What to Do When You’re Early to a Job


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Category: Customer Service

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I need a little help here, guys.

If you use Google’s autocomplete when you do a search, do me a favor and type in “what to do when your movers”. How does Google complete this for you?

The Google algorithm controlling my laptop gave me four search possibilities. Two of them were “don’t show up” and “break something”.

Now add “are”, then see what Google offers up. I got “packing”, “moving” and “late”.

Question: Did any of you get “early”?

I didn’t think so.

Does it never happen? Well, it does happen once in a while. And when it does, the customer is always thrilled, right?

Not so fast.

Even when we are on time – or late, as sometimes happens – the customer is not always completely prepared for us. So what do we do?

Rolling up ten minutes early is a virtual non-issue. We knock on the door, greet the customer, acknowledge we’re early and give the customer a few more minutes if they need it before we get started.

Rolling up half an hour early is a different story. An uncommon story, maybe, but one worth thinking about.

Your customer might be stoked to see you pull up thirty minutes ahead of schedule. They might also start freaking out. We probably don’t know how they’ll react (since “what to do when your movers are early” doesn’t seem to be on many people’s minds). So put in a quick phone call and have a conversation sort of like this:

“Good morning Mr. Smith, this is Joe with Joe’s Pro Movers…Yes, sir, everything’s okay, just wanted to let you know we’re actually running a bit ahead of schedule… I know, no one ever expects it! But it looks like we’ll be at your place in another five or ten minutes. Yes, that’s fine, we totally understand. So if it’s all right with you, we’ll just park out front and you can give us a shout when you’re ready for us to get rolling. No problem, okay, we’ll see you soon.”

Worst case scenario, you hang out until your agreed-upon starting time. (Of course, it’s your call as far as when to start the meter running.) Best case scenario, the customer is ready for you and you can get started as soon as you pull up, meaning you’ll get the job done a bit earlier and everyone comes away happy.

Either way, that crucial phone call puts the customer’s mind at ease by giving them the luxury of getting a jump-start on their move – or having the time they were counting on to get themselves ready while their movers wait patiently out front.


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