Imagine you could handle your entire relocation from one European country to another by yourself using online tools and apps. Jennifer did this. She organised her relocation from Germany to the UK by herself, using an app to book and plan her move, property websites to find potential properties to rent, and review sites to shortlist internet and insurance providers. Everything seemed to run so smoothly.
Then came the tricky part – Jennifer discovered that many of the property ads she was finding online were unreliable, fake, or even click-bait for scams. What a nightmare! Eventually, Jennifer did find an appealing and genuine offer. The lease terms for the property were in ‘legalese’ and confusing, so Jennifer didn’t feel confident enough to sign the lease. This was getting messy… Who could explain the terms of her lease so she does not commit to a restrictive contract? Who could negotiate with her landlord on her behalf?
One of the demands of the relocation industry’s stakeholders is increased digitalisation. Quick, secure, integrated access to all the stages of relocation for assignees and Global Mobility professionals is a must. However, as any technological advancement, Global Mobility digitalisation has to be done without losing sight of the human touch that every relocation needs. After all, it is human connections that drive us to move around the globe and to discover new cultures and new opportunities.
We believe in digital tools and use them extensively to shape and improve our service offering. Technology makes it possible to have more transparent processes and pricing, real-time overviews and up-to-date information, as well as a more efficient handling of files and documents.
But we never lose sight of the fact that we are in the people business. And we need to be attuned to their needs for emotional connection.
Have you ever relocated to a foreign country? Do you remember the slight desperation that sets in once the excitement phase wears off? New country, new language, new routines, new culture - relocation is as exciting as it is terrifying. And all along this journey, human support is crucial. Apps and websites, no matter how user-friendly, always fall short.
Take housing search for instance: in a new country, it’s tough to sort out online listings (is the area good? How come the price is so low? Are there hidden conditions? etc.), and only local experts can help you navigate a complex, high-demand, fast-moving housing market. Whether it’s identifying suitable properties that are genuinely available, or negotiating the terms of the lease, there are elements of the process that can’t be automated today and most likely never will be.
“When you’re moving across the world with your family, it’s great to get a notification on your phone to say your household goods are arriving or your visa is due to expire. But if your lease application is denied or if your landlord refuses to agree to your terms, you’ll need somebody to speak to and that will never leave our industry. Actually, the use of technology should simply enable service providers to spend more time talking to people and less time doing data entry or other back office work.” (Robert Baldwin, Director of Global Business at Packimpex)
At Packimpex, we asked ourselves how we can cater to two seemingly very different needs: digital relocation management and a human-led approach? How can our relocation experts ensure a seamless transition for assignees and, at the same time, offer an easy-to-manage, cost-oriented solution to corporate HR clients?
Packimpex’s answer is the human-centric technology approach.
Click below to find out more about our human enhanced tech.