Our MoverAlerts Product Manager, Charlotte Monticolombi, undertook some ‘immersive research’ in Q3 this year to find out what it’s like to work at a Removals company for three days. Here’s Charlotte’s overview…
So what is immersive research and why is it relevant?
Immersive research is a great research method that allows the researcher to gain more of an in-depth understanding of various situations by becoming immersed in a real-life environment. In this case, being at a removals company for three days allowed me to get a well-rounded understanding of the business functions, the tasks and the people, but also to identify some potential ‘pain points’ of a removals company. At the end of the day, my question was “could we offer anything through MoverAlerts that would help our clients”?
Where did you go and what did you do?
I spent three days with Robinsons of Aylesbury and observed on various tasks. Some of these being going out on estimations, seeing a couple of ‘removals jobs in action’, spending time in the office to better understand the types of tasks that arise each day and seeing how each job is communicated from ‘initial enquiry’ to ‘moving day’.
What did you find out?
- A number of removals companies still complete most of their tasks ‘offline’; in terms of estimation, organisation and planning, it was found that these are primarily done with pen and paper. Before spending time at Robinsons, I thought that fewer clients would be using pen and paper for these tasks, but it seems that this is still very common as it is easier to keep eye contact with customers when using pen and paper, which customers like.
- Planning a longer-distance move is complicated. Not only do you need to find a route suitable for HGVs, but other questions arise… “Where can the vehicles park up overnight?”, “How many stops does the driver need to make on the way there and back?”, “Are there any parking restrictions?”, “Will there be any obstacles such as low bridges, narrow or winding lanes, weight restrictions along the way?”. Being a member of the BAR really helps in this respect as the access to a network of removers all over the country means that you can call a BAR affiliated local business to find out some of the answers if it isn’t immediately clear by looking online.
- A move will only be provisionally booked in until the homemover has exchanged contracts. Until then, the removals company has no guarantee that the move is going ahead and so must prioritise those who have exchanged contracts and have a definite date for moving. This can be a stressful time for homemovers and can be equally challenging for removals companies when trying to book in jobs, especially when the national average time between exchange of contracts and completion (and therefore the move date) is currently at around seven days.
What did you think overall?
The three day ‘immersive research’ project was insightful, and I learned a lot about the key functions within a removals business. I do understand though that the roles that these key functions play and the tools that they use to fulfil their duties will vary considerably between companies. When we’re planning new features for MoverAlerts, I will bear in mind the things that I learned.
How do MoverAlerts fit in?
In the current market with more competition and not enough time to individually send leaflets to each property that comes up ‘for sale’, finding new business can be tough. By signing up to MoverAlerts, we can do the leg work for you. Simply tell us the areas that you want to target, the types of properties that you’re most interested in hearing from and we’ll do the rest. We can even send out postcards and letters for you, so you don’t even need to log-in.
Not a remover? No problem! We also cater for other business sectors and can provide both sale and rental data at multiple trigger points to allow you to contact whoever you want at the time that best suits you and your business.
Would you like to find out more?
TwentyCi | firstname.lastname@example.org | 01908 829300