Photo by David Eisenstadt
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shut down of a wide range of businesses, those deemed “essential” press on, as they’re vital to keeping society running. Despite the pandemic, households still need to relocate for a variety of reasons, and thus moving services were declared an essential service throughout Canada. From there, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK – a moving company with more than 375 franchise locations across North America and Europe – sprung into action to accommodate the needs of their employees, franchisees, and customers in a quickly changing world where personal health and safety are of the utmost importance.
Same great moving service, with a twist
The “new normal” of everyday life is all about keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay. Wearing masks, frequently using hand sanitizer, social distancing, and other protective measures to limit the spread of the virus have become a part of life’s daily routine throughout the globe.
“COVID-19 has required us to reinvent ourselves in many ways,” explains Chuck Resnick, vice president of marketing and operations at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. “The tried and true previous processes needed to evolve to accommodate our employees and customers today. Much of our thinking is to innovate and become much more creative. We are looking at what additional services we can provide to our customers and how we deliver these services, all in alignment with the COVID-19 protocols outlined by local, provincial, and federal governments.”
While the franchise previously offered customers in-home estimates, to limit physical contact, they went digital. TWO MEN AND TRUCK now offers “virtual walk-throughs” using software to provide accurate estimates. If an employee is ill, they will stay home until they have been tested or spoken with their doctor before returning to work. As an added precaution, 24 to 48 hours before a scheduled move, every customer is called to confirm that everyone in the home or office is healthy and has not recently returned from vacation or been out of the country.
Some TWO MEN AND TRUCK franchise locations are offering curbside box pick-up at their place of business and no-touch box drop-offs to the customer’s residence or place of business at no additional charge.
Supporting franchisees through turbulent times
Franchise owners within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK system are in the fortunate position to be unaffected by local, provincial, and federal government-mandated shutdowns. Still, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is doing what they can to work with franchisees to innovate the business to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have minimal impact on the franchise’s operations.
“We make every effort to communicate by conference call, webinar, or video conferencing as a management team and individually,” explains Resnick. “As franchisees identify new and innovative ways to do business, we share those ideas with our entire system.”
Resnick adds that the franchise head office keeps franchisees informed of the various offerings from the government regarding wage subsidies, loans, and grants while providing franchisees with home office subsidies to alleviate some of their expenses. The strict line of communication between the corporate head office and franchisees continues with daily email updates and frequent check-in phone calls.
“We also call our franchisees to see how they are doing and to determine what additional things and ideas they may need from us as well as responding to their questions,” says Resnick.
While demand for moving services continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is anticipating a surge of people relocating as the number of new cases of the virus decreases and life slowly returns to normal. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK looks to continue to provide friendly and professional moving services to get customers’ things to their new homes safely, with an emphasis on protecting both customers and employees.
“There will be pent-up demand and the largest challenge our people will need to prepare for is the tsunami that will eventually hit as we begin to ease out of COVID-19,” says Resnick. “We will ensure adequate employees and trucks are available to meet the anticipated needs of our customers as life begins to transition to the new normal.”