Relocation, be it domestic or corporate, comes with its fair share of hassles. Logistics of movement, arrangement of transportation equipment, ensuring damage-free relocation, and intermediate storage in case of long distance relocation – all these factors need to be meticulously planned and charted out before relocation is commenced. In India, however, a different approach is generally followed. Being the world leaders when it comes to conservation of resources, we try to cut corners by hiring a local pickup truck and just piling stuff on until every square inch is occupied. We save a couple of hundred bucks and pat ourselves on our backs for a job well done – till we notice something missing, broken or damaged beyond repair. The mover does not accept any liability, and you’re left to curse the moment you decided to relocate. This is where major players in the relocation industry come into picture – to bring professionalism and organisation to a sector which remains largely unorganised in India.
However, there are a few things that these relocation service providers in India must take into consideration to boost their credibility and gain acceptance. First point on the agenda of any relocation service provider must be to develop a strong work ethic and a professional approach. This can only be done by cultivating accountability and professionalism from the grassroots level. Punctuality and timely performance delivery must be encouraged and adhered to, be it in reporting to the office on time or resolving all client queries within an acceptable time frame. Every individual associated must be carefully vetted and meticulously trained to develop requisite skills and professional expertise. The ground staff must be trained to develop their customer interaction skills; whereas the executive level should similarly be well acquainted with all aspects of decision making and strategic planning to ensure that the organisations are well-equipped to deal with all exigencies in the longer run.
Another factor which must be taken care of is logistics. Any organisation looking to provide relocation facilities to the customers must already have a robust infrastructure in place. From trucks, special cranes and lift vans for shorter relocations to warehouses and shipping containers for long-haul relocation efforts, the resources at disposal of the service provider plays a major role in their ability to deliver timely and satisfactorily. Moreover, like any team effort, coordination is the key to the relocation business. All departments, from packing to pricing to coordination, must be completely in sync through wireless, internet and GPS connectivity to provide a real-time situational analysis and avoid any and all mismanagement. Extra measures such as a pre-move survey and inventory cataloguing could help in identifying the most suitable equipment and mode of transport for all items. Additional back-up planning and disaster management plan to watch over moves could help relocation service providers with on-time delivery, cutting down on the risk of liability and damages.
One factor which is extremely desired yet somehow frequently overlooked is ensuring high quality of service. A quality team could be set in place to audit employees on a regular basis, thus maintaining a high quality of service. Certifications from International Quality benchmarks such as ISO 9001-2008, PAIMA, IAM, FIDI, ERC, EURA, We Connect etc. come in handy to inform and assure potential customers about the quality of service.
However, it is not just about the services rendered, but also about how it is done. Focus must also be placed on creating brand value through customer satisfaction. Employees must be well-groomed with good communication skills, and trained to understand and identify customer needs. A bit of personalisation could also help boost the overall customer satisfaction; freebies such as welcome mats can be used to gain goodwill, whereas going the extra mile with additional assistance such as help in settling into the new locale, finding home etc. will win additional brownie points. The local packers and movers certainly won’t pay as much attention to the customer satisfaction, which could help the bigger businesses in securing vital demographic advantage. Easy client interfacing, 24X7 support and up-to-date online delivery status accessible to customers also go a long way in strengthening a service provider’s credibility.
There is an urgent need to bring in efficiency, transparency, and safety in the relocation business. To achieve this, there has to be a shift in the mode of operation. While the leading service providers have already started to implement these measures, there is still a long way to go before the relocation industry in India can be regularised. It is time for the others to follow suit and help shape up a vibrant industry.