When I began working as a Destination Service Consultant more than 9 years ago, I offered my services to several different global mobility and local RMC companies. As a result, I maintained a working relationship with 20+ incoming domestic or international transferees at any one time. When a new employee/transferee arrived to the SF Bay area, my first communication with them was via a telephone call and/or an in-person meeting at a coffee shop or at their hotel to review the relocation assistance they would be receiving from their company. Their first welcome to the SF Bay Area was a warm, sincere, and friendly one. Quite possibly, transferees had never before visited the San Francisco Bay Area, or in some cases, even been to the U.S.
Fast forward to 2020 where the first introduction for expats and domestic transferees to the SF Bay Area by a DSC is via a pre-approved boilerplate email that has been designed by the RMC. The Introductory Email controls the beginning of the relationship the DSC will have with the transferee and de-emphasizes the warm, sincere, and friendly introduction that used to be the norm. That initial email begins the process of electronic communications that will take place between DSC and transferee, except for the in-person interactions that will occur as a particular service is rendered, until the progam of services is completed.
I wonder – will transferees and expats truly feel welcomed in 2020?
Or will they feel that they are just one of many expats coming to the SF Bay Area; that the relocation package they are receiving comes with a responsibility on their part to actively work within the on-line computerized systems the RMC has designed (especially when it comes to home-finding). In many cases, the newly arriving transferees are being asked to primarily communicate with their DSC via pre-designed on-line forms and emails that track the services they are receiving.
Technology alone – no matter how efficient for the RMC – is no substitute for the experienced DSC who can empathize with a relocating family or single person, and make them feel truly welcomed to their new community.
About Your Relocation provides concierge services, bringing back the personalized assistance that helps transferees feel that each of their situations are individually important. We want to diffuse the anxiety they may be feeling about where they will live, and what tasks they need to complete in order for them to feel settled in their new community. About Your Relocation will always work with the RMCs and the processes they have in place for documenting and tracking the relocation assignments they give us. But we also hope we will have an opportunity to take a step back – to provide the warm, sincere, and friendly welcome that expats and domestic transferees used to receive.