Diagnose Problems Early to Avoid an Expensive Cure
On the back end of her move from Michigan to California a woman’s “trust was shattered” when she learned she would be charged extra for a shuttle to get her belongings to her apartment.
“Nobody told me if the truck didn’t fit into the complex I would have to pay for the shuttle,” she said.
And so another move-day headache begins…
At the risk of setting a dangerous precedent, the moving company agreed to waive the shuttle fee. And while there’s no mention of it in the article, we can reasonably suspect they’ll be making sure their movers do a better job in the future of informing customers of this and other potential additions to the final bill.
The moral of the story is as plain as day: Make things like possible extra charges clear to the customer beforehand.
The majority of us may never have to deal with a shuttle situation like this. But certain circumstances can increase the time it takes to complete a job, and therefore the cost to the customer.
Among the most obvious:
- How close to (or far away from) the front door will we get that truck or storage unit? This involves not only the width of the streets and parking lot or driveway but also the pitch or slope of the driveway.
- What floor is the customer’s apartment on? How far is their door from the entrance, the elevator or the stairs?
- Is there is an elevator at all? And how big is it?
Some less obvious issues:
- If there is an elevator, can we get exclusive access to it (as in the case of a freight elevator) or is it a common elevator that everyone else uses?
- Are there restrictions on the hours an apartment building or complex will allow a moving company to operate on the premises? (This may cause more of a time hassle than a money issue but it is a potential issue nonetheless.)
- Are there pieces of furniture that were assembled, even partially, inside the house or apartment that will need to be disassembled before they will fit out the door?
On a physical walk-through before the actual move these issues are certainly easier to see and explain to the customer – then we can offer a closer estimate of time and final charges.
But on those occasions this is not possible, do yourself and your customer a favor by identifying and explaining early on the circumstances and variables likely to slow down the move.
Then get moving!