Portal - March/April 2021
Celebrating Move Coordinators
By Ray daSilva, IAM Mobility Exchange
When IAM took the first steps in designing IAM Learning (its professional staff development initiative), the industry’s largest global trade association chose to develop the Move Coordinator Training Program (MCTP) as its first project. Putting the focus on the Move Coordinator was IAM’s way of recognizing and underscoring the key role the Move Coordinator plays in planning and executing a successful relocation.
Setting clear customer expectations, building trust, and ensuring service promises are satisfactorily met are parts of a carefully documented move plan that takes a team working in close concert to execute. The Move Coordinator plays the pivotal role of managing the customer’s first impressions and setting the tone for the customer’s entire move experience. As the MCTP makes a point to stress, the Move Coordinator is responsible for determining customer requirements and translating them into operational language so that each team member can play their part, in tune and in time. The following is an outline of this important program.
Course 1: Introduction to Move Coordination
This course serves as an introduction to the industry and the fundamentals of customer service specific to the industry. As such, it makes an excellent orientation for any industry newcomer as well as a valuable refresher for industry veterans.
“Why Do We Move” provides an understanding of the life events that bring about a move, providing the essential context to why a move can be quite a stressful event for the customer. An understanding of this context is crucial for developing customer empathy and underpins the need for patience, calmness and kindness during customer interactions.
To avoid overwhelming the student/learner, the course employs the concept called layering of understanding. Knowledge is built successively so that a firm foundation is set for the subjects that follow. The first layer of understanding relates to the various “Move Types” and “Phases of a Move.”
This introductory module also includes several sections on business communication. Just having a phone and a PC with e-mail does not equip a staff member with professional communication skills. To help build these skills, exercises give students real-life scenarios, testing their ability to critique and provide solutions.
Course 2: Initiation & Needs Analysis
Building a move plan requires conducting a thorough needs analysis as a first step. This needs analysis process gives the Move Coordinator their first opportunity to create that all-important perception in the customer’s mind that they are dealing with an experienced, empathetic and knowledgeable professional who can make a successful move happen.
A good understanding of the requirements-gathering process and how to make the maximum use of it as an opportunity to solidly build an industry expert image with the customer are the take-aways from this course.
There are extensive assessments to test learner comprehension while challenging them with roleplaying exercises, their evaluations and interpretations of which they are asked to describe in written essays.
Course 3: The Move Plan
This course highlights the crucial connection between the Move Coordinator and the Moving Consultant during the pre-move survey process.
Whether the survey is done virtually or in person, the Moving Consultant handling the survey builds upon the foundation of the relationship initially built by the Move Coordinator.
The module also introduces the sales role of the Move Coordinator in the construction of the elements of the Move Proposal: Options Review and Recommendations, Proposal Acceptance, Order Confirmation and Scheduling.
The course concludes with an important section on Setting Expectations and Assigning Responsibilities. Throughout all the courses, the learner is frequently tested with assessments and essay assignments.
Course 4: Introduction to Transport & Forwarding
Newcomers to the Industry as well as industry veterans with many years of experience in the business will appreciate this section, which explores the various modes of underlying transport. Vital to dispensing professional advice and recommendations to the customer is a thorough understanding of the distinct characteristics of each mode. Truck, rail, sea, and air shipments are therefore explored in detail in this course. Course materials include volume calculators and resource documents that provide detailed information about various transport container types and their uses.
Course 5: Managing Service Partners
The Move Coordinator also has an essential role to play in service partner selection and management. The various types of service partners involved in a move from partner agents to underlying transport service providers, third party service providers, etc. are discussed in this course, with an emphasis on the importance of professional and timely communication.
This course also covers a study of the FIDI-developed Professional Cooperation Guidelines (PCG) which provide industry-accepted guidelines and best practices for how companies in the international moving industry collaborate with each other to serve their mutual customers.
Course 6: Final Review & Assessment
This final module features a brief summary, conclusion and review of the whole Move Coordinator Training Program leading to the Final Assessment. The system selects a random set of 50 assessment questions from a pool of more than 200 questions. Upon successful completion of this Final Assessment, the learner earns the course’s Certificate of Achievement.
Over 230 individuals have earned their MCTP Certificate of Achievement, and another 370 are currently in the process of completing the program. Together, we are creating a knowledgeable and skilled group of professionals that the industry is proud to have.
Through its Move Coordinator Training Program under its IAM Learning initiative, IAM celebrates the Move Coordinator’s many critical roles in the moving process.
You can get started here: The IAM Move Coordinator Training Program.