What Utilities Can Learn from Mover Behavior

Posted to Updater in the Customer Care Group
image credit: Shutterstock
Jenna Weinerman's picture
VP, Marketing Updater

VP of Marketing at Updater. An endless seeker of knowledge, a lover of craft brews, and a huge Philadelphia sports fan.

  • Member since 2020
  • 3 items added with 18,274 views
  • May 25, 2020

This item is part of the Utility Customer Care - Spring 2020 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more

Hi, I’m new to Energy Central and thrilled to launch my first post. But before we get started, I’d like to point out that this post is not for everyone. Who is it for?

  • Customer care teams who realize that the call center transfer model is slowing

  • Digital marketers who want to distinguish programs, products, and services

  • Analytics teams who want to learn more about the mover segment

  • Deregulated folks who strive to drive revenue

A quick intro – I run marketing for Updater, the nation’s #1 moving app. We build technology to make moving easier for the millions of American households that relocate every year. With approximately 30% of all American movers using our technology to support their move, we’re the national leader in relocation technology.

Here’s a 1-minute video to show you how our app works.


Needless to say, we know moving – mover behavior, mover needs, mover timelines, mover marketing, and mover trends; and I’d like to share some of those learnings with you to help shape your perspective and grow your business around movers.

Movers Need You

Before we jump into the data, it’s important to note that movers are valuable for your business. Moving is a chaotic, fragmented process – hooking up electric or gas, setting up internet, booking a moving company, installing an alarm system, buying furniture, packing and unpacking boxes, and more. It’s one of the only times in life when you have to talk to dozens of organizations in a very short timeframe. It’s hectic. And, most people don’t do it often enough to become “good” at moving. 

Believe it or not, you’re right there, smack in the center of the chaos. According to years of internal data, “utility setup” is the number two highest priority for all movers – both renters and owners. See the chart below.

(In case you’re curious, we define “home essentials” as items like hangers, cleaning supplies, organizational bins, etc.)

Takeaway: You are critical to your customers during a move.

Why Add Value During a Move?

There’s an opportunity built right into the lists above – you don’t have to live exclusively at number two. You can spread your wings.

You have a tangible opportunity to advise on all things home, including other items on the priority lists. By offering additional programs, products, services, and guides, you give your customer the chance to say “yes” to something – a chance for them to say, “yes, this brings me value.” The best possible outcome is that the customer does, in fact, say “yes” to registering for an energy efficiency program or purchasing an appliance service plan from you. Voila – you generated incremental value!

If the customer says no to your offering, the worst possible outcome is neutral – they say “no thank you” and move on. At least you offered. After all, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!

We believe movers are a great cohort to start with when thinking about driving value. Why?

  1. Movers are 4X more likely to try new brands during a move. Brand loyalties become vulnerable. Think about it – if you move from Los Angeles to Chicago, you’re certainly not ordering from your go-to pizza place anymore, or getting your nails done at the same salon you visit every Sunday. You try new things when you move. It’s the most optimal time for customer acquisition and renewal of your programs.
  2. 70% of movers tell us that the guiding principle of their move is “settling in quickly.” Getting into their home and getting back to normal life is incredibly important to movers. When surveyed, they said things like: “I care most about the things that make my adjustment easier.” And, “I just have to make sure I can live, I need electricity.” Here are some additional principles that guide decision making around moving: 


  3. 85% of movers choose the first brand presented to them. Why? Because convenience is king. Movers are notoriously known for having a “just get it done” mentality. Very few people enjoy living in the chaos that comes with moving. That’s why unpacking and “settling in” (as you see above) is the desired, final state. It feels good to check things off the list – you feel accomplished. So, why not settle in more quickly with a new brand. Here’s an example: You just moved. You’re a loyal CVS customer, but there’s now a Walgreens two blocks away. It’s midnight and the baby is crying. Most people will give Walgreens a shot. We know that energy decisions can be made in a matter of seconds – we need to make sure that your programs, products, and services are front and center at this critical time.

  4. 85% of all large purchases made during a move lifecycle are made pre-move. Things that need to kick in on day one in the new home must be purchased in advance, like internet, energy, a security system, a refrigerator, etc. 

Takeaway: Movers can only prioritize so much. But, the good news is those priorities include your business. They want to get settled in quickly and they’re willing to try new things. Moving is a golden opportunity to add value and introduce them to additional offerings.

Bonus: If you’d like more mover insights and trends, check out our 2020 Who’s Moving Report.

What Next?

Where to begin? You know what movers need, so it’s time to meet and exceed those needs. It’s time to put your products and services to work – that’s the hard part.

The good news is that we found each other. Updater has helped millions of Americans move. We’ve also helped many of your peer utilities solve the mover dilemma.

Now, we’d love to have a dialogue with you. Let’s:

  • Put a plan together to serve your movers, introducing them to your programs and products at the right time
  • Share best practices around making moving frictionless
  • Exceed your customers’ expectations at a stressful time

Please feel free to message me directly through Energy Central, connect to me on LinkedIn, or email me – your choice.

A few leave-behinds that may pique your interest:

  • We recently hosted a webinar with CS Week called “Moving Movers to Digital” – watch on-demand here. It covers some of the mover insights I shared above, but also dives into our product suite and a demo of our app. It’s about 55 minutes, live from my living room to yours 😉 #covid19

  • If you’re interested in additional insights on mover behavior, here’s our 2020 Who’s Moving Report. It covers who’s moving, where, when, why, and what they need. 🚛

  • Our latest eBook: The Utility’s Guide to Selecting a Moving Concierge: 9 Questions to Get the Info You Need. 📋

  • If you’re curious about how we grow our mover base, our strategy was recently featured in an insightful marketing book called Smash the Funnel: The Cyclonic Buyer Journey. It calls us brilliant, yes! But it also explains how we can help your team get in front of movers moving into your footprint. Read our chapter here. 📚

The moving concierge program you've always dreamed of. Leverage Updater digitally and over the phone to drive adoption and decrease call center costs.

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Jenna Weinerman's picture
Thank Jenna for the Post!
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