Let’s take a look at an example of a call recorded through a tracking program:
Caller: “The self-storage down the street is offering three months free rent; do you have a special?”
Facility: “Yes, we offer two months free rent.”
Caller: “OK. Thanks.”
Do you or your staffers feel like you are taking calls from price shoppers all day long? If so, you might want to listen up, literally. This call could go one of two ways—as it did above, or in a more productive way, as in the conversation below.
Caller: The self-storage down the street is offering three months free rent; do you have a special?
Facility: We do have various specials tailored to your needs. Do you know what size unit you’ll need and for long you’re planning to store with us?
(Now you might get some information to begin building a relationship)
Caller: I'm not sure what size I need, but I have a one-bedroom apartment. I’ll probably need to store my things for nine months or a year.
Facility: The program that would work best for you would be our $29.95 move-in special with free use of our truck, which will save you moving fees. Then, we will give you two months free after you’ve been with us for six months. That means you receive eight months and are only charged for six. In addition, our facility has several safety features to protect your belongings and you will have 24-hour gate access to your unit.
Now, you’ve taken control of this call. Just by listening, you have learned what the competitor is offering, giving you a chance to have a “better” pitch ready for future price shoppers. By keeping them on the line, you also have the opportunity to turn this price shopper into an educated customer.
In that second phone call above, you deliver quite a sales pitch: about gate access and security. It’s highly likely the caller knew nothing about these features beforehand. Even if he thanks you for your time, hangs up and calls the competitor back, he’ll likely ask the manager at the other facility if the site offers gate access and security features. You’ve planted the seeds in his mind, and now these are ultimately more important to him. “Free rent” now becomes the least of the customer’s concerns.
Take a few extra minutes to listen to what your callers are really asking and you could have a new loyal occupant. Call-recording programs should be considered equally as important as call tracking and should be combined for a true results-oriented marketing program.
How many times have you made a phone call seeking information or assistance and hung up shaking your head in disappointment? Don’t let any of your potential clients hang up without thinking: That was the most helpful, nicest person I have spoken to all day and I feel safe storing my belonging at his facility. Do something today to anchor the success of your business in the future and make every call count.
Michelle Millis is senior client service manager of Michaels Wilder Inc., an advertising agency specializing in Yellow Pages, Internet marketing and talent recruitment for the self-storage industry since 1989. For more information, visit www.michaelswidler.com.