Personal touch means the most in relocation

New survey uncovers 7 factors in relocation satisfaction

The relationship that an employee forges with the relocation co-ordinator — a transferee’s main contact with the relocation company, who orchestrates aspects of a move — has the biggest impact on overall satisfaction, according to a new study.

“While most transferees are assigned a moving co-ordinator to help streamline the move co-ordination process, there can be big differences among relocation companies in the services this person provides," said Michael Drago, senior account manager for the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based marketing firm that performs customer satisfaction surveys.

"When the moving co-ordinator provides the transferee with a single point of contact for all parts of the move, minimizing the need for transferees to contact moving sub-partners, it provides a great deal of peace of mind, which is vital in providing a satisfying experience.”

The first-ever J.D. Power and Associates Corporate Relocation Transferee Satisfaction Study is based on evaluations from 986 employees who had been relocated within the United States in the past 18 months.

The study found employee satisfaction with corporate relocation companies is based on seven factors:

•assistance in selecting a new neighborhood;

•moving co-ordinator;

•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.

“With the average cost of relocating an employee ranging between $52,000 (US) and $71,000 (US), corporations invest billions of dollars annually in relocating their highly valued employees," said Drago.

"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 per cent per year, corporations may be able to boost employee retention among their transferees by increasing satisfaction with the relocation process.”

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 co-ordinator; 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 found that more than one-half of transferees — 57 per cent — report that their relocation experience was a positive one. Approximately 54 per cent of transferees report that their belongings were delivered to the destination on time and without damage.

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