New Self-Service Technology Transforms Moving Experience for Lump-Sum Population

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Matt Dickerson
Meet Deb, a recent college graduate who just received a lump-sum payment to cover expenses for a move to her first job. It's Deb's first employer-sponsored relocation and she is filled with questions -- and some anxiety -- about how best to allocate those funds for the move. Like her peers Deb also manages most of her life from her smart phone, paying bills, making purchases and communicating with friends and family.

Deb is thrilled when she discovers there is a new, intuitive self-service mobile application available to help manage and guide her relocation. The app allows her to quickly find price estimates, access discounts, compare moving services and potential neighborhoods and pay for all of it online. Deb is also relieved when she learns she can easily contact an experienced consultant 24/7 from within the app should she have any questions or problems the technology can't resolve.

Changing Needs Require Innovative Solutions

The app Deb is using is now a reality for the underserved lump-sum population, a group too often left to its own devices in making decisions about spending their relocation funding. While individuals receiving lump sums vary in age and are in different stages of their careers, many are "digital natives" accustomed to using technology in all aspects of their personal lives -- and increasingly expect the same in their work lives. 

In response to this growing expectation, relocation management companies (RMCs) are attempting to provide their clients and assignees/transferees like Deb with a new solution. SIRVA'S contribution to this need is iMOVE, a user-friendly, mobile-first application that allows the lump-sum population to easily research, plan and execute a relocation in "one-stop shopping" fashion.  For assignees and transferees the app is like having an experienced relocation consultant ever present to help guide decisions wherever and whenever they need it, removing friction and unnecessary steps from the process.

Creating a Custom, Guided Experience

Relocating can be stressful under the best of circumstances, and even individuals who have relocated in the past may not be aware of the nuances associated with the new destination they’re headed to. There are multiple components to every move, each with their own deadlines to manage. 

Various countries – and neighborhoods within those countries – have their own requirements and differences to be taken into account. Based on location, assignees need to know who the best service providers are and whether their skill-set and reach is appropriate for a given area. Furthermore, assignees and transferees need guidance on how to best utilize the lump sum they’ve been given. Without guidance, this can be an unrealistic expectation. 

Visibility for All Stakeholders

To be truly effective self-service applications also should be easily integrated with other platforms to give mobility managers and other stakeholders full visibility into the moving process, enabling them to monitor milestones, capture real-time feedback from assignees and make any adjustments in relocation plans as needed. The bird's eye view provided by iMOVE gives a reassurance to all stakeholders that a move is progressing according to plan, allows them to troubleshoot long before potential issues become serious problems, and captures data that informs future relocations.

iMOVE is the outcome of extensive research into how next-generation technology can make the moving experience easier and more anxiety-free for the lump-sum population. It uses the concept of design thinking to create a streamlined, guided experience based on each assignee's specific profile. For example, iMOVE allows assignees and transferees to do the following from their mobile devices:

 Find instant price estimates on relocation services
 Access pre-negotiated discounts and deals 
 Find, compare and select new neighborhoods
 Research and book vetted moving services and suppliers
 Pay for all services online
 Communicate with an experienced consultant at no additional charge

Products like iMOVE minimize the frustrations of moving with features like providing a single form to solicit services from multiple vendors, saving employees from having to enter the same information multiple times. Well designed self-service applications also can save assignees and transferees valuable time by streamlining other steps in the moving process.

For example, iMOVE knows based on an address how many bedrooms and bathrooms an employee's new residence will have, allowing it to instantly "pre-populate " other inventory and materials needs for the move. That feature saves those who are relocating from having to determine how many boxes or yards of shrink wrap they'll need for the move, for example, because it's already been pre-estimated for them.

Technology When You Want It, Consultation When You Need It

Technology is always most helpful when used to enhance a relocation management company’s services, rather than replace them. With iMOVE, if relocating employees have questions the app can't answer, they can access human help for concierge-like services at the touch of an icon. That approach reflects SIRVA's philosophy of "best in class technology when you want it and a live person when you need it."

Because clients and employees all have distinct communication preferences, self-service tools also should give them a choice of communicating via text, e-mail or phone calls with consultants or stakeholders during all phases of a move. 

New Uses on the Horizon

While the lump-sum population is the immediate beneficiary of iMOVE, other relocating employees will also have access to the application in the near future, with their employers benefitting from the greater visibility it provides. We invite you to stay tuned to this space to track how the evolution in self-service technology continues to benefit all who are relocating as part of their career journeys.