Employee Experience

Is Stellar Relocation Service an Elusive Dream? It Depends.

Can you – and importantly, your transferees – say you LOVE the service delivered by your relocation management partner?

Sadly, we hear from far too many HR managers and the people they are moving around the country and world that their previous relocation experiences were just not up to par. It made me start asking my team:

What is it about CapRelo that leads to our consistent number one ranking in the relocation industry for customer service? And for CapRelo, just as with dozens of companies across industry lines who are known for customer service excellence, it comes down to one thing.

It’s all about the people.

When Forbes recently surveyed 200,000 U.S. residents for insights on the best customer service experiences, customers said it came down to the top brands’ people: friendly, easy to work with, cheerful, speedy, helpful. Does that sound like your current RMC?

A few years ago, we were asked to handle the relocation needs of one segment of a company’s transferees, while another RMC handled a different segment. As it turned out, the client was becoming continually disappointed with the other company’s service. Transferees complained that their relocation consultants didn’t spend the time to listen and understand their needs. That their vendors, especially household goods providers, were dropping the ball. And, that the RMC’s staff was slow to respond when an issue arose.

We eventually won that segment of their business, but it was a good reminder to us, too. HR teams and transferees want an RMC that pays attention to their needs. One that sets high standards for their supply chain partners and is ever watchful of supply chain hiccups. And that understands that when things go awry, it’s all about how they recover. Is it true that customer service is dead, as some say? Not at CapRelo. While it may be an elusive dream in some companies, by focusing on these key aspects we are successfully earning our clients’ trust and their praise.

High-Touch Approach

Unlike many RMCs that shuttle a transferee from department to department through the relocation process, CapRelo prioritizes a single point of care for each individual. One person who gets to know the assignee on a personal level. Perhaps the spouse is struggling to find a job in the new location, or the kids need specific schools or specialized services. Our relocation consultants make it their job to know those things, and to ease the transition. What does high-touch look like? It depends on the individual’s needs. We might be talking to the transferee every day for a week, and then reducing contact to once per week as challenges are resolved. If they are selling and buying homes, the client and consultant might talk daily. And during the household goods process, it could be every day or so.

The challenges to each move are unique to each individual and their family. And our main priority is to support that person – whether they are a seasoned global assignee moving with a family, or a single employee on their first relocation. The responsibility is enormous: our domestic team alone works with tens of thousands of transferees annually, and our global team manages 600 to 800 moves at any one time. But for the individual making that move, they’d never know that their consultant is working with anyone but them. That is high-touch relocation management.

Consistent Point of Contact

Constant turnover within a relocation management company makes it virtually impossible to provide that ongoing, personal contact that transferees expect in stellar service.  A domestic relocation timeline can be a month if it is a lump sum benefit package. Or it could span a year, depending on the type of package offered. Globally, relocations often are for three to five years. In a company with a revolving door of employees, that assignee might be handed off multiple times over the course of a single assignment.

We understand the value of a consistent, well-oiled customer/consultant relationship which is why we are very mindful of who we hire. Does the applicant fit into the CapRelo culture and values? Is it someone who wants to work where people lift each other up? Is this a person who thrives in going the extra mile to help another?

By hiring well, CapRelo enjoys an extremely low staff turnover. Average CapRelo staff tenure exceeds 8 years, on top of 10-25 years of relocation experience generally. Many of our consultants have been expats themselves. Because our consultants have built relationships with transferees and their families often over many years and many moves, they know what is important to them and thrive on going the extra mile to care for these clients, who become friends.

Good Listeners

While it may sound cliché, providing five-star service starts with listening to the assignee as well as others involved in a move. We know that the assignee won’t necessarily have the same concerns as the spouse. And depending on their ages, the children often have greater anxiety and concerns than the rest of the family, so we try to involve the children on the briefing calls too.

Our first briefing call with an assignee and their family is very important because that is where our seasoned consultants drill down on priorities and spot potential red flags, things that a lesser experienced team might miss. Every story is different, and while our technology platforms can support the process, you can never replace the importance of personal interaction and active listening.

Stealth Problem Solvers

Things go wrong. A household goods shipment is delayed. A temp housing location is noisy, or not ready for occupancy. That’s when a company’s five-star service is proven. Having developed these one-on-one relationships, and because we don’t overload our consultants with unreasonable caseloads, our people have both the empathy and the availability to respond quickly to any situation.

Our satisfaction surveys consistently get a phenomenal return rate; in 2023, 70.95%, compared to an industry standard of 30%. We are extremely proud to have earned an overall satisfaction score of 4.62 out of 5.

Built on a Service Culture

Even with the best of people, stellar customer service must emanate from the top. CapRelo’s culture and values are not just words on paper. Our commitment to our customers starts at the leadership level and we emulate the company’s values in every single thing we do. How many companies have a Leadership Book Club? Every Tuesday, you’ll find our leaders on Zoom or in person talking about the latest chapter in our current read (check out our current book, Leaders Eat Last).

People ask me what is CapRelo’s “secret sauce” for exceptional customer satisfaction, and even though it may sound like corporate fluff to some, my answer is this: we really love our people, and we invest in them, empower them, and celebrate them. Rather than being a business that harps on numbers and survey satisfaction (while we are proud of those!), we try to cultivate an internal environment where we truly appreciate the people who work for us.

How to Choose an RMC

Want to partner with an RMC where stellar service is imbedded in the culture? Here are some topics to explore in choosing a good fit.

  1. Meet the people who will be working directly with your assignees. Ask about their tenure at the company, experience in full-service relocations and personal experience with moves.
  2. Research the company’s commitment to and investment in employee training.
  3. Ask about the company’s annual employee turnover rate.
  4. Look at the company’s supply chain partners. How long have they been partners, and what is their service delivery reputation?
  5. Ask about case load management. How big of a case load does the company assign to each consultant?
  6. Evaluate the technology that is offered to be sure it will support your transferees’ productivity and ease of use.
  7. Look at the company’s history and its track record in retaining clients.
  8. Research its industry standing for customer service. Is it consistently applauded for exceptional service?


Choosing the right RMC partner can be a make-or-break decision for your transferees. Choose well, and your transferees are happy, productive employees. But the wrong choice can mean disgruntled transferees, disrupted work productivity, and more headaches for the HR team.

CapRelo has been named number one in customer satisfaction two years running. Let our team wow your transferees with our stellar relocation service. Contact us today.

About the Author

Mark Woelfel, CRP, GMS

Senior Vice President, Global Client Services

Mark’s superpower is integration – working closely to bring technology solutions, rigorous compliance, and a high-value supply chain to our clients and their employees for exemplary service. Charged with leading CapRelo’s global client engagements, Mar…