Moving Company Customer Service: How the Pros Do It with Hilldrup
Hilldrup, a domestic and international residential, corporate and commercial moving and storage company, has an intense focus on customer service excellence. This core value has been instilled by President and CEO Charles McDaniel for all levels of the company, from upper management to service providers in the field. But with seven locations, over 100 years of experience, and over 700 employees, how does Hilldrup consistently provide the outstanding level of customer service for which they're known? How have they won the United Van Lines Customer Choice Award a record-setting 22 times?
We sat down with Hilldrup team members at their Stafford, VA headquarters to find out just how they do it. And, there was certainly an evident constant throughout our time at Hilldrup HQ – the term "home." It's such a simple word, but has so many meanings:
- Hilldrup management creates a home for their employees.
- Employees spend a lot of time at work, their second home, so this family-owned company places great value on treating employees like family.
- Homes are sacred; yet American families welcome Hilldrup into their homes on a daily basis. This is not to be taken lightly.
- They have a 10,000-square-foot training facility in Stafford that includes a sample home so movers can practice until they're perfect, before ever entering a customer's home.
- Hilldrup provides employees many ways to give back to the community: participating in Move For Hunger to feed the hungry with hundreds of pounds of food that would have otherwise been thrown out, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for those who need new homes, volunteering at homeless shelters for those who don't have a home – the list is extensive.
- And last, but most importantly, they move families from one home to another. That is their business, and they are artists at their craft.
That one simple word helps Hilldrup create a family, a feeling of warmth, a positive environment, a safe place.
It's a feeling, not a service
Hilldrup sells their moving services as an experience... and that, my friends, is how they do it. That's how they keep winning. That's how they've stayed in business (and continued to grow) since 1903.
As proud partners to Hilldrup, we couldn't have been more impressed when we visited and toured their facilities. In the Stafford HQ location alone, Hilldrup has more than 10,000 storage vaults across 585,000 square feet. That's 13 acres. That's 12 football fields. That could hold 13.2 million apples (yes, we did that math). And if that didn't impress you, Hilldrup has 100,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage space for all the art, oil paintings and antiques you could dream of, and auto storage complete with hydraulic lifts and carbon emissions monitoring. You don't see that every day.
"We pay attention to detail. The little things matter to us," says CEO Charles McDaniel. "Our movers train in a facility that is an exact replica of the average home we move. If they pivot the couch up the stairs and scratch a wall in training, they do it until they don't scratch the wall. We train until it's perfect."
That's right, movers train in a fully-furnished, all-indoor, two-bedroom house (in addition to their moving trailer training facility and classroom space for 150 people). This attention to detail and commitment to excellence is reflected not only in the impressive training facility (see picture above), but also in their mindset toward doing the right thing.
How Hilldrup stays progressive
Hilldrup stays on top of the latest trends, goes above and beyond to be certified in nearly everything a moving company can be certified for – here's a list – and, very simply, strives to be the best at what they do.
And, being the best is not exactly easy to do in the competitive moving industry. It takes innovation. Which brings me to our partnership with Hilldrup – innovation at its core. We are two successful, entrepreneurial-minded companies. One young, one old. Both solving for a rather antiquated moving industry. Hilldrup fully deployed Updater to all customers they move in May 2016. Since then, the company has seen a lift in customer satisfaction survey results as well as comments and cheers from customers, thanking them for offering such a unique platform to help with everything else associated with the move.
Hilldrup's legacy of innovation and attention to detail directly led to their 22nd United Van Lines Customer Choice award in 2016 – an industry record.
They are deliberate. They are the best at what they do. And, they make you feel right at home – no matter who you are.