Packing and moving to a new living space and getting goods transported, especially from one city to another, can be quite a traumatic experience. There is a common perception that most packers and movers take consumers for a ride in more ways than one. After all, in a cost-sensitive country like India, customers prefer opting for low-cost relocation service providers and unknowingly get trapped because these providers refuse to take liability for damages and breakages. This makes the entire transaction more expensive in the end, resulting in a poor user experience. Blame it all on the lack of strict laws and standardization and absence of transparency in terms of pricing that are characterizing the thriving yet disorganized Indian relocation industry. However, with the dawn of new-age startups investing in cutting-edge technologies to optimize the relocation processes and to improve overall customer experience, the sector is not far from getting completely streamlined.
So how is technology making this entire shift possible?
Technology has touched every field of human activity possible, making lives simpler and generating opportunities to boost productivity and efficiency. Thus it comes as no revelation that the relocation industry is also embracing technology to offer transparent, low-cost pricing and real-time solutions like allowing customers to watch over their belongings and track their goods.Here is how they are making use of algorithms to come up with technological innovations that are fulfilling the full spectrum of their consumers’ needs:
- Customers opting for relocation services frequently complain about hidden costs charged by their service providers while making final payments. They get lured with low rates at the beginning, but eventually, are forced to pay additional charges in the name of ‘value-added services’ like disassembling certain goods or extra carriage charges. To ensure a fair practice in such situations, tech-enabled relocation service providers like ShiftKarado have formulated and introduced the unique insta-pricing model on their platforms. A pioneer of this technology, ShiftKarado leverages the model to give out the exact quote for relocating any volume of goods between any two locations instantly. This includes parameters like destination, route map, nature of goods being transported, and the volume of the goods, as well as the floor on which the drop-off is to be made and whether or not a lift is available for higher floors. The initial quote therefore remains the final amount to be paid.
- Appropriate insurance protection enables the customers to reduce the shipping stress while their office or household goods are in transit. In the past, estimating the value for the potential insurance claim was manually guessed at by the customers.This process was too inaccurate and time-consuming. However, thanks to advances in the field of analytics, opting for insurance is now quicker and more efficient.The data-driven suggestive pricing offered by relocation service providers nowadays helps in calculating value of goods, which makes the whole insurance process smarter, more personalized, and much simpler.
- A digital catalog offered by relocation service providers is also helping customers to have a practically clear idea about the cost of the services provided, their reliability, and transparency. With precision in terms of the distance of relocation and the volume of goods being relocated, customers can choose the best packers and movers for their budget more conveniently and more precisely.
- Several relocation providers take longer than they assure to transfer customer belongings to the destination. During this interim period, their customers are left clueless regarding the whereabouts of their goods and how long they shall take to arrive. The use of GPS-enabled and bar-code technology make the systematic transit process accessible to customers and can help them in tracking their belongings in transit, and get a clear idea of when to expect their arrival at the given destination.
- To further ensure error-free and tireless relocation services, leading companies are in the process of adopting advanced tech like artificial intelligence (AI). As controlling cost is not easy and cost estimation is the most important preliminary process in a relocation project, AI techniques can be leveraged for efficient cost management. With the right AI platform, service providers will be able to determine the optimum logistics of a relocation project. This further enhances their route planning and capacity planning procedures, thereby making the entire operation simpler and smoother.
In this dynamic world, relocating homes and offices from one place to another is something everyone has to undertake at some point in their lives. And, like any other field, the new-age businesses operating in the relocation industry are also leveraging the digital advantage to raise the competitive bar and transform the customer experience with an intention of complete disruption.
(The author is the co-founder of ShiftKarado – a forerunner in the Indian industry of packers and movers whose foundation was laid in the year 2015. It offers packing, loading, unloading, transporting, relocating services for households and corporates for local shifting and inter-city moving.)