Editor’s note: Written by Lesli Bertoli is the vice president, general manager at Allied Van Lines. This is one in a series of periodic guest columns by industry thought leaders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every industry across the nation. Analysts at the Mercatus Center George Mason University estimates that the lost economic output for the U.S. alone is 5 percent of GDP, or $1.1 trillion for every month of the economic shutdown.
For the 95 percent of the nation’s economy that remained open and kept going, the moving industry has helped keep people and commerce moving forward throughout the pandemic.
The moving industry contributes $30.7 billion of output to the U.S. economy annually and directly employs about 187,000 people across the country. We move more than half a million people to their new homes each year, including many military families constantly being reassigned to new bases. The work we get to do takes place at pivotal moments in people’s lives. We also enable businesses to evolve and grow by moving the talent and equipment that occupy offices, warehouses, and other facilities.
Movers are an essential business and have responded swiftly to the pandemic with thorough planning, effective safety measures, and thoughtful policies on handling scheduling. We’ve established a deeper trust with our customers by serving them more carefully and thoughtfully during this time and we should continue the practices we’ve adopted into the future.
MOVING INDUSTRY LEARNINGS
During this time, we served our clients at a higher level than we ever have before – we should continue this approach. It makes us a better service provider, enhancing our connections with our customers. We must maintain a high level of compassion, empathy, concern and flexibility. Moving is a challenging milestone in life for most of us – let’s make it easier to navigate, even when things don’t go as planned.
We also need to continue communicating more proactively and frequently. Our teammates and customers appreciate clear, timely and effective communication across the various channels we have available to us today.
Whether it be the additional calls, emails, or updates made to our website addressing contingency plans, our customers appreciate proactive communication. We need to continue this level of engagement and transparency post-pandemic.
Our teams have relied on technology more than ever, including virtual estimating platforms, web conferences with clients to plan moves, online training and the greater use of mobile devices. More of our work continues to migrate to digital. We should continue to invest in technologies that provide a more efficient and seamless experience for our customers while ensuring that they don’t replace our high-touch, personal customer service touchpoints.
The leaders of the moving industry should commit to these improvements and carry them forward. If we all strive to become better and stronger, it can only benefit all our customers and the industry as a whole.
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