While technology seems to change about every minute, people’s shopping styles change far less rapidly. Although consumers increasingly shop online, they sometimes prefer to talk to a live person when making an infrequent purchase like self-storage. This is where a call center can be helpful, assisting facility operators in answering customer questions and facilitating rentals.
Let’s take a look at some of the innovative technologies being used by self-storage call centers today, and how they can enhance the efficiency and profitability of your business.
Current call-routing technologies are well-established and well-tested. They allow you to segment inbound calls by comparing the phone number on the caller ID to those in your database to predict which sort of inquiry each call might be. This helps you anticipate the customer need, which boosts service for the caller and cost-efficiency for you.
Customizing Call Flow
New call-center programming capabilities allow you to customize call flow by the type of call coming in, time of day, skill level of the person answering the call, and many other variables that help enhance your customer experience. Similarly, user-experience best practices also help to direct users to the most appropriate place on your website to reduce confusion and frustration. This way, the calls you receive aren’t from people who are frustrated with your website, but rather from customers who have a clear question or a specific need with which you can assist.
Call Recording and Analytics
Call-recording technologies have also gotten much better, and basic speech analytics have improved to the point where call quality control is more effective than ever. Basic speech-analysis programs can convert recorded conversations into text, so you can search for words you want your manager or staff to use when engaging customers as well as those that might indicate a problem. For instance, a conversation that includes any of the following words might indicate a call you’d want to listen to:
Advancements in these technologies means you can train, coach, correct, support and reward your telephone-answering staff more quickly and specifically than ever. If you’re not currently recording calls and spending at least a little time each week listening to them, you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve your business.
This is an exciting time to work with call centers in the self-storage world. There are many possibilities to create models that will greatly improve your business. Take the time to explore the various vendors and options available. With all the recent improvements and technological enhancements, call centers are ready to show you the many ways in which they can help you better manage your sales and customer-service efforts.
Tron Jordheim is business-development manager for the Store Here Self Storage third-party management platform. He’s consulted for many self-storage companies and spoken at industry events in Canada, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Prior to joining Store Here, he spent 15 years as director of the PhoneSmart call center and chief marketing officer of StorageMart. For more information, visit www.storehere.com.