we’re not ready, and there’s just a few things that we need to tighten up, and so during this systematized section of this series, we’ve been talking about different areas of your business. We talked about your marketing, we talked about your sales, we talked about operations yesterday, and today, we’re going to talk about customer service, okay? Customer service.
What that means is, really, think about your customer’s journey with your company, from the minute they first speak to somebody at your office till that final move is done, and then possibly anything after the move that needs to be handled as well, what that experience is like. I have personally witnessed way too many companies out there that I see are doing a great job for their customers, they’ve got integrity, they care, they will only focus on getting the right crews on the jobs, they’re not looking to just book jobs at any cost and just send anybody out there to do them. They really run a great business, but they get caught up because they don’t have their customer service process in place, because no matter how good you run your business, no matter how good of a moving company you run, there will be some issues, there will be some problems, there will be some complaints, there will be some damage claims. These things are part of the business, and what we want to do is we want to find a way to reduce them, we want to find a way to handle them systematically, and we want to be able to use those complaints as opportunities for us to get better, right? We never want to let a complaint come in and go out without looking at, “What can we improve with this whole thing?”
Right? We’re going to talk about some of that, and so these companies that I see, it’s just that when a complaint does come in, they’re so caught off guard by it, and the owner and possibly managers or anybody involved will really take it deeply personal, which I totally understand and I totally get, but we want to get you past that place. We want to make you see that if we could just create a process behind this, if we could just systematize, complaint comes in, “Okay, here’s the steps that happen, and we move forward.” Right? It’ll make those situations, however few they might be, just run smoothly, and they don’t throw off everything else, right?
They don’t kind of rock the boat, so there’s a complaint or a claim or whatever the case might be, and it doesn’t throw everything else off for the day, or worse, you don’t start accumulating a bad reputation, you know? I see companies that have great ratings on Yelp, but then maybe don’t respond to BBB because they’re like, oh, “BBB is old-school,” and they’ve got an F there only because they haven’t responded to a complaint or two. If they would have just responded, they’ll go back up to wherever they were, B, possibly an A, or companies that they’re still, “BBB is everything, Yelp,” that’s going to go away. That’s just a fad, and they don’t handle any of their Yelp reviews, right? Your customer journey will dictate your company’s reputation nowadays.
It is way too easy, way too simple for them to just pick up their phone, say what they want to say, can’t do credit card chargeback, whatever it might be, right? What I’ve come to learn about complaints and customer issues is that most of the time they’re very small, manageable issues, small, manageable complaints, but if we let them go unattended, if we don’t respond to these customers, if we don’t give them the satisfaction that they’re looking for of, number one, being heard, that something’s wrong and kind of going through a process of helping to deescalate the situation, then it becomes a big, unmanageable problem, right? I want to talk to you about just systematizing your customer service, getting it to a place to where it’s steady, it’s consistent, as you grow, this will grow with it, and let’s start here today by getting into a few points, all right? The first thing that we want to do is we want to talk about your sales to service consistency. Sales to service consistency, and what this means is …
It really means that … It should really be marketing to sales to service consistency. I don’t have enough room on the card, to be honest with you. What this means is it’s like, look, when we have our marketing, when we have our postcard go out, our website, whatever marketing material we have, we’re starting to set expectations for that customer based on the images they see and the copy that they’re reading, the text that they’re reading. We’re starting to set expectations. When they call in and they speak to somebody from your company, whether they get their quote over the phone, whether you go out and do an onsite estimate, now you are starting to solidify those expectations.
You’re starting to set new expectations. You’re starting to make promises to that customer about the service that you’re going to provide, so now expectations have been set. One of the biggest areas where problems come in is when the expectations are set, but then they’re not met, right? You set them in your sales process, but you’re not meeting them in your service, and so we want to take a look at our marketing to sales to service consistency, right? The easiest way to do that is to … Again, just you guys know, I’m big into get out a piece of paper, get out a pen, right?
Get out a note-taking app on your phone or on your computer. Get out a spreadsheet, whatever works for you, some device of recording what’s in your head and get it out, and we want to say, “Okay, let me take a look at all my marketing. What am I saying in all the marketing? What are the promises that we’re going to make? We’re going to quilt pad all your furniture, on-time delivery, whatever it might be, whatever is there, whatever promises you’re making in your marketing or statements that you’re making or promises to your customer, right?
Those are expectations that are starting to be set, so then take a look at your sales. “What’s being said on every call? What’s being said on onsites? What are we insinuating? What are we promising? What are we telling customers?”
Then, take a look at what’s actually being done. Not what in theory should be getting done, but what’s actually getting done on every move. Yesterday, we talked about creating your on the move checklist, like all these 14 days tied together, and so we’ve got to look to make sure that the stuff we’re promising is the stuff that we’re delivering. It’s simple. You’re like, “Louis, yeah, I get that.”
Okay, but do this exercise, go through that and see, “Is it consistent? Is your promise on sales what is being done on service? Are your expectations that are set being met on service?” Okay? You could use this tool in reverse too, to help your sales and help your marketing, because what a lot of companies …
Let’s say you do marketing sales service to help improve customer service, and a lot of times, guys, that’s just notes in the system, taking really good notes, training your team to take absolutely fantastic notes when they speak to the customer. Customer mentions they have a little poodle named Fifi that might run out the door when the movers are there, put that in the notes. Everybody needs to know that. When the movers show up and they’re already aware of the stuff that was said to the salesperson, they feel at ease, they feel calm, right? You’re setting a good first impression.
The customer, they never want to hear your excuse of like, “Well, the salesman didn’t tell me that. The estimator didn’t tell me that.” When they’re dealing with your company, they want to be dealing with one entity. Think about like your logo. They don’t care that you have multiple departments and that you have to pass the baton from one to the next, so to do this in reverse, you basically say, “Okay, what are we doing in, this kind of will help sales and marketing now?”
“What are we doing in our service that we’re not talking about in our sales, that we’re not talking about in our marketing?” Right? You might be doing a lot of great stuff. You might be putting floor runners down, you might be putting door jams up, you might be wearing masks, you might be … Whatever steps you’re taking to provide a great service, put that in your sales, put that in your script, put that in your marketing, okay?
Just make sure that you’ve got sales to service consistency. Whatever’s being said to set expectations, you’ve got to meet those expectations, and you need everybody on the same page, right? Dispatch needs to know what sales is saying so that they could pass that message along to the movers to execute that move correctly. Sales needs to know what’s in the marketing so that they can make sure they’re saying the same thing and not contradicting what’s in the marketing, right? This will save you a lot of problems.
A lot of problems. Okay. Next one is before, during and after the move, before, during and after the move decide who is responsible for that customer. Before, during and after. The term, dropping the ball, it’s a sports analogy, but if we look at it more like a relay race where someone’s passing the baton and they’re like, “Look, here, it’s yours, you take it now, you run with it,” it’s actually a better analogy to look at this because if the call comes in, the salesperson speaks to them, then that gets passed on to operations or dispatch, and then that gets passed on to the movers, and then after the move, maybe customer service, and we’ve got to define this, because although it’s a great, noble thought to say, “Hey, we’re all in this together,” if the customer calls, I want everybody to just take care of that customer.
Yes, of course, take care of them, talk to them, hear out what they need to say, but then get them to the right person who’s responsible during that stage of where they are in the life cycle of the move. Otherwise, what happens is people are like, “Well, I thought you handled that. I thought you handled that.” Right? Let me just give you an example. For me, I think what should happen …
This is what we practice. What needs to happen is before the move, before the move gets sold, okay, it’s the salesperson’s responsibility, okay, your moving consultant. It’s their responsibility. They own that customer, right? They’ve got the ball. They’ve got the baton.
Once that job gets sold, once it gets booked, it needs to get passed on, okay, and so where does that get passed on? Does it get passed on to your dispatcher? Does it get passed on the customer service? You’ve got to decide that, because now we’ve got confirmation calls that need to be made, so you might be having customer service, or you might have dispatch make those calls, not sales. Sales, their job, they’re the fishermen. They need to go out and catch the fish.
They catch the fish, they toss the fish over to operations, operations gets that fish, fillets the fish, cleans the fish, right? Then, the movers are the one that cook the fish and serve the fish, if that makes sense. The point is we want everyone to have a job and a point of responsibility during the customer’s life cycle, and so for me, the salesperson, once you book the job, that goes to dispatch. The customer calls in after they’ve booked, even if they want to speak to the sales, we route them to dispatch, okay, because it’s now in their hands. It’s being planned.
The logistics are in motion, right? Anything that’s said, that’s the person that really needs to hear about it, okay? Then, during the move, dispatch is responsible for that. Of course, the movers as well, but in the office, dispatch is the point of contact during the move. After the move is done, it’s either going to be dispatch, or if you have a separate customer service, it’ll be customer service that handles that.
One of the worst things you could do is send a customer issue or complaint back to the salesperson to deal with it. Now, a lot of people will do it like, “You need to deal with it. It’s your customer. You own it,” but when you do that, you’re now taking them away from doing what they’re supposed to do, which is fish for more fish, get more customers, handle your leads, handle your sales process, and you’re demoralizing them. Every time you put a customer issue or a customer complaint in the hands of a salesperson, you are just chipping away at their confidence at what they’re selling, you know?
They’re going to handle a customer complaint about, “This happened. Your guys broke this,” and then hang up the phone and talk to someone else, and tell them what a great service you’re going to provide. It chips away at that. You’ve got to keep this separate. One of the best things you could do, if you have the room in your office or however you’re set up, working remotely, keep sales over here and operations and dispatch over there, okay?
They do don’t need to be crossed, working together. They could communicate by phone, communicate by chat, get up and go see one another if they need to, but they shouldn’t be in the same space, okay? Next thing is get yourself what I call an awareness board, okay? An awareness board. We had an awareness board that started off as a whiteboard with, just put the black tape on it, the black lines, okay, and any customer that was not 100% happy with their move, not a complaint, but if we knew they were not 100% happy with the move, we put them up on the awareness board.
That then turned into a spreadsheet that we kept up on a TV in the office, that then turned into software, that went up on the TV in the office. Now, people are using SmartMoving to have their awareness board up there of any open issues, any customers that are not 100% happy. Why? Because if you let them linger out there and you just say, “Out of sight, out of mind,” or if they’re not making any noise, there must not be a problem, before you know it, bad review. Before you know it, complaint, right?
We want to be aware and proactive about all the issues and we want to get on top of them before they become, again, a bad review, a complaint, a chargeback, an attorney letter, whatever it might be, okay, so you want to stay aware, and then someone needs to be actively working to resolve these issues. That’s it. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to give them back everything that they’re asking for. It just means that you need to decide what you’re going to do and move forward, which brings me to the next point, which is complaint resolution process, establishing your process for how you’re going to handle a complaint from the minute it comes in to resolved, okay? Whether it’s resolved satisfactory to the customer or whether it’s resolved unsatisfactory, or whether it’s resolved, we turn them into a raving fan, it needs to be resolved one way or the other, but you need a complaint resolution process.
What does that look like? It just looks like, “Essentially, what’s the first step when you’re notified of a customer that’s not happy? What do you do?” Right? These are the things that you need to think through, but think about, “Okay, when we first notified the complaint, what’s the first thing we do?” Right?
Well, how could you be notified? You could be notified because the mover let you know on the job that they’re unhappy, they could have called in, it could be a review, it could be a formal complaint, right? It could be an email. What’s the process that you take them through? Right?
I’m going to give you some things to think about so that you could create this process, is first, you need to gather information about what happened on this job, so based on what the customer’s saying, you’ve got to find out like, “Where could the problem be?,” because every problem in your company, it really comes from one or two places. It’s either people or process. It’s either there’s no process, therefore, things just were run the way that people wanted it to be run, that were involved, or the people aren’t following the process, or the process needs to be updated because it’s outdated, and so we need to figure out what that is. Part of this complaint resolution process is having someone that’s going to actually speak to this customer and hear them out, right? Seek to understand where they are coming from.
We’ve got to stop being so defensive, and I know it’s hard when someone’s like, “You guys did a shitty job,” but we’ve got to put ourselves in a position where we look at ourselves as like a third-party mediator, if we will, right? No emotional attachment to this situation, not getting mad at the customer for saying the things they’re saying, but just thinking about, “Okay, let me put myself in their shoes. Let me understand where they’re coming from. Maybe we did drop the ball.” Right?
“Maybe we dropped the ball.” It happens to the best of us. It happens, you know, and so we’ve got to just listen, and there’s two things that happen when you do that. First of all, you gather intel. You gather information.
You find out what the issue is, and you find out what the real issue is, because a lot of times, what they’re saying is the issue is not always the real issue. You let them talk. You let them talk. The other thing that’s happening, other than finding out what’s really going on is you’re allowing them to release their pressure valve, right? You know, when you let the air out of a tire, you press that little knob or whatever it is in the middle, and it’s like, and it’s deflating? You’ve got to be that for that person, right?
The best way to do that is to listen without defending, listen without blocking, listen in an empathetic way, but while you’re doing this, you’re taking notes so that you understand what’s going on, right? When you do this, when you allow … When I say you, it doesn’t have to be you. If you’re like, “Louis, I can’t deal with that. I don’t want to listen to all of this,” okay, good.
Hire somebody that will. Find somebody that will be good at it, that will understand it, that’s willing to listen, right? Now, you’ve allowed them to deflate, and what happens is we find out through this process … In my programs, my clients have what’s called my complaint resolution form, which is essentially a form that you fill out as you’re talking to the customer, kind of walks you through this whole thing, and what we come to find out is that what they initially called about that seemed like such a big deal started with something really, really small, but what happens is they feel a little silly sometimes for calling and complaining about something that’s so little, that they’re like, “Let me beef this up so I could get what I want. Let me make this.”
“Let me add whatever I can to this, because this little complaint that I’m giving here doesn’t sound like significant enough, so let me talk about the guy smoking outside. Let me talk about, oh, and you were late, and this, and I was promised that,” which all could be totally true, but what’s making them upset? What’s the real issue that if it didn’t happen, they wouldn’t have made an issue out of it? That’s what we’re seeking to understand, and the only way you’re going to do that is putting yourself in their shoes, listening to them, helping them release their air valve, okay, make good notes, attentive listening to what they’re saying, not just like making fun of them in the office with whoever else is there, right? I get it. I totally get it, but this is an opportunity.
You’ve got to start looking at these complaints as an opportunity to make your business better, because every time that you don’t, every time you don’t really listen and hear them out, you’re missing the most valuable information you can about real intel to how your company’s doing, the perception, the expectation that you’re setting, right? Once you do that, part of your complaint resolution process never leave the scene of a complaint without looking at, “How do we correct this internally?” Always deal with the customer. Always get it resolved, right? Then, what do we do with a customer that is just, “Hmm, okay. I’m satisfied with the resolution,” versus someone who’s like, “I’m still pissed off,” and somebody that’s like, “Oh my God, you know what?”
“You guys, you really kept your word,” and something happened. “Listen, mistakes happen. I totally get it, but you stood up. You did the right thing. What could I do for you? Where could I give you a review?”
Right? We’ve got to take people through this process. Then, every single part of this complaint resolution process ends with, “Where do we need to have process improvement or training for our people so this doesn’t continue to happen?” How else are you supposed to know where your weak links are in the business? Doesn’t mean the person’s weak.
Doesn’t mean you’re weak, right? This is a unit, right? You could have the best players on a team, but if they don’t know how to play together, if there’s no game plan, if there’s no plays that there’s somebody calling, people will drop the ball, so we’ve got to identify after each one of these and figure out what you’re going to do about it moving forward. Part of the complaint resolution process might need to be you speak to the salesperson. Somebody needs to say, “Okay.”
If the complaint stemmed from there, talk to them, get their statements, see what they said. If it came from the movers, talk to them, see what they said, get some information so that you could resolve the complaint, all right? Then, what you want to do, I know this all might sound like common sense, but what I want you to ask yourself is, “Are you doing this, and are you doing it consistently?” Not like, “Louis, I know this stuff,” but, “Are you doing it consistently?” You know?
You might know that in order to get a six-pack of abs, you’ve got to … I’m not signaling because I have a six-pack. I’m just, I’m saying if you know you want to get a six-pack of abs, you’re like, “Oh, I know I got to eat better. I know I’ve got to workout. I know I’ve got to do my core work.”
Just knowing it’s not enough. You’ve got to do it consistently, right? This right here is another core function of your business. The five fundamentals of every single moving company are lead generation, booking moves, servicing moves, customer service and accounting. Everything you do in your business falls under those five categories.
You get those five systematized, you’re ready to scale, right? You’ve got your lain, good foundation to build on. You don’t systematize this stuff, you’re going to scale on quicksand, and it’s going to be like this, and you’re going to wonder why it’s such a shaky ride, and then it becomes suffering, instead of scaling. It’s why we’re talking about systematizing, right? You’ve got your complaint resolution process. Now, you need a process for getting those five-star reviews.
We can’t just wait for these to fall on our lap. We’ve got to be proactive, we’ve got to go for them. We’ve got to get those five-star reviews, so what’s your process for this? Too many people, it becomes such a painful point when they get the bad review, but what are we doing to mitigate that with good reviews, okay, so you want to have a system. Those of you that are on my software, SmartMoving software, you have the ability …
I hope you know, you have the ability after the move is done. The customer gets a text, the customer gets an email, and it takes them through what I call the Review Fetcher process of guiding them through a quick, easy, painless, 60-second process that’ll allow them to go give you a review, but also filter out anything that will be a bad review so that it’ll come in to your awareness board so that you could go to work on your complaint resolution process to deal with it, right? Imagine sending out something to a customer and they’re like, “Hey, I’m giving you two stars.” Well, instead of guiding them to Yelp to give you a review, instead, it comes into your awareness board and says, “Hey,” to somebody that’s unhappy. Get to work and make them happy.
Figure out this problem, right? Whereas, they say, “Oh, you guys were great, five stars,” it leads them right to wherever you want them to go. You want them to go to Yelp, you want them to post that review on Google, you want them to post it on Yelp, Facebook, wherever, systematize this process. Systematize this. Have your movers get the review right there on the spot. Get the video testimonial right there on the spot.
You’ve got to build this in. Otherwise, if you don’t build this in to the day-to-day, it just doesn’t get done. It just doesn’t get done. I mean, ask yourself like, “How long …” You know this.
I mean, you guys know this. I’m not telling you something. You know that you need to get more five-star reviews. You know that, right? Give me a thumbs up. Let me know, like you know you need more five-star reviews.
This is something that you can do something about. You can’t do something about Yelp filtering them all off the first page, right? You can just keep getting more and more and more and more and more to where whatever percentage they filter off. It’s fine, but your online reputation is everything right now in 2020. I call it your Google garden.
You Google the name of your company. In that first page, it’s there. That’s your … People are like, “My online reputation.” Go Google the name of your company. Whatever’s on that first page, that’s your online reputation.
That’s what customers are seeing. Go clean that up. Go resolve those issues. Call any customers you see with low-star ratings and run them through your complaint resolution process, right? Learn from it so that you could see, “Okay, but there’s a problem here with our sales to service consistency.”
“Where did we drop the ball? Maybe we dropped it because during passing the baton, before, during and after the move, there wasn’t clear, clear, clear instruction on who’s responsible for that customer.” Right? Guys, go after these five stars. Go after the five stars and go after the one stars, right?
You’ve got to start embracing customer complaints, and look at it, instead of like, “Oh, man,” and just getting totally … I mean, I get it. I get it, I get it, I get it. I think because I do a lot of personal development work and stress relief work for myself, for my own mindset, I’ve been able to, over the years, not take it so personally, but does it feel like a stab in the chest? Of course, but then you’ve got to move past that and look at it and go, “You know what? That complaint’s there because there’s still something that is not resolved yet in the business.”
“There’s still something that if I was to go scale right now, if I was to go scale right now, I’m going to bring that problem with this model.” By systematizing your business, you’re creating a model business, right? A model. A model is something that you could take and you could duplicate. Before you take something, and if it was something, a document on your computer and you want to make several of those documents, you could just copy and paste, copy and paste, but before you copy and paste, you want to make sure that original document or whatever it is, is how you want it to be.
It’s the same thing with your business, so start looking at all these complaints that come in. Sure, they’re frustrating, but it is what it is. It is what it is. Don’t think this is an easy business. Don’t think that you could like not put focus, energy and attention on customer service and resolving issues, and run a great business and make good money and live a good life and let things run systematically, and not be putting out fires every single day.
It’s just not the way that it is, but it doesn’t mean that that’s the business and the way that it has to be. Meaning, take a little time to set this stuff up, right? Take a little time to set this stuff up. It is insane to go year after year after year after year with the same problem and just complain about it. Will you be able to put every single complaint, every single issue to rest?
I hope so, but chances are no. Chances are there’s still going to be issues. Moving’s a very stressful time, you’re walking into somebody’s house, you’re taking everything they own, you’re putting it on a truck. Strangers are coming in their house, putting it on the truck, it’s stressful, you know? There’s a lot of cheap furniture out there that breaks the minute you put a finger on it, so complaints would happen, complaints will continue to happen, but it’s how you deal with them, you know? I’m not saying you don’t care right?
When a complaint comes in and it doesn’t phase you, it’s okay if it doesn’t phase you because the reason that it doesn’t phase you is you know it’s going into your little process to handle the customer’s issue, find out what’s happening, assess how you can make it better, and put a plan in place to make it better so it doesn’t happen again. If you keep doing that cycle with every complaint that comes in, they’re going to get less, they’re going to get less, they’re going to get less, and you and your company are going to get stronger and stronger and stronger. You see how this makes sense? You care less not that you don’t care about that customer, you just feel confident and know they’re taken care of. We took the time and we set up our complaint resolution process, and because we took that time, I don’t have to get so emotionally involved in every single one that happens, right?
That’s how you truly care, not by letting it make you sick for the day that a complaint came in, losing sleep over it, having a plan to work on your marketing strategy and scale, and work on big things in your business, needle movers, and it all gets thrown off because that complaint came in and you’re just emotionally like out of it now, right? I get it, but I get it because I was there, and I get it because I made the leap from that to a better way, which is what I’m talking about, and it’s almost like you go from an insane way to a sane way of running a business. When you’re in that place, you make better decisions. When you’re in that place, you’re a better employer. When you’re in that place, you’re able to have a conversation with a customer and truly see where they’re coming from, not to get like to war, and they’re like coming at you and attacking you, right?
You seek that information. You want to know, “Why is it that they’re unhappy?,” because we need to solve that, because otherwise, my plan to open 10 offices, if I’m dealing with one complaint a week, I’m going to be dealing with 10, probably more a week, because once it’s not in your site, it’s a different story. We’ll talk about that when we get to scale. Take the time to get this stuff in order. Let me recap for those of you just joining us.
I want to make sure you don’t have to go watch this whole replay, unless you are digging these points here. Number one … They’re all out of order. Let’s see, sales to service consistency. Make sure that whatever you’re saying in sales is happening in service.
That’s number one. Number two is assign someone who’s responsible for that customer’s happiness before, during and after the move in the company, okay, and how are you going to pass that baton on. Then, any issues that you might have, they need to go on some type of an awareness board, okay? It could literally be a wall with sticky notes. It could be a whiteboard where you write everything up.
You could do it in SmartMoving. You could have it on an Excel spreadsheet. Just have a place where you’re aware so they’re not out of sight, out of mind until they end up as a bad review, right? Get yourself someplace to be aware of all the complaints and actively work to resolve them. Complaint resolution process, okay?
Create the process, from the minute you’re aware of a complaint to resolving that, and everything that happens in the middle, and then go out there and proactively get your five-star reviews. So many of you deserve these. So many of you do such a great job, but are just saying, “You know what? Let my service speak for itself. If they want to give me a review, let them give me a review.”
There’s nothing wrong with asking for it. Sometimes if you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Go get those five-star reviews.