Train and equip managers on key conversion elements. Give managers tools to increase their conversion rates such as phone scripts and e-mail templates. Phone scripts can be as detailed or as general as you need them to be to fit your business. They do not necessarily need to be used verbatim, but if available can give managers a quick reference to the key elements necessary for every call.
Consider adding a warm greeting, qualifying questions to ask each prospect to take control of the call, key features of your facility that set you apart from the competition, easy-to-find directions to your property, and a strong close that encourages the prospect to commit to your facility by reserving the unit over the phone with a credit card or making an appointment to visit.
The same principals apply with e-mails. Give your managers a template they can use to quickly and properly respond to e-mail inquiries. Make sure the template includes all the details mentioned above in the phone script. With today’s customers, an e-mail is often your first point of contact. Make sure it is friendly, gives the customer key information about your facility and a reason to rent with you.
Without training and tools, most managers will not include all of these key aspects on every conversation with a prospective customer.
Set follow-up expectations. Establish clear expectations with your managers on how and when to follow up with prospects who do not rent with you on the first call, e-mail or walk-in. Many times a caller or walk-in will talk with multiple facilities because either he is looking for something specific or has never rented storage before and wants to make sure he sees all his options.
In a competitive market, great customer service and prompt follow-up can set your facility apart. In addition, customers who contact you via e-mail will be impressed and will be more likely to rent with you.
Monitor success and re-train when necessary. This is an important part of improving your conversion rates. Make sure you have processes in place to shop your managers for the conversion techniques you expect. A great way to mystery shop via the phone is using the call-tracking phone numbers discussed earlier. By recording every call that comes into your facility you can listen to live customer calls and evaluate them for conversion effectiveness.
Because they are recorded in MP3-format, you can save them to your computer and forward them to your managers to let them evaluate their own calls. Many times a properly trained manager will be able to spot problems right away and be more motivated to correct them if he is able to hear the conversation firsthand.
A great way to mystery shop via e-mail is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Fill out an e-mail lead just like a customer would. Monitor how quickly you get a response and what the response says. It’s easy and free to set up an anonymous e-mail account with Yahoo or Gmail for this type of mystery shopping.
Take every opportunity you can to re-train your managers when you spot a problem and reward them for success. Doing so will guarantee an increase in your conversion rates, making you happier, your managers more productive, and your marketing budget more effective.
Megan Eckert is the executive vice president of USStoragesearch.com, which helps more than 12,000 facilities nationwide increase occupancy through affordable Internet marketing. For more information, call 866.880.0742; visit www.usstoragesearch.com.