May 18, 2023
A Unique Employee Compensation Plan Boosts Customer Satisfaction and Re-Defines the Moving Industry
This week, we welcome Ron Holt to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Ron is the CEO of Pink Zebra Moving and a serial entrepreneur with specialties in startups, franchise development, management, and leadership.
Over nearly two decades, Ron built his first startup, a cleaning service called Two Maids and a Mop, into a nationwide multimillion-dollar franchise. He developed a unique employee compensation model based on customer ratings that incentivizes high-quality customer service. Ron’s innovative leadership strategies emphasize treating employees with empathy and prioritizing a positive customer experience. Ron’s current startup, Pink Zebra Moving, is using the same business model to redefine customer expectations about the moving experience.
On this episode, we discuss how Ron’s determination to deliver excellent customer service with a focus on fun is disrupting the moving industry and driving positive outcomes for his brand, employees, and customers alike.
An Entrepreneur on a Mission to Provide Positive Moving Experiences and Overhaul an Industry
Ron’s entrepreneurial mission began 20 years ago when he left his job in corporate America to pursue an entrepreneurial career path. He selected the home services industry and saved money until he could open his own cleaning business, which he named Two Maids and a Mop. The company achieved impressive growth through nationwide franchising success, but rather than sit back and enjoy his accomplishments, Ron decided to do it all over again. He sold Two Maids and a Mop and started a new kind of moving company, which he named Pink Zebra Moving.
Like many things in life, Ron’s idea to start a moving company originated from a personal experience. His mother-in-law hired a moving company and encountered obstacles in nearly every step of the process. Ron recognized an opportunity to consider his mother-in-law’s experience through the lens of an entrepreneur and start a company that would prioritize customer satisfaction in the moving industry. His goal was to disrupt the moving industry through a CX business model.
Ron envisioned Pink Zebra Moving to be a moving company like no other, committed to providing customers with service that is not only effective but also fun. His unique, relationship-centric business model—already a proven success with his first startup—is setting the stage for Pink Zebra Moving to overhaul an entire industry through positive CX, highly motivated employees, and fun experiences that create smiles.
Connecting Customer and Employee Experience to Create a One-of-a-Kind Moving Company
Before starting Pink Zebra Moving, Ron realized that his mother-in-law’s experience was not unique. All across the U.S., moving companies were consistently missing opportunities to deliver positive CX. With true entrepreneurial spirit, Ron accepted the challenge and decided to revolutionize an industry to create positive employee and customer experiences.
To successfully manage his customers’ experience, Ron first had to understand and empathize with what the process entails. He put himself in the shoes of a customer needing to hire a moving service and identified areas where he could replace friction points with positive experiences and improve the overall quality of the service. Next, Ron strategized to solidify the approach his employees would use to provide a uniquely positive moving experience.
Ron realized he needed to do two things: build a relationship with each customer to personalize their experience and bring a sense of fun to the moving process. By prioritizing CX from the moment the customer books the moving service to following up before the move date, Ron makes customers feel valued before the move even begins. With this in mind, Ron devised several revolutionary methods for customer engagement and positive CX to take place before, during, and after the moving process.
Before the Move
Most customers book a moving service several weeks ahead of the move. Ron realized this was an opportunity to positively engage with customers right out of the gate through texts, videos, and other communications with a strategic focus on fun and quality service. One example of customer communication is a video that shows the moving employees working out in a gym, symbolizing how the movers train for the upcoming move. Ron admits it seems a little silly. He also believes this type of communication is vital for establishing a relationship with the new customer and setting the stage early on to be more than just another commodity in the mind of the customer.
In addition to the fun material, Ron also sends out practical tips that help the customer make decisions about their moving experience. These materials educate customers and manage expectations about what the moving process will entail, which helps bring customer and company goals into alignment.
As an extra special touch to boost the customer experience, Pink Zebra Moving delivers a free meal to the customer the night before the move. Ron recognizes that the simple act of providing a meal is vital to achieving the kind of customer-brand relationship that allows his company to stand out through memorable customer service.
During the Move
Normally, having a team of strangers in your home for several hours to move all your belongings is an awkward experience for everyone involved. Ron developed a moving day procedure that breaks the ice through fun employee engagement and setting up speakers throughout the home to set a positive mood with “Happy Playlists.” This family friendly, fun-focused strategy makes people want to smile and creates conversations that would not occur otherwise.
Ron knows that customers expect the moving company to do the work they were hired to do, so his process delivers quality and efficiency while creating a unique and positive experience for the customer. By leaving room for fun, Pink Zebra Moving’s moving day method improves customer satisfaction (CSAT) even further.
After the Move
Ron’s pièce de résistance is to leave customers a “Surprise Box” that they will discover when they unpack at their new home. It looks like their other boxes and contains things such as candy, trinkets, and a personalized item that employees select based on details gleaned over the course of the customer’s relationship with the company.
The last “personal touch” from the company also has a practical side. The day after the move, the branch manager sends a personalized video message to the customer, using their first name. This gives customers a sense of calm and confidence that even if something isn’t perfect, the company is available to ensure they have the best experience every step of the way. This demonstrates to the customer that the company will hold itself accountable to high standards for CX to earn the customer’s loyalty for the next time they need to hire a moving service.
Incentivized, Purpose-Driven Employees Are the Movers and Shakers Who Make This Innovative Vision a Reality
Ron’s innovative ideas are successful because he invests in the employees who deliver his vision with every customer interaction. He believes in meeting his employees’ needs for work that pays well while also imparting a higher sense of respect, value, and purpose. Ron strives to create a positive and successful employee experience in two primary ways:
1. Pay-for-Performance Worker Compensation Plan
Ron’s compensation plan empowers employees to earn wages well above the market standard by going above and beyond in their performance to provide exceptional customer service. Customers rate their level of satisfaction with the service, providing employees with motivation and feedback to align their personal and professional priorities with the company’s CX goals.
2. Inspiring Purpose by Personally Investing in Employee Potential
Ron believes investing in the personal and professional goals of his employees is the best way to inspire loyalty and exceptional performance. He takes time to ask each employee what their dreams are. Working together toward a future goal deepens the connection with the employee. By identifying a purpose, employees are inspired to achieve that goal, and it gives them a reason to work hard and perform well.
In one example, Ron shared his experience as an entrepreneur to help an employee fulfill their dream of starting their own moving company. Ron’s personal investment in this employee led to high performance and ratings during their time with the company and fostered a connection that lasted beyond the employer-employee relationship. Employees appreciate when a company is sincere about investing in their success, and real-world outcomes like this are critical to cultivating a positive, effective employee experience.
From Disruptive to Transformative: How Fun and Positive CX Can Pioneer Industry-Wide Changes and Turn the Moving Experience Around
Ron’s goal for Pink Zebra Moving is to create a moving experience that customers look forward to by increasing the quality of the service and adding positive experiences throughout the moving process. Ron believes that returning to good, old-fashioned customer service is the key to making customers and employees smile—changing the moving industry for the better. His purpose as an entrepreneur is to create a new category of “happy movers” across the U.S. through positive, fun CX strategies that increase CSAT and inspire loyalty.
What Ron Does for Fun
Given Ron’s determination to make work fun, it’s no surprise that he knows how to have fun outside of work, too! With a lifelong interest in baseball, he spends much of his free time cheering on his daughter at her softball games and his son at his baseball games. When not on the playing field or in the stands, he and his family also enjoy spending warm weather days soaking up the sun on a boat.
Read the blog post here.
Watch the video here.