June 29, 2016 KME Digital

Some things you just can’t teach…

The other day we got a call from a guy at a particular apartment building in VA. It’s actually one of our favorite buildings to work with because, well, it’s just nice, but also because of the staff. Some places have a vibe, you know? The people are happy, things hum along, etc. (I should really set up a meeting to learn about their management philosophy and methods…)

IMG_4710Anyway, the customer was moving out of this building. He asked for a quote, we gave it, and he called back about an hour later. “You guys have got to be kidding,” he said. “Your estimate is two hours longer than everybody else’s!”

He was right. It was, and for good reason. Like many buildings, while they may be fantastic in all other respects, the building’s loading dock was at one end of the building. That’s great for about half of the units, but for the units on the other side, it means a much longer cumulative walk over multiple trips to and from the truck.

It’s the same situation for another building in DC — it has the main loading dock which is relatively far from the bulk of the residences, but it also has an interior loading dock. This slows the move-in/move-out process considerably. That delay is reflected in our estimates that involve that building. At first people are miffed, but when we explain it, they almost always understand and appreciate it.

David, the general manager, (and the guy about half of our customers mistake for the owner of MTB, hah!) explained to him that the newish building was also experiencing it’s first year of turnover. When the first residents began moving in about a year ago, most of them were housed on the far side (as in distant from the loading dock), and now that some of them were moving on, that’s where most new residents were being placed.

The customer understood. When David explained why our quote was slightly higher than the rest, the guy was almost astonished. “Nobody else knows that,” he said.

I suppose. Maybe other companies know it or not, but that’s kind of immaterial for us. We believe it’s vitally important to tell it like it is — the last thing we want to do is set bogus expectations for our customers and “tick” them off on move day. It’s much better if we set certain expectations and then beat them. It’s not rocket surgery — I think I first realized this in my first job as a pizza place bus boy in Battle Ground, WA.

Sure, we blow the estimate from time to time, but when it’s obviously our fault, we don’t hold the customer accountable. But for the most part, particularly with David, we’ve achieved a level of “awareness” of our environment (the DC area) that you don’t get on Day 1 of My Moving Business.

Anyway, that’s just a little vignette from a day in the life of MTB. If you’re looking for experience and professionalism, give us a call!

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