Dear AMSA Member,
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for the emails and phone calls congratulating ACI for winning the 2013 Summit Award. We could not be happier that we won. Also, thank you to our customers who took time to fill out the nominations and send to AMSA. Last and not least, thanks to our employees who notified our customers and asked them for their vote. This was a huge effort and I really appreciate everyone's help.
I strongly encourage all suppliers in the industry to go for this award in the coming years. To have your name associated with some of the past winners, be recognized by AMSA, and to be able to stand in front of everyone at the conference will be an unbelievable feeling. So send emails, make phone calls, and encourage your customers to nominate you for 2014. Then hopefully you can have the kind of feeling that I am having right now.
I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season. I look forward to seeing you at the AMSA conference in San Diego at the beginning of February.
Also, please let us hear from you about topics you'd like to see in future issues of Supply Line and send comments or suggestions to me at JoeB@AssetControls.com or Norma Gyovai, AMSA's director of sales, at email@example.com.
Chairman, AMSA Supplier Committee
Chairman, Asset Controls, Inc. / Windfall
Note from Linda Bauer Darr, AMSA President & CEO: Congratulations to Joe's Company, Assset Controls, for winning the 2013 Summit Award — nominaterd by AMSA's mover members!
Direct selling — sell your product or services direct to your customer in lieu of the Internet or phone greatly increases the likelihood of a successful sale.
Target market — Our conference pulls in a highly targeted market interested in your product or services.
Visit www.promover.org/conference or e-mail Norma Gyovai@moving.org.
by Jeff Wilson
In a few short years, advertising a moving business has gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. What happened to the days when you could run a great ad, provide excellent service, and get referrals? Well, like it or not, the world has gone to the Internet. But one thing still remains critically importantâ€¦your reputation.
All of this social media and Internet search mania has created an online place where customers go to talk about your business. You might say, "So what? Who has time to pay attention to all that?" Before you dismiss this, you should understand that there is a dark side to all this Internet chatter.
Without your guidance, customers mostly vent on the Internet when they are mad. Nothing stops them from saying terrible things about you online. Even more alarming is that these people tarnishing your reputation may not even be your customers. These anonymous business killers could be disgruntled ex-employees or your competition.
Fortunately, you can guide the online conversations about your business. You just need to show your happy customers how to leave an online review. This is called online review generation.
You can use online reviews to get more phone calls by getting happy customers to talk about you. Happy customers will gladly sing your praises to thousands of people in your city. Best of all, your raving fans will say great things about you every day, 24/7.
Movers with more reviews on Google get more visual attention from searchers. This presents an opportunity for movers whose websites are not listed at the top. You can be more competitive by adding more reviews.
- Go to Citysearch.com, search for your company, and go to your listing page
- Copy your listing's web address from your web browser
- Shorten the long web address by going to bitly.com
- Print feedback cards and include that link; cards should tell customers to go to the review site and leave a review
- Employees should hand these out anytime a customer compliments your service
You will start generating reviews almost immediately.
Yes, negative reviews will happen. But, a business with no bad reviews looks suspicious to searchers. An occasional bad review makes you look like a real business.
When you get a bad review, don't be defensive. Companies look bad when they get defensive online. Instead, acknowledge the mistake and say that steps have been taken to address the issue. Your online fans may also come to your defense.
Online Review Generation helps moving companies increase ratings and cost effectively boost online traffic. It is a great way to get more customers by maximizing the web traffic that you already have.
Jeff Wilson is a local marketing expert and author. He is the founder of Jeff Wilson Marketing, located in Richardson, Texas. His FREE report, The Four Places Movers Need to be Found Online, can be found at www.MarketingForMovers.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
By Gadi Binness
Imagine this: Your crew shows up to a customer's home for move day. They are greeted by a smiling, friendly gentleman. He is organized and prepared and quickly gives the crew a tour of his home and the items to be loaded. Everything is going great. But then, when the loading begins, the smiling gentleman turns into Mr. Helpful and begins hauling boxes as if he's part of the team.
On the surface this sounds great — after all, more hands make less work, right? True, but this scenario is exactly how helpful customers turn into angry liability claims.
What happens if Mr. Helpful throws out his back and herniates a disc while he's setting a heavy box down inside your truck? Who pays for his back surgery? If he files a liability claim against your company, it may very well be you!
All moving companies have encountered helpful customers who want to lift boxes and load the truck alongside professional movers. Needless to say, this is extremely unsafe. Don't let it happen!
If you haven't already done so, we recommend training your team and providing a customer handout, you create such as "Your Role on Moving Day," to customers to clearly establish expectations up front.
This also gives your crew an easy way to manage a potentially awkward situation. Some crew members may feel uncomfortable with asking a helpful customer to stop helping, but with a policy handout readily accessible, they can easily say, "I'm sorry Sir — Our company policy does not allow you to help us with this," while providing written explanation.
Below are some helpful points to include in your customer handout. Please customize as needed to suit your company's unique procedures, insurance requirements and expectations:
- On moving day, please be present and available to give directions and answer questions about the services desired
- When our professional movers arrive at your home, they will ask you to give them a "walk-through" and show them everything that should be packed or moved
- For your own safety, please do NOT try to "assist" our moving team. Due to insurance guidelines, no one is allowed in the truck except our professional moving personnel
- While we handle your goods with utmost care, accidents occasionally happen. For this reason, it's a good idea to consider third party moving insurance to protect your goods in case of accidental damage during the relocation
- Upon arrival at your move's destination, please be available for another "walk-through" of your new space. Be ready to communicate your expectations for unloading
- You will be responsible for checking off an inventory form or "bingo" sheet, to make sure all items have arrived, and to note any loss or damage to your items on the mover's copy of the paperwork
- Generally, most items will enter your home through one central location such as the garage or front door. Consider this the staging area where you can inspect and check off your items as they come off the truck
In addition to providing a handout to customers prior to the move, educate your crew members so they know exactly how to handle all the Mr. and Mrs. Helpfuls they may encounter in their jobs. By providing customers with a clear set of roles and responsibilities and by instructing them not to move items themselves, you can avoid awkward situations and protect your moving company from costly liability claims.
Gadi Binness is the CEO of Moving Insurance LLC, dba: Relocation Insurance Group, LLC. For more information about the company, visit www.RelocationInsurance.com or call (888) 893-8835. Visit Gadi at Booth 304 at AMSA's 95th Annual Conference & Expo February 9 - 12 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
Rand McNally is making its revolutionary new HD 100 device available to transportation companies and professional drivers via the company's fleet sales organization and at select travel centers. The HD 100, a small black box about the size of a deck of cards, is designed to pair with tablets, phones, and the company's IntelliRoute® TNDTM 720 GPS device, to create a fully functioning mobile fleet management solution.
Called a "game changer" by industry experts, who have noted that the HD 100 will "change the way that operations and individual drivers have thought about future of ELD usage," the device provides electronic hours-of-service (HOS) recording, vehicle inspection reporting, text- and dispatch-integrated messaging, plus driver performance monitoring capabilities. Features are dependent upon the service plan selected.
"The device will solve many industry problems — a cost effective, simple solution, that meets the needs of the market while being platform agnostic," said Jim Rodi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Communications, Rand McNally. "It's a home run for the industry, helping fleets and drivers alike with meeting the upcoming electronic logging implementation mandated by MAP-21 while leveraging their current in-cab technology investment."
Designed to work seamlessly with a variety of mobile devices, the HD 100 plugs into a truck's on-board diagnostics port and records the truck's GPS position along with critical vehicle-specific information such as engine diagnostics and driving behavior. The device — roughly 3 ¾ inches by 4 ½ inches — can be installed in less than 10 minutes. Currently compatible with the IntelliRoute® TNDTM 720, the HD 100 will be available for iOS and Android devices, by the end of December.
Drivers will interact with the HD 100's HOS and messaging functions through an application that they download and run on their mobile device or via Rand McNally's IntelliRoute® TNDTM 720 truck GPS device.
Just as with the company's premier enterprise solution, TPC 7600, and the robust yet cost-effective single-box device, the TNDTM 760, the HD 100 allows data integration with nearly 30 third-party dispatch and transportation management applications via Rand McNally Connect software.
The company also announced that the HD 100 is available in retail travel centers — Travel Centers of America (TA) Pilot, Love's — and some online outlets.
For more information on Rand McNally's mobile fleet management services, call (800) 789-6277 or visit randmcnally.com/fleet.Â Plus, visit us at AMSA's 95th Annual Education Conference & Expo in San Diego from February 9th through 12th at Booth 605.
Rand McNally is the country's most trusted source for maps, navigation, and travel content. For more than 75 years, Rand McNally has been an innovator in the commercial transportation market, from mileage and routing software to mobile fleet management solutions. Learn more at randmcnally.com.
IntelliRoute and Rand McNally are registered trademarks and TND is a trademark of RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally.
By Kelly Moran
Televisions, computers and other electronics are not only fragile — they're also highly valued by your customers. If you break a new flat screen TV, you may be facing an awkward conversation.
An average customer's home electronics components can add up to a value of $20,000 or more when you consider televisions, stereo systems and computer equipment. So it's important to be proactive with loss prevention measures.
To prevent claims, electronics need careful, expert packing to help them weather the relocation journey, including the bumps and jostles inherent to loading and unloading.
If they choose to pack themselves, give them some guidance! Electronics are often large and irregularly shaped so they don't easily fit into standard square boxes. Well-meaning, yet inexperienced customers can botch up electronics packing and unknowingly increase the odds of damage, simply because they don't know the best strategy.
Below are three ideas to share with your moving customers to help prevent electronics claims:
- Use original packing materials when possible. If the original cartons and packing materials are available, use them for repacking. They are custom designed to fit each item, affording maximum protection. If original materials are not available, offer to order a specially manufactured TV box for transporting large, flat screen TVs (for an added fee), or tell customers they can check with the retailer that sold them the item to see if they have extra or discarded boxes and packing materials
- Recommend professional packing. TV's, home computers and stereo systems require special care to ensure they arrive safely. If you provide electronics packing services, make sure your customers know about it! If you don't provide this service, refer customers to professional packers in your area
- Recommend adequate moving insurance. Proper insurance alleviates your customers' moving anxiety. Inform your customers about the need for moving insurance and make sure they understand the coinsurance clause
Save your moving company from the stress of dealing with broken electronics. By increasing your pre-move communication, and recommending appropriate precautions, you'll have more satisfied customers and fewer claims.
Kelly Moran is the Vice President of Risk Management for Moving Insurance LLC, dba: Relocation Insurance Group, LLC. For more information about the company, visit www.RelocationInsurance.com or call (888) 893-8835.
MSS, North America's leading provider of relocation support services, has introduced its new corporate logo to coincide with a company-wide branding effort. In addition, a new tagline, "Trust the Experience," will accompany all new logo treatments as a reconfirmation of the company's commitment to exceptional client service and industry innovation.
MSS has undergone this rebranding process in an effort to grow its primary Relocation Support Services division, as well as its Precision Crating Services and Logistics Install Services divisions. These three business areas will showcase each other's strengths as the company works to bring its renowned service delivery further into each of their respective markets.
MSS President and CEO, Timothy Hughes, had this to say about the company's new branding decisions: I strongly believe MSS is at a very important juncture in its growth cycle. I want to drive all of this great fortune and remind our clients that, despite our success, we never get complacent.
MSS is committed to continuing as an innovative industry leader to drive superior business practices through its entire resource channel, while maintaining consistent and professional service delivery with a focus on their customers' best interests.
MSS Relocation Support Services/MSS Precision Crating Services/ MSS Logistics Install Services
Media Contact: Robert Ursino, (215) 393-1900, email@example.com, www.mss1.com
AMSA is showcasing an exhibitor for AMSA's 95th Annual Education Conference & Expo in San Diego from February 9 through 12 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in the this issue of Supply Line.
by A.A.C. Forearm Forklift, Inc., Mark Lopreiato, President
Moving Harness is great for movers who prefer a body harness (a.k.a. over-the-shoulder system ) vs. the forearm method. Moving Harness fits over your upper torso. It's versatile, safe and easy to use. It employs leverage and encourages its users to use proper lifting techniques while moving heavy items. By using your entire upper body, the Moving Harness reduces strain and the risk of injury, and is rated to lift up to 700 lbs.
Moving Harness is another product by Forearm Forklift. "Moving Harness works in conjunction with Forearm Forklift and so many movers have already purchased FF so if you already own a pair of FF and love it, but the mover helping you would prefer to use a harness, then you should buy our single pack," says FF inventor Mark Lopreiato. "Conversely, if you already own an FF, but you and the mover helping you would newly prefer to use harnesses, then you should buy our two pack."
No doubt you've seen other moving harness products out there, but Lopreiato says that his is the most innovative because, "Users can have one person using their harness and the other using their forearms or both using harnesses. This is the first and only moving system ever versatile enough, so that users can use both the harness and forearm methods together. And, it's so easy-to-use!"
He adds, "We're so excited to be exhibiting at the upcoming AMSA show in San Diego. Not only are we going to be moving around a long rifle safe with these, but we're happy to let you try them for yourself as well. Don't miss out cause these will save your back, plus that city is a vacation resort in and of itself!" Visit Mark at Booth 713.
Both CDS and New Haven Moving Equipment in California stock these. For more info, visit Forearm Forklift's website.
AMSA Supplier Members — Boost your organic search traffic through the AMSA Buyers Guide online, now with ratings and reviews.
Today, more and more people are taking to the Internet to search, make purchases and provide feedback on businesses and products from a consumer's standpoint. Not only are they taking the time to write reviews, but they are also using other consumers' reviews to help decide which companies to buy from and which to avoid at all costs.
In fact, did you know that nearly 7 out of 10 people read online reviews before making a purchase?Â This information is so significant for businesses trying to put their best image in front of people with purchasing power and motivation.
Here are a couple more facts regarding consumer purchasing research using review sites:
- 92 percent of consumers trust earned media above all other advertising
- 72 percent of consumers trust online product evaluations the way they trust personal recommendations
All AMSA supplier members receive a basic listing within the AMSA Buyers Guide online, and there are many cost-effective ways to enhance your visibility. Your presence in the guide enables you to get your product/business in front of an audience of professional movers looking for the kinds of products and service you offer.
SEARCH + BUY + REVIEW
As you may know, our publishing partners at MultiView have added an exciting new Ratings & Reviews feature to the AMSA Buyer's Guide. The Ratings & Reviews feature helps boost organic search traffic by placing the key words for which shoppers are searching directly on company profile pages (company profile pages are included with enhanced listings in the guide, which start at just $395 for an entire year). Embedding this user generated content into company profile pages amplifies these benefits by automatically updating pages with fresh, keyword-heavy content.
Upgrading to an enhanced listing (or even greater visibility with display advertising), and encouraging your customers to rate and review your company in the AMSA Buyer's Guide, are great ways to ensure that your message is reaching your target audience and that your company is top-of-mind with potential customers who are ready and willing to make a purchase. For more information about the Ratings & Reviews feature, and to learn more about enhancing your company's presence in the AMSA Buyer's Guide, please contact advertising representative Blair Bates at (972) 402-7009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.