Thursday, January 30, 2014

Washington City Paper "Best of" Reader's Poll

Got a minute? Want to help a small company keep the lights on? Please consider voting for MTB in the Washington City Paper's 2014 "Best of" Reader's Poll.


Just go to the "Goods & Services" category and find "Best Movers." Last year we got "Runner-up," an honor you better believe I plastered everywhere. The winners of the "Best of" was Bookstore Movers. I Not only was I honored that MTB got the Runner-up award, I was honored to be placed in such close proximity to our friends over there at Bookstore. They've definitely earned it, and I'm glad to have such friends in an otherwise cut-throat industry.

That said, if you're so inclined, we'd appreciate your vote. Our marketing budget is one, maybe two notches above "standing on street corner in a homemade foam cowboy suit flipping a big sign around." So, any bit of recognition helps.

Thanks!
C.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mover art

Truck Buddy Ara sent this to me. I have no idea what the context is, which, I think, enhances the contemplation. What is it? What does it mean?


Monday, January 13, 2014

A nice post-move customer survey

Got a nice post-move customer survey recently. Thanks to Heather C. for taking the time to fill out the survey!

I had a very bad experience with a moving company when I moved to DC. Moving is no fun, but My Truck Buddy did a great job and made moving as pleasant as it can be. The estimate was fast and it made sense. I was able to schedule my move far in advance and complete everything online. When I did call on one occasion with a question, the person I spoke to was pleasant and quickly gave me all the information I needed. The movers worked hard, were nice, and everything was exactly as it was stated in the estimate. The customer service was excellent, from start to finish. I will definitely use My Truck Buddy again and will recommend them to my friends and colleagues.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Court: Yelp must identify critics. YES!

"Real people, real reviews." That's Yelp's motto. One problem -- it isn't true.

We're dealing with a bogus 1-star review right now. The writer alleges damages and unprofessional service, but when I've reached out to "her," "she" has ignored all requests for contact. The main item she says we damaged is an expensive chandelier.


One problem -- we never moved this person. We have no record of her. We have received no claims. I have literally offered her money. (Money to compensate for the damage, that is). Nothing. No response. Judging by "her" profile, she is a vile human being who enjoys torturing small animals.

Okay, that last part is pure editorial, not straight news.

So then I come across this article today. A business owner -- who happens to be located just down the street from us -- actually wins a court case against the infamously teflon Yelp. They've dodged at least two, maybe three class action lawsuits in the past, but this one actually stuck.

I. Am. Ecstatic.

I've already paid a law firm to pressure them to give me the identity of the bogus reviewer. Yelp has refused to cooperate, so I'm mulling over a full-on lawsuit. (It would be my first -- I'm so excited!) Yelp says they "don't fact check." Really? So how do they guarantee "real people, real reviews?" As far as I can tell, they rely on their overbearing algorithm that archives legitimate reviews in just a matter of days (usually -- since I've been raising hell with them, and paying protection, I mean, "advertising" fees, our reviews have been staying up longer.)

In other words, they cannot guarantee that their reviewers area real. And despite the fact that we business owners pay so much of their freight, we are treated as third-class citizens. We're given almost no real recourse to deal with bogus reviews.

Anyway, I'm glad to see some motion here. I think I'll call this law firm and see if we can be BFFs.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Truck Buddy Earns Fourth Consecutive Angie's List Super Service Award

The official press release:

My Truck Buddy Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

My Truck Buddy has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

"We are extremely grateful and honored," said Christopher Jolma, owner of My Truck Buddy. "Many thanks to our thousands of customers, but special thanks goes to the guys providing superior customer service every single day, rain or shine, in boiling or freezing weather."

“Only about 5 percent of the companies My Truck Buddy competes with in the DC area are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

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Angie's List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie's List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie's List complaint resolution service.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another 5-star! Thanks to Kristin S...



EXCELLENT from beginning to end....... it's hard to find good movers. These guys are 100% professionals!!! Easy booking process, they called to confirm, showed up early, got done quick, were extremely friendly and professional...... I cannot say how how happy I was with the entire experience. I would, without a doubt HIGHLY recommend these guys!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

24 Things to Cheer You Up on the Most Depressing Day of the Year

These should help.

I gotta say -- this is an excellent "Most Depressing Day of the Year." It's gray, raining, there's a massive and historic cold front on the way, and now that all the holidays are over, it's back to work or, most depressing, back to "business as usual." We're running on fumes and we still have a few months to go until business picks up.

Sigh.

At least here's a picture of a flirty cat:




5-star review from Shay L.! (And I get a new respect for pilates...)

Got another nice one from Shay L. Full disclosure: I was on this job.



Chris was a pleasure to work with and he stayed in contact through the duration of this job. I had a very heavy and awkward piece of pilates equipment that needed to be moved from my carriage house, upper level, to my main home, upper level.  Living in a home built circa 1900, door widths, ceiling heights and turns can prove tricky.  Chris and his workers were polite and speedy.  They even helped me reassemble the equipment and put my door back on the frame.  I will definitely use them for my moving needs in the future! Thanks guys!

Sean, a frequent name on our Yelp page, helped out. It was a beast of a pilates equipment, although I have no idea how it compares to other units.

A funny moment: Shay had to leave to pick up a child from school while we were there. She'd asked us to put one piece of the equipment into the large block of it, but we had no idea where or how exactly it was supposed to go. Imagine two scruffy movers standing there in front of some inscrutably complicated piece of machinery, Googling "pilates" to A) figure out how the heck the machine was supposed to fit together, and B) what the heck pilates is.

Fortunately, she came back just as we'd temporarily abandoned that part of the project to re-hang a door. Now, however, after my research, I can say that pilates looks like one hell of a workout. Hauling pilates machines sure is...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Portals are unreliable: use My Truck Buddy

You...ah...have never seen acting like this before.


20 Excellent Tips for a Positive New Year

These are great tips from the Jon Gordon blog. (I never read it before -- just found it through Michael Hyatt.) Good stuff here.


1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a “Thank You Walk.” It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
5. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with the words and encouragement you need to keep moving forward.
6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome. {Tweet This}
7. Don’t chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you. {Tweet This}
8. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in your purpose, people and the positive present moment.
10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.
11. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
12. Remember there’s no such thing as an overnight success. There’s no substitute for hard work.
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. Remember that if you are complaining, you’re not leading.
15. Read more books than you did in 2013. I happen to know of a few good ones. : )
16. Don’t seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you. www.Seed11.com
17. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What can you expect from My Truck Buddy?

I get crazy questions all the time. One recent question leaps to mind: "Do you do moves in DC?" A number of snarky responses came to mind, but I went with the safest one I could think of: "No, but we should start -- that could quadruple our revenue!"

No, of course I didn't say that. But it scares me that such thoughts come forth so quickly...

Other questions that have come up before:

Is that rate per man?
It refers to the labor rate which, if it was per man, would be off-the-charts bold. I won't give my rates here because I'm pretty sure my competitors make up half the audience, but if I were to double or triple the labor rate...wow. I wouldn't even charge that if people would pay it.

Can we rent your truck?
No. We don't do that.

No, seriously, what's the catch? 
As in, "what are the hidden fees?" It's understandable that people would expect movers to give one price and then charge for a bunch of extra, dubious stuff. It's understandable because movers do it all the time. We don't, never have and never will. We know you don't like "surprises" any more than we do, at least where fees are concerned.

I call these (and many other questions I can't and won't print due to their, ah, "discretionary nature,") "crazy" questions because for me it's all so simple. We provide a pretty straightforward service and that's that. But most people, including those who work here, don't spend every waking moment somehow thinking about this business and moving logistics. So, simply put, what can people expect when they hire My Truck Buddy?

Service, for one. Trustworthiness, for another. We strive to be friendly, helpful and to give you more than what you pay for. Like I said above -- it's pretty straightforward. You need to move across town or within it and you don't want to pay a fortune to do so. We get that. You need a couple or a few strong guys and an adequately sized truck. You don't need to fight with some aloof or disengaged crew chief who couldn't care less about you or your stuff.

What else can you expect? Well, please don't say "perfection." That's an adjective that belongs nowhere near this company. Hah! While we get a lot of things right, we have a lot of things that we can do better. Much, much better. Perhaps it's that self-awareness that keeps us trying harder every day.

So, while we're far from perfect, we are constantly trying to improve our service, communicate with our clients and customers better and faster, keep rates down enough to be attractive while still allowing us to keep the lights on, and nailing our estimates. Too many other companies take a grab-and-go approach. They book the customer and then do everything they can to get as much money out of them as fast as possible. To me, that's insane. For the last five (almost six) official years in business, we've focused mainly on improving what we do rather than chasing after every last dollar. We know that providing the best possible moving service in the country will naturally yield profitable results.

I just hope we see some of those results soon. This is starting to look like a long, cold winter. Oy...

Anyway, that's my random thought of the day. As always feel free to check us out, call, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, etc., etc. We're always happy to discuss what we can do for you, or even if we can't do your move for some reason (we're booked, it's too large of a job, etc.,) we're more than happy to provide whatever advice we can.

Cheers,
C.