A Moving Experience: notes from the owner

“I want us to go into every job like it’s the first quarter of the Super Bowl, and we are the underdog team.”

This was the mantra when I started Cool Hand Movers in 2010. During that time, with a meager marketing budget and formidable competition, our engine of growth was the satisfied customer, plain and simple. By building a network of clientele through the power of word-of-mouth, we achieved our footing.

Even as we have grown into a much larger company in the years since, the same line is delivered to every new hire and repeated at staff meetings and during morning dispatches from the headquarters.

So then what makes a satisfied customer? Is it simply providing a competitive rate and completing a move without any damages? Well yes, those things are a given. But there is more to it than that. People hire movers for a variety of reasons. Some can be positive – a couple moving in together, an upgrade, an exciting new beginning in a new city. Sometimes the occasion is less positive – a separation, a death in the family, a lay-off resulting in a downgrade.

Whatever the backstory, we strive to not only get your items from Point A to Point B, but to provide an overall positive experience. At times surprisingly positive with the occasional comment from a client that they actually had fun working with us. How do we consistently deliver this level of quality? We look at each job in three categories – before, during, and after. Or to be more specific, you can call it the Plan, the Execution and the Follow-up.

The Plan

When we receive an estimate request through our website or via phone, that first contact is the beginning of a dialogue during which we want to collect as much detail as possible. Years of experience has taught us the right questions to ask. This is a complex city in which to maneuver large trucks. And buildings have idiosyncrasies – elevator deadlines, unique insurance requirements, access constraints.

If your previous movers had to remove your door in order to get the couch in, we’d like to know in advance. While we’re at it, is the couch a sleeper? Does it have leather upholstery? How about the wardrobe closet that you listed? Was it by chance assembled inside your apartment out of a box, and if so, have you measured to make sure it will fit out the door as an assembled unit?

We insist on asking these questions because we want to make sure we give you the right price, arrive with the right equipment and manpower and have an accurate expected timeline for the job. If you are booked for an afternoon slot, would you want us to be late because we didn’t adequately plan our morning job and were set back by a complicated piece of furniture or an unreserved elevator?

The Execution

To get the job done right, it comes down to the movers. If given the correct information after careful planning, a team should be able to show up and with a friendly, calm demeanor, conduct a survey of the inventory and listen to any concerns or special requests that you may have before they get started. The movers should be quick, and yet careful and methodical. The foreman should delegate and the crew should work as a team. They should not be shy with the blankets, shrink wrap and cardboard that we stock each truck with to wrap furniture, mattresses and glass. The truck should be packed with an emphasis on making sure that even if a pothole is hit during transport, the cargo will remain secure. At the destination, the team should work with the client on staging furniture as requested, and do any necessary reassembly while being extra careful not to scratch floors or rub up against the freshly painted walls.

An employer can’t take it for granted that every employee will bring such a high degree of skill and care into their job. This is why unlike many companies, we put new hires (regardless of how much past experience they may have) through an orientation and skills training program designed to ensure that they know how to execute tasks the Cool Hand way.

The Follow-up

In our mind, the job isn’t done the instant we settle the bill, fold up our blankets and leave the site. The job is done when we hear from you about the experience. We want to know if we lived up to our brand. A great majority of the time the service has matched the marketing message. But if there was something we could have done differently, your feedback helps us continually evolve our quality control and job management system.

There are a lot of things that can happen during a move, including mistakes. Accidents happen, but when they do, taking responsibility is key to making sure you feel that you have been treated fairly. This means that if a wall is punctured while trying to get a couch around a tight corner, we are as likely to send a repair person from in-house to fix the damage as we are to tell you to deal with it yourself and send us the invoice.

In a city with literally hundreds of options for moving services, Cool Hand Movers has remained competitive by staying true to the Super Bowl work ethic that got us through our first year in business. In the end, we want to do more than move your stuff. We want to deliver a moving experience.

Matt Graber – Owner of CHM