Disrupting the Home Moving Industry
No one likes to move homes. It’s a stressful and emotional experience.
Seth Waite, President, and CEO of Handled, saw an opportunity to disrupt the moving industry if he could find a way to make the experience more personal and efficient.
So Seth partnered with colleague Jim McBride to co-found Handled in a joint venture with UniGroup (a global transportation leader and parent company to United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit).
Seth and Jim would use Handled to develop a new model of moving that would use technology and high-level service reps to deliver a personalized, top-notch concierge service to its customers.
Seth explains, “The experience of moving is emotional, so service and trust is key. We wanted to use technology to reimagine the experience to make it easier and more efficient.”
To reinvent the traditional moving model, Seth would need a CRM platform with automation baked in to create efficiencies and give his “concierge team” the tools they need to solve problems on the spot.
“We wanted to use custom workflows to automate our processes, which would free up our concierge customer service team to provide top-level service,” says Seth. “It was a different way of thinking — and finding the right technology to do it was critical.”
He also needed to find a platform that could bring together sales, marketing, and customer service onto one platform because his timeline was extremely short — he only had 90 days to launch.
Seth had used a number of CRMs over the years, including Salesforce and Pipedrive. He found Salesforce to be overly complicated, expensive, and a poor choice for developers. Pipedrive, meanwhile, lacked the connective tissue needed to make it a central hub for businesses.
In contrast, HubSpot solved all of these problems and could truly form the center of Handled’s customer experience. After meeting with a HubSpot consultant, who showed Seth and his team how they could leverage the platform even more than they conceived, Seth and his team decided to go all-in.
Thus, Handled launched on the HubSpot CRM platform, implementing Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub.
To get the most out of the product, the Handled team also took advantage of HubSpot’s Premium Consulting for in-depth strategic and technical guidance, implementation, and customization.
Scaling from Startup to Enterprise with the HubSpot CRM Platform
The HubSpot CRM platform was central to Seth’s ability to grow Handled from a startup into an enterprise company. “Our ability to scale is directly tied to HubSpot and all its resources,” says Seth.
Some of the benefits Handled attained with the Hubspot CRM platform are:
Handled uses hundreds and hundreds of workflows to manage its sales, marketing, and customer service processes for the entire buyer’s journey. The efficiencies created by this automation freed up the concierge team to provide responsive, personalized service.
Seth explains, “We freed up bandwidth by tying workflows to tasks. As soon as events happen, they trigger the next stage in the process, which moves customers and contacts through our pipeline in an automated way.”
To stay efficient as they scaled, Handled automated even its most advanced business processes using HubSpot’s programmable automation.
“We use programmable automation to connect HubSpot to all our apps and enrich our CRM with valuable third-party data,” says Seth. “It gives us ultimate flexibility to streamline processes, save time, improve efficiency and, ultimately, maintain a remarkable customer experience as we grow.”
One CRM System of Record
Having one system of record for sales, marketing, and customer service was also critical to Handled’s success. It gave every team member 360-degree visibility into leads and customers, empowering them to deliver concierge-level service and work cross-functionally to answer questions and resolve problems.
“Having all this information in a single place empowers our cross-collaborative team to champion customer experience at every stage,” says Seth. “They can see exactly what’s happening and solve problems without having to talk to seven other team members and call customers back the next day.”
Having a single source of truth also shifted the focus from fault-finding to team collaboration.
“Everyone can see what’s going on in HubSpot, which changes the conversation from ‘who’s going to get into trouble’ to ‘how do we create a five-star experience?’” says Seth.
Meeting COVID-19 Surge in Demand
When the coronavirus arrived in the spring of 2020, Seth worried that people might stop moving homes and his new business venture would collapse.
But to his surprise, demand for moving services surged, particularly among younger people.
This younger demographic wanted a digital-first moving experience, which is exactly what Handled provides with the HubSpot CRM platform.
“HubSpot allowed us to connect directly with this new segment of consumers at a crucial time,” says Seth. In fact, Seth’s team developed a campus moving program to help over 6,000 students move their belongings home after leaving campuses abruptly during the lockdown.
“We set up the entire product and process in just a few days with HubSpot and sold the service to 13 universities,” says Seth. “It was a game-changer for us.”
HubSpot Professional Services
When Seth decided to launch Handled, he had only 90 days to bring it to market. He managed it with HubSpot’s support team and Premium Consulting service, which were particularly critical in the last days before launch.
With Premium Consulting, the Handled team could speak with HubSpot inbound and technical consultants on a weekly basis. This dedicated guidance gave the Handled team the insights they needed to optimize their use of the HubSpot platform.
“We were stuck on a couple of issues,” says Seth. “At 3:00 in the morning, we reached out to HubSpot support. They worked through the problem and gave us two or three different ways to solve it. Within 10 minutes, this huge issue that had stopped us in our tracks was resolved. Our CTO was literally crying tears of joy.”
121 Locations in 37 States in 18 Months
With the help of HubSpot, Seth and his team scaled Handled from zero to 121 US locations in 37 states in just 18 months.
Handled was such a success, it was acquired by UniGroup in early 2021 with plans to provide its digital-first processes to an even broader base of customers through UniGroup companies United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit.
Today, Seth credits HubSpot as a central element of Handled’s tremendous success.
“HubSpot is the hub for our entire business,” says Seth. “It allowed us to move incredibly fast. We couldn’t move as quickly as we did as a company without the ability to pull everything together into one simple, smooth place. It’s phenomenal.”