How might we test reusable containers in place of cardboard boxes as an alternative packing system?
About the pilot
At Bellhop, we explored the potential of introducing a novelty aspect to the moving experience through a new packing alternative. Instead of purchasing overpriced, wasteful cardboard boxes, we piloted a program that enabled customers to pack in reusable IKEA FRAKTA bags (liners). Then, on move day, the truck would arrive equipped with plastic bins that the packed liners were transferred into. We called this system of making packing less painful and the moving process more efficient, “Bins & Liners.” I led piloting a proof of concept in 2 markets (Chattanooga and Atlanta).
Team: operations, truck drivers, Bellhops (workforce), workforce management / training, customer success, brand art director + videographer, PR
I first needed to source, brand, and distribute 100 bins to 5 drivers in Atlanta. This required drivers to opt-in by agreeing to keep the bins on their trucks for a 3 month period. Since the bins were originally shipped to our Chattanooga HQ, I transported the bins from TN to GA one weekend—by intercepting their scheduled moves.
Challenge: Many of our contracted drivers also used their trucks for other part-time contracts (such as overnight deliveries). Keeping bins in their truck between moves posed a challenge for some required to maintain a completely empty truck for these other delivery jobs.
Branding on a budget
A design intern and I spent hours at the public library printing vinyl decals of the Bellhops logo to imprint the bins—saving us thousands of dollars in screen printing fees.
I partnered with the customer success team to develop internal process documentation for qualifying and pitching customers booking by phone including instructional scripts and FAQs.
I also partnered with the workforce management team to create an online training program for Bellhops (movers) using Lesson.ly LMS. I assisted with organizing in-person training sessions in pilot markets to reinforce techniques.
I partnered with product and engineering to introduce screening logic to our order flow in order to qualify customers booking moves in pilot markets—prompting an interstitial/modal upon order confirmation. A modified version of the automated confirmation email was triggered for moves expressing interest (using "I'm interested" CTA parameters) to remind those who opted in to purchase bags before their move.
I was able to find a clever workaround for confirming opt-ins by using an Amazon Seller affiliate program to track how many customers "converted" by following through with purchasing bags (online)—since we didn't have a productized solution for tracking opt-ins at this early stage.
I shadowed moves weekly to observe the process in action—interviewing customers and Bellhops about their likes and dislikes of the system.
I recorded interviews with customers on move day which proved to be a powerful method for circulating my findings to the broader team. These videos archived first-person feedback in realtime while capturing the context of use in the background.
We also sent surveys pre- and post-move in order to capture input from those we couldn't shadow.
I partnered with our in-house brand and marketing teams to film a case study of a family who recently participated in the pilot. We also worked together to develop simple illustrations for instructing customers.
The Bins & Liners program was part of a greater end-to-end journey map we developed to illustrate a future-state vision of our service experience.
“Packing the bags was easier than taping boxes together and packing boxes. The bags were easier to carry for the guys—they could carry 2 bags at one time.”
Successful proof of concept:
Challenges to overcome: