Category Archives: Across The Bekins World

I-Heart-Customers-High-Res

A Personal Customer Experience Leads to Increased Customer Engagement at Bekins

By Stephanie Linville, Director of Market Research & Pricing

The customer experience (CX) is no longer a series of independent interactions customers have with the various touch points in our organization; it’s an ongoing dialogue between Bekins and our customers.

This journey begins when customers are deciding which van line to choose for their interstate move. While some might view the customer relationship ending when the move is complete, the reality is the dialogue continues in the form of our customer surveys, referrals of our company to family and friends (which, by the way, happens to be our biggest source of new customers), repeat business with former customers and online LovemyCustomerSign_Bekinsreviews posted to social media.

Engaged customers are those who continue this dialogue with us. They are loyal enough to refer us to others and/or continue to use us for their future moves. If these customer behaviors are our end goal, then how can we get our customers engaged with Bekins?

Providing a personal customer experience is the key to engaging our customers. That said, we are fortunate this challenge should be easier to accomplish in the moving and storage business than in other industries, since our service is a highly personal one. We are in our customers’ homes, handling their belongings and interacting with members of their family, including their children and pets.

In addition, generally speaking, most people do not make multiple interstate moves during their lifetime, but when they do, the experience is a major life event due to the significant expense and stress. Because of these factors, when Bekins does an excellent or poor job, customers feel strongly enough about our performance to let us know. This is one of the reasons why we have such a great response rate to our customer surveys – currently 55% for our electronic surveys.

What does this mean? Well, simply by the nature of our business, all of our customers have the potential to be highly engaged. And if the Bekins customer experience is affected by every touch point in the organization, then all of our employees, agents, drivers and crew members impact CX in some way.

Tuesday, October 7th, marks the second annual CX Day, and Bekins we are celebrating our customers during the entire week of October 6 – 10! Just like we showed gratitude for our drivers during Driver Appreciation Week, we will continue this successful marketing campaign and show appreciation for our customers by having our agents, drivers and employees take pictures of themselves (and customers, if possible) holding “I ‘heart’ customers” signs and upload these images to our social media sites. We look forward to a fun and memorable CX Day!

 

Photos from some CX Day events:

Bekins employees helped create a poster with their hand prints to signify all hands are involved every move.

IMG_8188

The Importance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bekins Van Lines corporate office accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, Aug. 20 to raise awareness for ALS as well as donate to ALS Association.

Bekins challenged all of its agents to do the same. Before dumping ice water on yourself, here are some things you should know about ALS from alsa.org.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health care giving later in the disease.  It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which your may be eligible, including SSA, Medicare, Medical and Veteran Affairs benefits.
  • ALS Association has raised 41.8 million from the Ice Bucket Challenge Donations. Donations can be made here.

Below are the videos and photos from yesterday’s challenge!

Watch the video here on our new YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

Bekins storage in Hollywood

Throwback Thursday: Bekins in Southern California

Since 1891, Bekins Van Lines has been a leader of innovation in the household-goods moving industry. Throughout Bekins rich history, the specialization in storage became a primary service, especially in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. For a special throwback Thursday, here is an article from the LA Times in 1989. Looking back how Bekins changed the storage business as well as the South California landscape.

Bekins: A Storehouse of History
LA Times
March 01, 1989
Leon Whiteson

They rise like medieval castle keeps above busy Southern California intersections. Their steep blank sides, relieved by rows of small windows, give no clue to the activities behind their fortress-like walls. Only the skyline signs reading Bekins Storage reveal the mundane purpose of these muscular architectural landmarks.

The era of the grand Bekins castles is past, along with the grandeur of the service that moved America when the entire country seemed to be shifting West. But as the company’s late president intended, Bekins’ powerful buildings stand as permanent landmarks on our changing urban landscape.

According to contemporaries, Milo Bekins believed that “moving is the American way.” He also believed that customers entrusting their personal possessions to Bekins needed the sense of reassurance offered by solidly built warehouses located on prominent sites. In a young and rapidly expanding city such as Los Angeles, where so many buildings seemed flimsy and transitory, he decided that his structures for temporary storage would appear unshakably permanent.

Bekins built its first reinforced concrete warehouses in the 1920s and ’30s. A prime example of its architectural style is the 55-year-old building at 929 S. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, a solid oblong box that towers seven stories high.

Bekins Santa MonicaAt street level, the arches of a recessed arcade mark a regular rhythm between the slender vertical columns that rise to the roof and end in finials resembling little dunce caps. Between the main columns are small pilasters that form frilly edges to the concrete cliff at top and bottom. Tiny windows make the building appear even bulkier, increasing its presence on the street.

Yet another landmark warehouse, an eight-story castle built in 1929, is located at the corner of Pico and Crenshaw boulevards. A ground-floor arcade houses a row of shops, including Bekins’ furniture sales division, and arches are two stories high, allowing light to filter into second-floor offices.

In its heyday the Bekins Co. owned more than 100 storage buildings in 14 states. In an attempt to streamline its operations in the face of stiff competition, Bekins began selling off its real estate in the early 1980s. By 1983, when purchased by Minstar Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., Bekins’ stock of warehouses had been reduced to 55.

Founded in 1891

Bekins Van Lines was founded in 1891 in Sioux City, Iowa, by two young Dutch immigrant brothers, Martin and John Bekins. Martin moved west four years later, first to Omaha, Neb., and then Los Angeles. In 1895 the brothers organized the first transcontinental move from Sioux City to Los Angeles, and opened an office here in an old van at the corner of 2nd and Main streets.

bekins-storageOne year later, Martin Bekins owned six horse-drawn vans and a one-story brick storage building at 360 S. Alameda St. A five-story reinforced concrete building was later built on the site and still stands alongside the original warehouse.

The Bekinses were innovators in the moving and storage business. The first company in the West to specialize in household goods, Bekins later pioneered the concept of containerized storage. In 1903, Martin Bekins introduced the “side-winder” gasoline-powered moving truck to Los Angeles.

Martin’s son, Milo, took over as Bekins chairman in 1927, and built the company into the largest operation of its kind in the world. In the 1950s, 1,000 Bekins vans rolled across the country, serving a restless post-World War II population moving from the cities to the suburbs, and from one suburb to another.

A Simple Formula

The pre-World War II Bekins buildings were designed by structural engineers rather than architects. The vaguely Italianate style of decoration, featuring mini-pilasters and curly roof lines, was culled from the contemporary architectural pattern books popular among designers at the time. An example of the style can be seen at the 511 S. Fair Oaks Ave. warehouse in Pasadena.

Bekins buildings had a simple structural and design formula. Columns were spaced in 26-foot bays under 12-foot ceilings. At the rear were one or two high doors for loading and unloading goods. Ground floor frontages were glassed-in for small shops or offices. Big metal signs displaying the company name dominated the skyline.

LABekinsSMBThe warehouses have stored an extraordinary range of personal items over the decades, from cases of monocles to the Pentagon Papers. The latter, a top-secret study of U.S. military involvement in Indochina, was stored in the Bekins Beverly Hills warehouse at 215 S. Canon Drive, in “several metal handcases, a footlocker, 18 book volumes, a large cardboard carton and a large carton file,” according to an affidavit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the 1940s and ’50s, the style of the Bekins buildings changed. In keeping with the undecorated modernist fashion then coming into vogue, the warehouses became plainer and squatter.

Typically Featureless

The 1943 four-story concrete warehouse at 35 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia, a similar design at 2101 E. Carson Street in Long Beach, and the 1953 five-story building at 1425 Holt Blvd. in Pomona are examples of the slab-sided, featureless and almost windowless blocks typical of this period.

The company also bought warehouses built by other storage companies. The 11-story Hollywood Storage Co. building at 1025 N. Highland Ave. was the tallest structure in Hollywood when erected in 1925. It was purchased by Bekins in 1939. And in 1943, a nine-story structure at 3625 S. Grand Ave., built in 1924 by the Birch-Smith Storage Co., was added to Bekins real estate inventory.

The original article can be found here: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-03-01/news/vw-725_1_bekins-vans

It’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week LogoIt’s finally here! All week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. To show your appreciation for these unsung heroes, here are some suggestions on how to celebrate:

  • Drive across the country in one week.
  • Spend $1100 to fill up on gas.
  • Get together with your neighbors and practice the lost art of the convoy with your riding lawnmowers.
  • Sleep in your car.
  • Drive for 11 hours then spend another 3 hours picking up and setting things down. Remember to maintain a smile. Rest for 10 hours, then do it again the next day.
  • Smile and let a truck merge into your lane.
  • Thank a driver for bringing you 70% of the things you use today.

Check out the American Trucking Association’s website for more information and fun facts.

Bekins Agent Lincoln Moving & Storage Receives Thanks

Receiving thanks for a job well done is what we all strive for at Bekins.  Here’s another instance of great customer service received by Lincoln Moving and Storage in Brooklyn, OH.
___________________________________________________________

Another satisfied customer writes:

I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving. I just wanted to let you know how happy we were with your moving services. The driver and his crews were very efficient, professional and just did a wonderful job. Thank you so much for all of your patience and help during this stressful time. Our things arrived in great shape and we are so happy to be getting settled in our new home. Thank you again and best wishes. I would be very a happy to recommend your company in the future.

Sincerely,
Monica F.

Bekins Agent Action Moving Names Employee of the Year

Bekins Van Lines agent Action Moving Systems in Spokane, WA recently recognized Kris  Behm as their “Employee of the Year” at the agent’s Christmas Party.  Congratulations Kris!

Kris has been with Action for two years. Kris was chosen for his undying commitment to customer service and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He consistently exceeds customer and management expectations.

Kris’ name will appear on a plaque commemorating this honor, which began in 2004 along with all the past winners.  In fact, all of the employees who have received this honor are still with Action Moving!  They are:  Pat Hale, Gunnar Smiley, Shawn Biggs and Mike Stearns (some multiple winners of the award).  That really says something about our company, primarily that we have quality employees and they feel like a valued member of our team.

Jeff Gish stated, “We are thankful for each and every member of our team: Sue, Kathy, Gina, Jessa, Shawn, Cory, Pat, Kris, Gunnar, Kevan, Ty, Grover, Denny, Ed, Mike, Doug, Josh, Scott, Richard P, Gary, Dave, Gabe, Jordan, Andy, Richard K, Paul M, James C, Will, Travis, Paul S, Korey, Anthony, Ray, William, Vernon, James L and Timothy.”

To view a video of the event, go to:  http://youtu.be/0gu-3NbF64M

Bekins Moving Solutions Provides Superior Service

Bekins Van Lines strives to provide excellence in moving services to every customer we have the privilege of moving.  We received a letter from Dorine C. regarding the above and beyond service provided by Irma Jimenez of Bekins Moving Solutions, and our driver Jim Robinson and his unpacking crew.
___________________________________________________________

Ms. Irma Jimenez
Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc.
20525 Nordhoff St., Unit 58
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Dear Ms. Jimenez:

“I wanted to extend a thank you to you and all the supporting crew from Bekins Moving Solutions for the special effort involved in moving my furniture and personal belongings from your Chatsworth facility to my home in Veron, CT last month.

Your driver, Jim Robinson did an excellent job to assure my belongings arrived safely and ahead of schedule.  His effort to account for the inventory (packed and stored by your Chatsworth staff six years ago in August, 2005) and to drive the large load to the East Coast was very much appreciated.  And, he made a special effort to see that the larger-sized furnishings were situated in the right location in my limited space.  His choice of two employees from Labor Ready (148 Franklin Avenue, Hartford, CT 06119) was a good one.  Those two employees, David Marquez and Domingo Vega, also worked very hard in a short period to unload and place the furniture and other belongings.

I was very impressed with how Jim, David & Domingo worked in unison and completed the move-in task in a timely and professional manner.  Please accept my sincerest gratitude for the superior job that they did handling this difficult task.”
________________________________________________________

Bekins strives to perform great service on all our moves and are so glad that this customer took the time to let us know just how well we did.

Allwright Moving Systems Participating in ‘Toys for Tots’

Press Release:  November 2011 – Contact: Rebecca Glatzhofer

With the arrival of the 2011 holiday season Allwright Moving / Bekins Van Lines is joining with the U.S. Marine Corps to give back to the community, with the annual Toys for Tots drive.

Allwright Moving – Bekins is a collection site for dropping off new toys to be distributed by the Marine’s Toys for Tots program to needy children in the area for the holiday season.  We hope to give away thousands of toys to our local children in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties.    Toys collected in Racine are distributed to our Racine children. 

New and unwrapped toys can be dropped off during business hours of 8am – 5pm Mon-Fri – 2933 105th Street, Sturtevant, WI 53177.  We are the corner of Hwy 11 and Hwy H. 

Toys for Tots has been collecting and delivering toys for children since 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks USMCR and a group of Marine Reservists collected and distributed 5000 toys to needy children. 

Please contact Rebecca Glatzhofer at Allwright Moving 262-989-6835 if you have questions or need directions to Rebeccag@allwrightmoving.com             

 

Bekins President’s Award Winners

 

  Driver   Driver   Driver
  Samuel Artrip   James Hill   David Postlethweit
  Mark Austin   Wayne Holmberg   Lee Price
  Gary Ayres   John Holmes   Rickie Purnell
  Glen Baker   Scott Hostetler   Harry Reeves
  Abdul Bari   Harold Hovis   Vicki Reeves
  Jozef Bialecki   Pablo Huerta   Jorge Renteria
  Ralph Bingham   Todd Hummel   John Richardson III
  Clifford Bowe   Lawrence  Jackson   John Rinaldo
  David Bowler   Daniel Jones   Bronson Robertson
  Walter Boyd   Jordy Jones   James Robinson
  Lee (Matt) Bradfors   Robert Jones   Chris Rodman
  Timothy Bridges   Carlito Joya   Carlos Rodriguez
  Douglas Chavarria   Ivan Kersting   Derrick Ross
  Nicholas Childress   Wilfredo Landauerde   Michael Sammeli
  Joseph Clarke   Kenneth Law, Jr.   Jorge Sanchez
  Michael Clarke   Krzysztof Licznerski   Bradford Sando
  Ayala Constantino   Richard Lloyd   Richard Semro, Jr.
  Alan Copelin   Steven Long   Gerald Seward
  Douglas Comutt   Jose Longoria   Oliver Shelley
  Andrew Cowsky, Jr.   Steve Love   Philip Sheridan
  Michael Davis   Michael Mandella   Baljeet Singh
  Miguel Deloera   Alphonso  Marshall   Reynir Skarphedinsson
  Stephen Duriseau   Roy Martin   John  Skillin
  Nicholas Ebba   James Mattingly   Linell Spiller
  Manuel Escalera   Daniel Mccabe   Robert Stanton
  Isidro Esquivel   Kenneth McCarthy   Dustin Stella
  Reynol Falcon   Donald Meacham   John Stone
  Kaukava Finau   Robert Miller   Solon Taylor
  Lorenzo Flores   Shawn Mower   Timothy Tingler
  David Frazee   Willie Nance   Stephen Tripp
  Wayne Fredrick   Gary Nelson   Paul Vadenais
  Barry Freeman   Dennis Neyman   Ramon Valencia
  Nathaniel Fripp   Adam Nicholson   Juan Vazquez
  Richard (Glen) Fuller   Homer North   Ivan Vlasov
  Michael Gilbert   Mario Parham   Jonathan Waters
  John Gish   Carl Parks   Fred Wolfe
  Juan Gonzales   Richard Parobeck, Jr.   Greg Wolfe
  John Green   Johnny Peeks   Edward Worthen
  Montrel Gustus   Jose Perez   Howard Wright
  Morrell Hardin   Timothy (Mark) Pettigrew   Willie Wright
  Daniel Harris   Jay Pheasant    
  Willie Harris   Paul Poe