Like many expats in China, there comes a time where you will need to move. Whether that’s within China, within the same city or back home, the moving company that you choose is important because of the value of the items that you take with you. The good news is that there are many moving companies to choose from but how to determine which one’s are worthy is a feat of its own. Here is what you should look out for when choosing a moving company.
1. Browse Website Thoroughly
The first step in evaluating a potential moving company is to take a look at their website. The website of a reliable service provider should be full of information related to moving. Professional companies tend to have this information readily available because of their experience and acknowledgment of customer needs before their move. If information is scarce or incomplete, make sure to avoid that provider or to at least keep this point in mind if options for other providers aren’t plentiful. Here is some of the information that you should look for before considering a mover as an option.
Typical Move Process
A structured set of steps for the complete move process is important information to have. A company without this may not have an organized process and without a process you can expect delays, last minute changes, loss and overall hassle throughout the move.
Look for a legitimate customer reviews on their website. If customers are happy about their experience with the company they are likely to leave comments recommending the company on the website. Not only look for these reviews but also make sure that the company allows all customers to freely leave reviews on their site. A company that invites customers to leave reviews is confident in it’s service level. In addition to reviews on the website, make sure to check mover review website such as MoveAide.com. Reviews on these sites are more likely to be genuine rather than being handpicked.
Scour the website to check and see if the company has any additional programs that can improve the moving experience. Some moving companies will offer discounts, rebates or rewards for participating in extra activities. When you find these programs, make sure they do not conflict with the specific needs of your move.
If you are moving to or from an international destination, there will be paperwork involving customs processes. This paperwork often will let you know what items you are allowed to either export or import to your destination country. If this information is not readily available on the mover’s website, approach with caution. The lack of information on the website could indicate that problems await you in the future should you choose to select that company as your service provider. Look for a company that is transparent in its documentation in order to avoid the hassles later.
2. Evaluate Professionalism
Ok, now that you have passed the first step of the process of evaluating a mover, it doesn’t stop there. The next step is to contact or invite the mover over to perform a survey to estimate the size of your move. Since this likely will be your first face-to-face contact with the company, this is the perfect opportunity to evaluate based on your first impression. Now that you have made contact, what should you look out for?
The speed of response from your initial contact with the company will give you a good indication of overall response times that you will receive throughout the whole process. If the time from your initial contact with the company to the time that they respond is too long for your tastes, make sure to notify them and see if any changes are made. If none are made, then that company should be approached with caution.
Modes of Communication
Do you prefer to be contacted through email or phone? Make sure that your company understands your preferred mode of communication and yet again watch out for their response to your preference. Also, check to make sure that the company is active in its communication efforts to those in the community. Does the company have social media accounts? What type of content do they provide? Above are all factors that should be considered when evaluating the professionalism of that company.
Timeliness & Attitude of Surveyor
Once you finally meet the surveyor here are a few things that you should look out for. Does the surveyor arrive on time for the survey? This is a key point to look out for. If the surveyor arrives late you can anticipate the packing team to arrive late as well. Does the surveyor pay attention or has the ability to address your concerns? Do not be afraid to ask the tough or complicated questions. This will be the time to test the knowledge of your surveyor. Higher the knowledge, more likely the move will go smoothly.
3. Getting the bang for your buck(Evaluating the Quotation)
Clear Service Scope & Hidden Costs
Take the time to closely examine the quotation to make sure that it includes all of the services that you anticipate you will need for your move. Do not assume or leave any potential issue up to chance. In order to beat the price of competitors, some companies will hide costs into their quotation with extra charges only reappearing during or after services have been completed.
The main points to take away from this is to evaluate the professionalism of the company through everything they do including their website, documentation, communication, etc. Most importantly, think about which company makes you feel much more at ease, which company will take care of it for you and which company truly cares for the success for your move. Good luck and happy moving!