Tag Archives: communication

Cost alignment is key, but this component is just as important when relocating talent!

Over the last few years, we have heard about the importance of cost alignment from companies when relocating their employees. Many companies base their policy on a cost budget approach when relocating talent. However, the talent management shortage has also played a vital role lately for companies wanting to be competitive when hiring talent that requires a relocation.

Today, companies expect another component when relocating talent known as “the experience”. The employee experience is about employee engagement from the time an employee connects with the provider for their relocation. I recently heard one of our leaders share a poll that stated 80% of companies think they are providing superior service when look through their eyes, and only 8% of the customers think they are receiving superior service. Wow, that is a 72% difference! Delivering an experience starts with understanding the needs of the customer. 

So what experiences are customers looking for?

Customers have different needs. Some are looking for a specific moving dates, or budget options to consider when selecting services. Some like the new virtual survey concept because it is convenient, while others don’t feel like it is safe or as accurate as a visual survey. Some customers just want a warm smile and trust in their moving coordinator and driver. Whatever the case may be, the key to providing a great experience always starts with asking questions to determine expectations. If customer has needs that are not aligned with services, then they will most likely not have a great experience. However, if you can identify what’s important, and build a plan around their answer, then you just might deliver the experience they are looking for and create a customer for life!

“The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action: What makes a great experience for your team? Identify three things this week that might elevate the experience for your employees relocating and share with your relocation partner. Send me an email and share with me too! I would enjoy hearing your feedback!

This has been “A Relocation MinuteThe Customer Experience” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

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Don’t forget to include this critical component when relocating key talent!

Relocation can be a very stressful event, especially if there is a spouse and or children involved in the transition. Recently, I connected with Elizabeth Lions, a business coach, author, and leader in the community. When talking about the importance of a relocation for a company and the employee, she also mentioned the importance of including the trailing spouse. Elizabeth has experienced the long distance relocation journey, so I asked her to share some lessons we can all learn from in this week’s “A Relocation Minute”. 

Three Ways to Prepare and Comfort a Trailing Spouse

by Elizabeth Lions

You got the job!
But it so happens it’s 2,000 miles away, in an unknown city and you’ll have to move your family.
Now what?
Here are three ways to prepare and comfort your trailing spouse:

  1. Include in the move. By include, I mean every aspect. Don’t just dump the moving truck and packing on your spouse while you tie up loose ends. Include your spouse by engaging them in being excited about the change. Ask them or include them is some fun research. Look at the things you love to do in your hometown now and try to duplicate those treasured activities there. For example, if as a family you love the outdoors, find some cool trails that you can explore. If you like fine dining and art, look up the local hot spots. Find the common denominators now before you move. The transition will be easier.
  2. Listen to their fears. All sorts of strong feelings can surface the moment you announce that you are uprooting the family. Grief, resentment and isolation are common feelings for every trailing spouse. Take time to listen to them and allow them to sort out their feelings of fear. They have to let go of their life and follow your career path. Be overly sensitive and not swept up in your promotion. If you are unavailable to provide support, find them someone that can help them work through their feelings. It won’t’ be good if you are trying to start a new job and your mind is back at home, worrying about how they are coping with a new day in a new city.
  3. Team Effort Remember, The trailing spouse now is in a precarious position. There is an imbalance in the couple which will be pronounced due to financial dependence. The trailing spouse may have to give up their own job, status and established position in order for you to move ahead. This can be humbling in the best case and cause divorce in the worst case. Balance the scales when you divide up duties around the move. Give them support and help them find resources to get back to work after the family is settled. Using words like we and team and never using ‘I’ goes a long way during the transition.

Lastly, remember this is just transition. If you were to map your whole life on a radar screen from the time you were born to the time you die, this transition doesn’t even make a blip on the screen. Try not to have this life transition chew up your marriage, but instead make it an adventure for the entire family.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Elizabeth. If you or someone you know would like to connect with Elizabeth, check out her website www.elizabethlions.com or send email to Elizabeth.lions@gmail.com. You will enjoy connecting with her!

Call to action: A great relocation starts with great communication. Ask your employee what you might do to help make the transition smooth for the spouse/family, then reach out to your moving partner for options. It could make the difference for a successful relocation.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Trailing Spouse” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Want a better experience for candidates moving this summer? Consider these mobility strategies…

The month of May marks the beginning of peak moving season! Schools out and families take advantage of the summer months to relocate and settle in their new city before school starts in September.

Based on different sources, there are approximately 40 million families moving annually or 10-15% of US population. However only about 15 million families are moving to a different county, state, or country while the remaining population moving is locally within same county.

There are also approximately 8000 moving companies in the US, with approx. 50% of them (4000) that belong to AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association) and have authority registered to service long distance or nationwide moves. This means (based on my calculations) that household goods moving companies will relocate an average of 18 families per day from May through August compared to averaging 6 families per day from September through April. Statistics will fluctuate based on the size of the moving office, but either way — WOW! That is 3 times more volume moving each day during the summer! The peak moving summer season can make moving more complex and requires precision moving coordination.

Therefore, it’s important to approach your move differently during this time of the year. Here are a few tips to think about sharing with your team to have the best experience when moving this summer:

  1. If you don’t have a relocation partner, get one! Capacity drives up move cost, even when you get bids… and partners will often find ways to help your team when you get in a tough spot!
  2. Advise your employees to schedule the household goods move survey BEFORE home sells. This is a great time to discuss move plan expectations to be prepared when the home sells.
  3. Communicate that preferred moving dates need to be made at least 14 days prior to moving. Some cases less time and others may be 2-3 weeks due to the location.
  4. Consider a container move approach for small apartments or when moving less items. Benefits include a guaranteed delivery date and free storage while traveling to destination.
  5. Prepare employees for increased transit times for the household goods delivery in the summer due to driver hours of service regulations.

Also, be sure to ASK your moving partner about other relocation referrals and assistance including new community information. They can help ease the complexities for your team!

Call to action: Reach out to your moving partner this month to discuss strategies to help your employees this summer. If you know someone that needs a partner, please share this information with them. They will appreciate the referral and so will their employees.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Beginning of Peak Season Moving Tips” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Are you pushing or pulling?

Have you ever wondered what separates the good employees from the great employees? It will often point to PERCEPTION. You may have a team of great employees but some may not be perceived great if they don’t understand the value of pushing information. We have all experienced working with an employee that didn’t understand the importance of sharing key updates before we asked for them which created a concern – even when things may have been going well. When we have to pull information, there is a sense of negative perception, as well as a sense that the employee is being micro managed, even when that’s not the case.

Creating a great customer experience is about anticipating or pushing information to others before they have to ask for it. This creates positive perception and drives a better experience for both internal and external employees. 

For example, when an airline texts the customer flight information or a gate change before the customer has to call to confirm information for their flight creates the perception of a great company and drives a better experience for the customer.

In relocation, the move coordinator and driver will call or text the customer to notify arrival times during the moving process and confirm alignment with employees expectations. However, if the customer has to call the company to ask when the moving truck will arrive, it often creates a less than great experience. Everything could have been going well, but the perception is driving the experience!

Here are a few ways for you to elevate the perception and move from good to great in any role:

  • Sending the weekly, or monthly report before your boss or customer asks for it.
  • Sharing an idea for improvement with leadership when you see a gap in the process.
  • Sharing information you learned at a recent conference to help others in your network.
  • Responding to an email even if you don’t have the information to acknowledge received.
  • Routinely updating new sales activity with the sales manager before he asks.

When we are able to anticipate questions, or customer concerns and push information they may need, we are “perceived” to be on top of our game. Employees can also be looked at negatively when we are always asking or pulling information from them during the process and often creates a concern only due to lack of awareness during the process.

When you want to move from good to great, anticipate the questions or situation before others reach out to you and watch the perception of your role elevate to another level!

Call to action: Reach out to your business partner or a co-worker to discuss strategies to help you move the perception of your role, your team, or your program from good to great… or SHARE this post with others to help them anticipate and elevate for success!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “pushing versus pulling” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.

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Using this “GPS” will help you find your lane for success!

In 300 feet, turn left. The destination will be on your right. Wait, this isn’t my destination. How can this be? I thought it was right here. This isn’t the destination I was planning. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? You had an idea of where you wanted to go, but when you arrived it wasn’t what you planned. Did your destination change, or maybe you just need to use a different GPS? Unfortunately, this is a common theme when pursuing goals and dreams. We think we know where we are going, but we often take wrong turns, or get jammed up in traffic along the way.

Maybe you are a college graduate that thought it will be easy to find the perfect job after graduation only to be still searching several months later. What about the salesperson that has big dreams of success, but continues to struggle from month to month trying to land that big deal? Are you the office administrator or young business person looking for your next opportunity in the company only to be disappointed because nobody has noticed your strengths as a future leader? brucetruck

Many people start out with big dreams, but later find out it wasn’t exactly what they planned along the way. So what do you do when you learn that you took the wrong exit, or get lost or stalled on your journey to destination?

It’s time to use a new GPS! Grow, Plan, and Share!

Grow – I once heard Jim Rohn say “Success isn’t pursued, it is attracted”. If you want that promotion, you have to get better by learning more and becoming more. Growing sales means learning more about your customer. Finding the perfect job means asking more questions and connecting with other experienced leaders. Opportunity starts with personal growth. What are you reading, or doing each day to put yourself in position to get to your next destination? Write down 3 things you can do each day to elevate your growth.

Plan – Setting goals is critical to finding your destination. I once had a boss that used the phrase “plan your work and work your plan”. I have adopted this philosophy for years and used it in my navigation system. If you want to grow your sales, make a plan to practice your calls each week and include others for feedback. If you are looking for a new HR opportunity or want a promotion, turn off your radio and practice interviewing in your car on your way to work and include others for feedback. If you need a certification to go to next level, go get it! Doug Sandler once shared this post on twitter, “the 10 most powerful 2 letter words are – if it is to be, it is up to me. Start writing down your game plan each week and focus on planned activity for results.

Share – This is one lane that many people miss. You have a great opportunity to help others just by sharing and being a resource for others. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want”. When we share, we are serving. What can you do today to be more resourceful to help others reach their destination? Some ideas include sharing articles that inspire you, connecting mutual friends to network, or sharing an idea to a customer to help them improve their business. Share with me too!

Growing, Planning, and Sharing is a great GPS to help you find your lane to reach your next destination. I wish you safe travels on your next journey to success!

Call to action: Write down 2-3 ideas  that you can put into practice to finish strong in 2016. Please share with others so they can help you navigate to find your lane for success.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Are you using this GPS” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

The GOAL is bigger than the ROLE!

When I was in high school, I always wanted to play quarterback. Our coach positioned me to play quarterback for our practice squad offense to help make the first string defense better. I knew the ultimate role for me personally was to play as the first string quarterback where I could throw that game winning touchdown and lead our team to victory, but our team also needed someone to run plays during practice to help make our primary defense better. The most important thing was for me to understand that the goal was team first, and not worry about which role I played as long as I was committed to helping our team succeed. cropped-bruce2013.jpg

It’s the same way in business, or possible in your community where there is a bigger outcome when the group pulls together and plays their role. Another word we often hear when talking about pursuing goals is collaboration. When the team pulls together, we are stronger and have a better chance of achieving big things. The people that inspire me the most are the ones that raise their hand and say I will help however you need me, not the person that says I will help as long as…

When moving an employee’s household goods, it takes several members on the team to deliver a successful relocation. It starts with the salesperson to surveyor to move coordinator to operations planners to driver/moving crews to accounting and finance to claims management. Everyone on the team has a unique role, but only one goal – to deliver a great moving experience for the customer!

What is your role in the organization and what can you do as a business leader or even a volunteer in your community to help advance achieving a goal? It may be assisting the salesperson with a new client, volunteering to help raise money for a charitable organization, or getting a community baseball field ready for the season opener.

Whatever it is, know that the goal is more important than the role to achieve team success. Just keep learning, and growing to be ready when your time comes for the next opportunity.

Call to Action: What are some of the goals in your organization? Reach out to others and find your lane to support the team for maximum success. Tomorrow you just may be the leader!

This has been “a Relocation Minute” on “goal bigger than role” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

Using data AND this leadership trait is essential to being recognized as best in class!

One of the trends we are seeing today in mobility is relocation companies differentiating themselves using metric scorecards to track customer satisfaction and quality scores for improvement. Many companies use a post-move survey at the completion of the relocation to get feedback from the customer in many areas from home marketing assistance to temporary housing to moving the household goods. This feedback has excellent data for external client reviews, as well as internal teammate reviews for recognition and improvement.

The common thread to achieve success for improvement in any process for service and quality in an organization is COMMITMENT! Excellence starts with a commitment from all stakeholders with an intense focus on process improvement to be the best in class. postmovesurvey

When it comes to moving the household goods, United Van Lines partners with a neutral third party company to provide post-move surveys to each customer moving which helps rate the best moving companies for success as well as identify areas for improvement for each office throughout the US. The post move survey focuses on communication, quality, and the overall moving experience. United Van Lines provides post move survey ratings for each office across the US to review for improvement each year and recognizes the top quality provider in each class at the annual UniGroup convention.

A few years ago, the Armstrong Relocation leadership team committed to including quality service score metrics as one of their top business goals in the company to elevate the focus on the customer and help employees identify an area to measure success.

The results?

In October of 2016, Armstrong Relocation Dallas office will be recognized among hundreds of agents as the WINNER OF THE 2016 Customer Choice Award at the UniGroup Convention for largest agent class. This recognition is more than providing best in class service and quality for our customers. It’s about collaboration among teammates and playing their role to provide excellence for each customer from the surveyor to coordinator to operations to moving crews to auditing and invoicing to be THE CUSTOMER’S CHOICE! It’s about a COMMITMENT to every customer, and every employee, on every move!

Congratulations to Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas for winning the prestigious 2016 United Van Lines “Customer Choice Award”!

Quote of the Day… “The Goal is more than the Role.” -Darren Hardy

Call to action: Reach out to your relo partner to learn how they are performing when it comes to quality moving services and discuss areas of improvement. I am also happy to meet with you to share how we achieved our quality scores to rank best in the US! We would enjoy building a partnership with your team too!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Commitment to Customer Choice” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!