Finding a Household Mover — Better Online or Offline? Part I: Customer Satisfaction

Matt Chasen ProfileuShip CEO & Founder Matt Chasen takes a look under the hood of moving and shipping to see how it’s evolving and the innovations shaping how customers and transporters do business.
On a recent NPR Marketplace piece, Online competitors move in on shippers, the question was posed, “Are consumers better off shopping online or offline for household movers?”  It’s a great question and one I wanted to weigh in on with more uShip perspective beyond what was in the piece.
First, I think it is important to distinguish uShip from other “online” ways people find movers such as craigslist or other online directories and venues that do not have uShip’s unique model and tools, such as feedback, customer-reviews and fraud protection.  Therefore, I think it’s important to reframe this question a bit to “Are customers better off shopping on uShip or offline for household movers?

Some quick background… A core part of our mission at uShip is to empower both consumers and transportation service providers by creating the first transparent marketplace in an industry that has historically lacked accountability and transparency. Our unbiased feedback system is unique in the industry and helps people find the very best movers while also incentivizing movers to provide the best customer service.
I would argue that customer satisfaction is the best metric to look at when evaluating if consumers are better off using uShip vs. offline alternatives. The fact is that over 98% of feedback left on uShip is positive and less than 1% is negative (remaining is neutral). Compare that to the J.D. Power’s 2009 Full Service Moving Company Customer Satisfaction Study, where they found that “overall satisfaction with moving companies averages 804 on a 1,000-point scale” (for those of us that are mathematically challenged, that’s 80.4%). “Mayflower Transit improves substantially from 2008 to rank highest in 2009 with a score of 831”. Not to take anything away from Mayflower’s impressive win here (many of Mayflower’s agents and affiliates are actually members of uShip), but an 83% positive rating would put them in the bottom 10% of movers on uShip.
I encourage everyone to check out the article as well as the related mover ratings, press release and video – there are some pretty interesting and relevant findings. “Satisfaction with shipping estimates is nearly equal among customers whose estimates are completed in-person and online-averaging 807 and 805, respectively.  However, shipping estimate satisfaction among customers who receive their initial quote over the phone averages 12 to 14 points lower than that of customers whose estimates were completed using either of the other two methods.” So, even among customers of the same movers, online quoting beats the very common “offline” practice of quoting over the phone.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, I do not know of any other online or offline alternatives that even come close to uShip’s 98+% positive overall rating. Of course, we at uShip cannot take credit for the outstanding service that our members receive – so I would like to recognize and thank our thousands of household movers for helping to provide arguably the best customer satisfaction available anywhere. In Part II of this series, I will address the issue of fraud in the moving industry.
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