RISMEDIA, August 14, 2009-Overall customer satisfaction with full-service moving companies has improved in 2009 as customers report considerably fewer lost and damaged items, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Full-Service Moving Company Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today.
The study, now in its third year, is based on evaluations from consumers in the United States who used a full-service moving company to move their household goods during the past 12 months. Customer satisfaction with full-service moving companies is measured across five factors: shipping estimate process; packing services; loading and unloading service; transportation of belongings; and insurance/valuation coverage.
Overall satisfaction with moving companies averages 804 on a 1,000-point scale in 2009-up 16 points from 2008. Satisfaction has increased from 2008 in all five factors measured in the study. In addition, the proportion of customers who report lost or damaged belongings has decreased to less than one-third in 2009, compared with nearly one-half in 2008.
“In the current economy, consumers may be tempted to pack and transport their belongings themselves; however using a full-service moving company to orchestrate and execute a move can be a smart economic decision and provide them with valuable peace of mind,” said Michael Drago, director of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Whether a move is completed independently or through a professional full-service moving company, there is a risk that items will be lost or damaged. Moving companies have reduced their lost and damaged items rates, but if any does occur, the customer is typically protected or insured to some extent through the moving company, which can help mitigate a problematic move.”
Mayflower Transit improves substantially from 2008 to rank highest in 2009 with a score of 831. Mayflower Transit performs particularly well in all five factors. Allied Van Lines follows in the rankings with a score of 812.
Shipping estimates are a key consideration for customers selecting a moving company. The estimate process is typically completed in one of three ways-in-person by a representative of the moving company; over the phone; or online. The study finds that 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.
“Savvy customers recognize that the initial quote process provides more than just a price point to use in differentiating among the moving companies under consideration,” said Drago. “The process offers insight into what it will be like to work with each company, as well as how accommodating, comprehensive and proactive they are. The price that is quoted is important, but the process is equally as revealing.”
The study results also include the following key findings:
• Among customers who experienced loss or damage to their belongings, only one-half filed a claim with their moving company. Among those customers who experienced loss or damage to their property and did not file claims, 60 percent reported that the items damaged or lost were not valuable enough to be worth filing a claim.
• On average, there is a 59-day window between the day when a customer decides they are moving and the day their possessions are loaded onto a moving truck.
• The percentage of customers who used a moving company to pack their belongings has decreased by 10 percentage points from 2008 to 44 percent in 2009.
The 2009 Full-Service Moving Company Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from nearly 1,500 customers who used a full-service moving company during the past 12 months. The study was fielded between April and June 2009.