Bellhops didn’t just disrupt the moving industry, they changed it
Elisabeth Brier and Cameron Doody

Beyond misplacing the remote or waking up a minute before your alarm is set to go off, there aren’t many things worse than moving.

The already laborious process is often made worse by hidden fees, sketchy movers and general anxiety that your stuff will never make it to the other side.

Due to this, the traditional moving industry is shrouded in suspicion and wariness, but Bellhops is aiming to disrupt this sinister narrative.

From solely hiring college educated movers to living by a fervent creed of ‘customer-first,’ Bellhops has set the new standard for moving.

The company’s president and co-founder, Cameron Doody sat down with TechDay to share his insights on developing a successful brand, crafting a succinct voice and remaining authentic as you grow into a household name.

Upon initial visibility, what does Bellhops do to differentiate itself from competitors (on a branding level) and ultimately be chosen for its services?

The moving industry hasn’t innovated much in the past 30-40 years, and has been very slow to adopt technology. Couple that with poor quality workforces and operational inefficiencies and you’re left with an industry that has created mistrust and doubt. Additionally, these issues have led to unreliability, inconsistent quality, numerous fees, low transparency of cost, and high prices that have made us all wary when hiring movers. We set out to solve these issues with an entirely new model for moving built on technology that we’ve combined with an extraordinary workforce of college-educated movers (we call them Bellhops). Our tech-based model creates efficiencies that make for simpler booking, totally transparent pricing (no fees whatsoever), higher-quality movers, better communication & reliability, and lower cost than big-box movers. Simply put, instead of plugging the holes in a leaky model, we built a whole new boat.

One of Bellhops' primary value propositions appears to be customer service. Beyond testimonies and yelp reviews, what other strategies help perpetuate this notion of "mind-blowing" customer service?

The short answer is, we’re obsessed with listening to our customers. Everything we do is for them. Our teams are constantly analyzing customer reviews, seeking feedback, and conducting surveys to better understand the customer experience from start to finish. Sometimes this leads to a pat on the back and other times it can lead to adjustments in our operations, interactions, or customer touchpoints.

How has employing college students as the dedicated 'Bellhops' aided the brand and promoted growth?

Around 50% of our business comes from word of mouth and our high-trained bellhops are one of our biggest megaphones. They talk about us, wear our swag, and post on social media. It may not sound like much but it is huge. Their excitement translates to customer excitement. We’ve seen that our all-student workforce has created a strong sense of endearment with our customers, who admire and respect our Bellhops working their way through school.

How has Bellhops philanthropic efforts functioned to foster the brand as a whole, increase awareness and establish itself within a given community?

We are constantly looking for meaningful ways to engage with the communities we serve. Our goal in each one of our cities is to use our core competency in service for the greater good. Whether it is through our partnerships or events like Senior Citizen’s Day, we are always looking to see how we can better support those in need.

What sort of very tangible pieces of advice could you offer founders looking to gain brand awareness and name recognition?

It’s really, really important to define who you are very early on. Every early stage company has those magical couple years where who you are and what you believe is almost all you have to hold onto. The years where everyone in the organization understands and embodies the heart of your business. Unfortunately it gets harder as you grow. Don’t lose the magic; perpetuate it and be completely obsessed with keeping it alive because it is and always will be the best part of your business. If you’ve perpetuated it, the heart of your company will come up in interviews and you’ll program your new employees from day one to uphold it. For us it was a complete obsession with customer service. “Blow the customer’s mind” was our very first company maxim. We defined it early, and never let go of it. With all that said, it’s not over there. You have to streamline your branding and communications into a singular voice that supports those core maxims, and it has to be authentic. If you were to throw a dart at your company, and every piece of messaging all points back to the the same core beliefs, your customer will believe you. When your customer believes you, they will talk about you.

What's coming up next for Bellhops?

We have some big announcements coming that we believe are going to change the way moving companies will need to operate to be competitive. What are those things? We’re not ready to get into the weeds yet, but what I can tell you is they are operational changes enabled by technology to reduce overhead and improve service and scalability in a huge way.