How to Provide Hand-Holding Relocation Programs When the Price is Dropping!
Many Destination Service Providers (DSPs) are now finding themselves in a situation where they are expected to provide traditional, hand-holding relocation programs, either at a lower price or at pricing which dates back several years, when the cost of labor, gas, utilities, and various other expenses were lower. It would be easy to complain about this and sit around and play ‘ain’t it awful’, but that ultimately will not resolve the issue at hand. Therefore, we need to take a much more proactive approach to deal with this new dynamic. To be honest, much can be done to adapt, so let me lead you through a few points from my business-coaching program “Unstoppable!”, when I work with DSPs.
1. Pre-Populated Content — Studies show that 80% of the email we send is essentially a regurgitation of the same thing; therefore, if you are writing the same content over and over again for different clients, you are wasting an enormous amount of time, and this will really impact the slimmer margins you may be experiencing because of lower pricing. The first thing that you need to do is to create templates with canned responses that can be personalized with a person’s name, if needed. Review all email correspondence to see what needs to be put into the templates and then train your staff in how to use them and when to send them.
2. In-House Automation — One of the things that really takes up time and cuts into margins and profits is having a very manual approach to working. Hire a competent freelance IT consultant so that you can automate the pre-populated content mentioned above. In addition to this, you can create short, entertaining videos that cover certain parts of the relocation program, so that your staff do not have to explain these things manually. Email, while it can be a wonderful tool, can also eat up an enormous amount of time because so much of the follow up is manual. Install programs that allow you to know when a client has not responded, when an email sounds rude, and on what days you receive the most email. In addition to this, learn how to stagger the sending of emails to have more control over the volume of email that you receive and set up rules whereby only relevant emails show up in the inbox of your staff.
3. Prepare Excellent & Thorough Responses — One of the things that really eats up time and profits is when email turns into a tennis match. If a client writes with three questions, do not reply until you can answer all three completely. Buy time, if necessary, by replying to say that you will come back to them shortly. The goal here is to reply so thoroughly that you do not generate another email because of the unanswered question! Over time, you will find that you are replying quite often to the same questions, therefore have a series of pre-populated templates as mentioned above to go out. As I said, writing the same thing over and over again, is nothing short of insanity! Learn to take back your time!
4. Constant Innovation — Learn to put together your Dream Team (see my article on this) that will be inspired to constantly work on creating new and innovative ways that allow you to adapt to the new demands of the market. It has been said many times that you cannot hope to compete in today’s market if you are operating with yesterday’s tools — and let’s face it — no truer words were spoken.
If you have been in the Global Mobility industry for a while, it is clear to see that the sector is in disruption. Assignments are shorter, the support being provided is slimmer, the assignees, especially the younger ones, are even open to sharing an apartment! New platforms like AirBnB are putting the pressure on. This is not reason for despair. It is only a problem if you are trying to operate as you did ten years ago. Many sectors are in disruption and the companies that will survive, even if margins and profits come under attack, are those that can become agile and change with the times.
No one ever said that running a business is easy; however, the new challenges we face can really be an exciting opportunity for us to create new and better ways of doing things, if we embrace them as such. Don’t get left behind — learn about technology and how it can work for us and not against us. Each day is an occasion for us to grow and move forward, so do whatever it takes, in a positive way, to become a true thought-leader in your sector!
If you require any case-specific assistance, please feel free to contact me www.damienofarrell.com
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