According to the Self Storage Playbook, industry authors at Chilton Capital Management report that the REITs have a huge advantage over independent owners due to their call centers. The playbook states that the call center consistency leads to over 98% of calls being answered (and 45% of sales calls being closed).
Scouting the Competition:
In comparison, they say small operators tend to only be available for calls when the office is open. Moreover, their ability to answer calls consistently and effectively is also compromised throughout the day because a manager wears too many hats. The report claims that this leads to only 60% of calls into mom and pop shops being answered.
Understanding the Value of Call Centers
Plain and simple, a call center is the alternative to missing 40% of your calls. Those answering the phone can provide help for both new and existing customers. The best call centers are equipped with technology that knows everything about your facility; your location, your tenants, payments due, available units, pricing, policies and more. This technology allows the call center agents to process rentals, reservations and payments in real-time 24-7 by phone.
Industry journalist, Rachel M Hartman, recently published an article in the Self Storage Facilitator that underscores the use of call centers to recoup those lost sales.
Being available and in a position to communicate with customers immediately is more important than ever, call center experts say. “Consumers aren’t very patient these days, they don’t leave messages and they don’t like to be on hold. Even a sympathetic promise to call back later can be interpreted as a disappointment,” said Robert Chiti, president and CEO of OpenTech Alliance, Inc., and home of the INSOMNIAC Live! the Self Storage Call Center.
Ultimately, the big public storage companies claim to have found a clear advantage. Their centralized call centers ensure that every phone call to the property is answered professionally, whether it comes in when the manager is tied up with another customer, away from the office, or if the call comes in after hours when the office is closed.