When that customer is on the books, it’s time to celebrate. Right? Most of the time, yes — but if your company is like most others, 7-12% of confirmed customers will cancel before moving day. What can you do to increase customer retention? Make your customers invested in their move with you, and they’ll be less likely to walk away. Here are our best tips on how to avoid cancellations and reduce customers from booking with another vendor.
Communicate with the customer regularly from the time they book
Send your customer a confirmation email within 24 hours of their booking so they know they’re on your schedule. After that, schedule a few other messages or phone calls to keep them engaged as they prepare for their move. Moving tips and general reminders are a great place to start. Most people are feeling overwhelmed in the days leading up to their move, so offer them helpful tips to make the process seem less overwhelming and prevent customer cancellations. A PDF checklist of important steps, a reminder to empty cabinets and drawers, or even suggestions of nonprofits that will accept donated items they decide to leave behind can help shed some light on otherwise confusing topics.
Remind them of all the ways your company will make the move easier and take care of them on moving day. Whether or not they booked a packing service, comfort them: “Remember, we’ll provide the wrapping and blankets to keep your belongings safe and protected so you don’t have to worry!” Highlight the services that are included to remind them how relieved they are that their art will be crated and well-cared-for.
When communicating with customers, personalize the emails as much as possible. Address your customer by name and sign your own name at the end. Remember, they might be talking to other moving companies even after they’ve booked – don’t let them lose interest in you! If they feel that they are receiving personal attention, they will be much more likely to feel loyal to your company.
Two or three days in advance, call for final confirmation
Unless your customer is highly experienced, there’s a good chance a few things have changed between the time of booking and the day of the move. Review the moving plan with them to confirm the supplies they need, additional services they might want, and any changes in their plans.
Call your customer and walk through the plan for moving day in as much detail as possible to cover all of your bases. Ask about anything they may have missed including:
- Elevator restrictions or reservations
- Parking permits or reservations – Find out if the customer can secure parking and, if not, what parking is like at their building
- Building access limitations (which doors can you use, what time are you allowed in, etc.)
- Any odd pieces of furniture that will require special accommodations like pianos or oversized sofas.
Going over these details will help you confirm the supplies you need, additional services that might be required, and any changes to your customer’s plans.
What else can you do to save a customer? Surprise them with something above and beyond, like offering to bring them coffee or to supply a box of crayons for their kids to doodle on the moving boxes. We all like thoughtful gestures, especially when we aren’t expecting them from a company.
If they do cancel, don’t disappear from their radar
Before following through with the cancellation, ask your customer why they need to cancel. It may be that they need to postpone their date or they need an additional service that they didn’t know you provide, and your attention to their needs could keep them as a customer. If the customer says the price is the reason, try to find out if they booked another moving company and how much they booked that mover for. Advise the customer of the traps they might encounter from a “cheaper” moving company which would raise the price on the day of the move. If you’ve been supporting the customer from the start, they should trust your advice.
If they do need to fully cancel, offer a discount on their next move to encourage them to consider hiring your company again in the future. Make a note on their file of the discount you offered and on what date so your staff can easily honor that offer in the future!
Thank them kindly for considering you! Gracious customer service even in the face of cancellation will mean positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. Though this customer may not have worked out, they might suggest you to someone else. And that’s a win for everybody.