Ridgewood Keeps Up With Marketing and Tech Trends
Founded back in 1966 by Cindy Myer, Ridgewood Moving Services has quickly become one of the top Bekins agents in the country. With company-wide retreats, a whole lot of care, and a woman's touch, Cindy has set up Ridgewood for scale through technology choices that aren't always easy for multi-generation family-run businesses. We spoke with her about technology in the industry, her customers' response to HQ Engagement, and how it makes the moving process easier for both parties.
What makes Ridgewood Moving Services unique?
Our company has been around for 51 years with a stellar reputation serving 3 generations of families as well as the business community.
Our "We CARE" core value is what we are all about – we care about our customers, our company and each other. We hire and train our team with these principals and are always looking for ways to improve. We have daily huddles, weekly staff meetings, monthly movers meeting and a yearly full day “RMS University” retreat for the entire company.
What makes us unique is that we are more than just a moving company, we are a total resource for our customers' moving needs. In addition, we are all about giving back to our community and involve ourselves with many philanthropic activities all year round.
That's fantastic. Cindy, you're one of only a handful of female leaders in the moving and storage industry. How did you get into the business? Do you encourage other females to join the industry?
I took over Ridgewood Moving in 2005 when my husband suddenly passed away – I had not been involved in the business but I had to learn quickly. I actually have a fashion background!
This Industry is still dominated by men, but women are making great strides and holding esteemed positions such as former AMSA President, Linda Bauer Darr and Maureen Beal of National Van lines. When I joined the NJWMA board, I was the only woman on the board and now I am the first woman board President. Women are a perfect fit for this very important Industry of moving peoples' lives!
From one woman to another, we're certainly making strides – thank you for your hard work! Speaking of making strides, how do you think the role of technology in the moving industry has shifted in the last 10 years?
The moving industry is made up of many old-time family businesses, so in some regards you have many companies that are still pencil and paper estimating. However, the shifts and transformations over the past 10 years are incredible and will continue to advance at lightning speed for the future in all industries, not just moving.
Moving estimation technology, for example, went from cube sheets to bar codes to software on tablets, and now moving toward virtual surveys. And that's just one aspect of our business.
Tech moves so fast. How do you keep up?
It’s important to surround yourself with good people within your organization in every department, and marketing is one area that we have always concentrated on, with both investments in time and money.
We create a marketing strategy and calendar for the year and review it quarterly with our team. It’s important to stay current and maintain a consistent brand image across your website, social media profiles, and still manage your online reputation on the various consumer review platforms.
We keep up with technology by being engaged and thought leaders, attending various industry networking opportunities, participating in other business organizations, and attending workshops and webinars. Talking to our colleagues within the industry and sharing best practices is the best way to see what’s working and what's not before diving into something new.
Has working with HQ Engagement been successful for Ridgewood?
We saw the added value that Updater’s concierge brought to our company right away. Being in such a highly competitive industry, we're always looking for something to set us apart. At the time, we were the only company in our area that was offering Updater’s concierge to our clients. We are averaging a 70% open rate on our invitations (which is awesome!) and our customers appreciate the one-stop-shop for address changes so it’s been a win/win for us.