Understanding the Buyer's Journey for Moving Companies
Choosing a moving company is often a daunting and stressful process for your customers. There are legitimate companies, rogues, good reviews, bad reviews, huge fluctuations in pricing, prices that don't make sense ("I don't know how much my stuff weighs!") and many more conflicting issues to sort through.
To maximize your selling opportunities and pre-empt your customer's questions and worries, check out what your customers are thinking at each stage in their purchasing journey.
Stage 1: Need Recognition
This is the very beginning of your customer’s purchasing journey. It’s the light bulb moment. They suddenly realize how much stuff they’ve accumulated and that, sadly, moving it all into a new place is not a one-man job. This could be triggered by a million different stimuli; perhaps they saw a moving company truck during their morning commute, or they just confirmed the move-in date of their new home. Hundreds of thoughts will begin to run through their mind…
Do I have enough stuff to warrant a moving company coming to my home?
How will I get that huge bed into my new house?
How much more expensive is using a professional moving company, instead of taking a more DIY approach?
I have a piano - how will I find someone to move that?!
How long in advance would I need to book a moving company?
With these unanswered questions in their mind (plus more) they will begin an information search...
Stage 2: Information search
Your customers will look for two different types of information to aid their decision; internal and external. They will most often start with internal - this is information that's already present in their memory. It comes from previous experiences they've had with moving companies and the opinion they may have of particular companies. This triggers questions such as:
Where should I start my search?
Was I happy with the moving company I used last time I moved?
Come to think of it - which company did I use?
What moving companies have I heard of before?
Should I ask my friends and family?
Can my real estate agent recommend anyone to me?
Who moved recently that I can ask?
Consumers will tend to pay far more attention to their internal information and the information from friends, family or other consumers. This is because they judge it to be more “objective” than information they receive from sources such as your website or your ads.
Nevertheless, there is often only limited information that you can acquire from internal sources. So, the next move will always be to look for more detailed, external information. This is information on your moving company received from – and obtained by – reviews from other consumers or from the press. Not to mention, of course, official business sources such as your marketing and advertising materials. This leads the consumer down yet another road of questions…
Can I get online quotes to get a rough idea of how much it will cost?
Is there a place I can compare several movers so I don’t have to call each one individually?
Should I check Yelp?
What happens if the company breaks some of my things during the move?
Does this company have plenty of good customer reviews?
How can I tell if this company has an established brand name?
Are there certifications I should check for on their websites? How do I know what they are?
Stage 3: Alternative evaluation
Once consumers feel that they have enough information, they will evaluate the different moving companies and/or DIY methods that are available to them, evaluate the most suitable to their needs and choose the one they think is best for them. This will of course generate a host of evaluative questions to help the consumer commit to one final moving company.
Whats most important to me when choosing a moving company?
What am I most concerned about during my move?
What is an in-home estimate and do I need one?
Do I know ahead of time who's going to be in my home moving my things?
Was the company's website easy to navigate and acquire the information I needed?
How easy is it for me to get into contact with people at the company?
Do I know what to expect from the moving company on the day of?
Stage 4: Post-Purchase Behavior
Most people think the buyer's journey is over from the minute they've paid and received the service. Think again! This is the last step and one of the most important in your customer's buying journey. It's the point at which your customer assesses how satisfied they were with your service.
It could be prompted by anything from receiving a customer survey, to a friend asking for a recommendation. Clearly this affects a number of crucial factors for your business, such as referrals, repeat business, good (or bad) customer reviews and more. If the job went well, feel free to remind your customers to mention it somewhere, somehow, publicly.
I understand the buyer's journey. Now what?
If you understand all of the above, it's probably time to start evaluating your marketing strategies for how you rank on each of these consumer questions or concerns.
Does your website address how far in advance a customer should book? Do you provide online quotes? Is your team easily-accessible at all times?
These ideas were written to help you think through what's happening in the minds of your customers as they take each step to booking a move with your company. By identifying where your current strengths and weaknesses are, you can create and deliver a booking experience that will not only speak to your customers, but more importantly, speak to them at the particular moment in time that's right for them.