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GMAC Global Relocation Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Corporate Relocation Services

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RISMEDIA, August 29, 2007-GMAC Global Relocation ranks highest in satisfying relocated employees with corporate relocation services, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Corporate Relocation Transferee Satisfaction StudySM released this week.

The inaugural study is a source of independent and unbiased customer satisfaction information on relocation service providers-which has not been available in the industry until now, according to the company-and is based on evaluations from company employees who used a relocation company while moving for employment reasons to a destination within the United States. The study is designed to provide comprehensive information to assist relocation companies in their efforts to improve transferee satisfaction, and to assist corporations in making informed decisions about selecting relocation companies.

“Although corporations often approach selection of a relocation company as a primarily cost-based decision, the quality and reliability of services varies greatly among the individual companies ranked in the study,” said Michael Drago, senior account manager for the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

“With the average cost of relocating an employee ranging between $52,000 and $71,000, corporations invest billions of dollars annually in relocating their highly valued employees,” he said. “Integrating the voice of the transferee during the selection of a relocation company may help optimize the return on their investment. With turnover among transferees averaging 15 percent per year, corporations may be able to boost employee retention among their transferees by increasing satisfaction with the relocation process.”

Transferee satisfaction with corporate relocation companies is based on seven factors: assistance in selecting a new neighborhood; moving coordinator; non-moving related services (including services such as finance, insurance and spousal assistance); packing services; purchasing of new residence; selling of prior residence; and transportation of belongings. The study finds that the quality of relocation support services such as moving coordination, assistance with non-moving-related issues and selection of a new neighborhood have a greater impact on satisfaction levels than factors concerning the physical execution of the move. In particular, satisfaction with the moving coordinator-a transferee’s main contact with the relocation company, who orchestrates aspects of a move-has the greatest effect of any factor on overall satisfaction.

“Moving is one of the most stressful experiences someone ever goes through, and the more effective a relocation company is at handling move coordination and minimizing inconvenience to the transferee, the higher the satisfaction,” said Drago. “While most transferees are assigned a moving coordinator to help streamline the move coordination process, there can be big differences among relocation companies in the services this person provides. When the moving coordinator provides the transferee with a single point of contact for all parts of the move, minimizing the need for transferees to contact moving subpartners, it provides a great deal of peace of mind, which is vital in providing a satisfying experience.”

GMAC Global Relocation ranks highest among corporate relocation companies, achieving an overall satisfaction index score of 774 on a 1,000-point scale and performing particularly well in four of seven factors: assistance in selecting a new neighborhood; moving coordinator; non-moving related services; and selling of prior residence. Prudential Real Estate follows in the ranking with a score of 767 and performs well in the areas of purchasing of new residence; packing services; and transportation of belongings. Also ranking above the industry average is Altair Global Relocation, with a score of 742.

“GMAC Global Relocation and Prudential Real Estate are able to refer transferees to other in-house divisions of their respective brands for mortgage lending, real estate, insurance services, and this appears to have a positive effect on customer satisfaction,” said Drago. “With access to a comprehensive network of services, these companies can offer resources to transferees in a more seamless manner.”

The study also finds that more than one-half of transferees-57%-report that their relocation experience was a positive one. Approximately 54% of transferees report that their belongings were delivered to the destination on time and without damage. In addition, employers often rely on feedback from their employees to assess the quality of service being delivered by the firm’s corporate relocation partner. However, 29% of transferees never provide feedback about their relocation experience.

“A transferee’s experience with a corporate relocation company may affect their attitude and satisfaction regarding their employer,” said Drago. “If a move goes smoothly, it can bolster an employee’s morale and company loyalty. An employee’s ability to quickly adjust and become comfortable in their new location can directly impact their ability to fulfill their responsibilities to their employer. However, since employers select the relocation company a transferee must use, a negative moving experience may erode an employee’s confidence in their employer and the perception of the employer’s concern for employee well-being.”

The 2007 Corporate Relocation Transferee Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 986 of transferees who used a corporate relocation service in the past 18 months. The study was fielded from April to July 2007.

For more information, visit www.JDPower.com.

J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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