Today’s self-storage market requires a well-run sales-focused business that concentrates on turning every contact into a rental. The economy also demands a cost-effective approach that manages labor costs. So how does a call center fit into the mix?
Call centers have been widely available to self-storage operators as a rollover sales backup for more than eight years. Many operators use them to extend the facility’s hours of operation and capture sales inquiries that come in after regular office hours. Operators have also discovered they can use a call center to trim labor hours in the store to a more manageable level.
Call centers will typically create one rental from every 10 calls. It is typical to convert 50 percent of leads and reservations into rentals. If a call center took 10 phone calls and only four were rental inquiries, three of the four should turn into a lead or reservation. One could quickly calculate that even a store producing a low call volume for the phone center can gain one or more rentals a month that may have been missed otherwise.
Using a call center can also improve your sales image because call center representatives are judged by their ability to turn calls into leads, reservations and rentals. Most call centers can give you copies of recorded calls. This is a good way to double check their quality and gives you an example of a good call so you can share it with your managers during training.
A call center can also share valuable information with you on how people found your phone number, how proficient your staff is at closing the leads and the call activity coming to your store. This is just some of the information you can use to get a better idea as to how your store is doing and where improvements are needed.
You can integrate your self-storage marketing with a call center by adding unique tracking numbers on your ad campaigns to keep track of online, print and direct mail marketing. This will enable you to determine which marketing campaigns are the most effective and help you attach a return on investment calculation to ads you use.
If you have multiple facilities, a call center can help you direct traffic to the stores that need a boost in occupancy.
Choosing a Call Center
Before you talk to a call center, determine your needs. Will you send all your calls to the call center and use it as the first point of contact? Or will you only send your rollover calls when your store staff is busy?