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5 Steps to Insourcing Your Self-Storage Call Center: New Technology Creates Opportunity
Posted 5/4/2015
Author Phil Murphy
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 It wasn’t long ago that self-storage companies didn’t have a choice when it came to answering inbound calls. They could try to juggle the calls internally, overburdening staff and missing calls, or they could outsource them to a third-party call center. The latter sometimes doesn’t work the way facility owners envision. A third-party call center may not understand your properties and business the way your managers do and may only be able to answer basic questions. In addition, it’s rarely local and may not be as flexible as you might wish it to be.

Today’s new technologies, like cloud-based software and Internet-based phones, lower barriers to entry and give self-storage operators a third option: insourcing. Bringing your calls back in-house opens you up to new business opportunities. You’re likely to increase revenue, decrease expenses, and enhance customer and employee satisfaction. These five steps will help you save money when you insource your call center.


1. Avoid the High Cost of Phone Infrastructure


When opening your own call center, the expense of infrastructure can be significant. Even a small center can exceed $10,000 in equipment costs alone. In addition to hardware and configuration, you have to figure in the cost of ongoing maintenance.

Fortunately, the introduction of next-generation cloud-based telecommunication standards have eliminated this cost entirely. Selecting a cloud-based call center, which allows you to answer calls using the phones and computers you already have, allows you to avoid the high cost of infrastructure.


2. Use the Staff You Already Have


Outsourcing calls can leave customers with incorrect information. When customers receive wrong directions or inaccurate information about your current special, it impacts their trust in your company.

There’s a distinct selling advantage when local expertise and a personal touch are woven into a business/customer relationship, even if it starts and ends with the phone. One of the latest innovations in call-center technology allows you to instantly identify callers and route them to the best person to answer the call. Within every company, there are employees who do a better job with leads and others who are better with delinquency. Skill-based routing can automatically direct sales calls to your company’s best representatives. It can even identify callers who are in late-payment status and send them to your collections specialist, even if that person is at a different facility.

Putting your employees’ individual strengths to work increases staff pride, customer satisfaction and revenue. Who are your top sales stars? Your best customer-service reps? Highlight those unique attributes and use this technology to maximize it.


3. Integrate Your Call Center With Management Software


Just as important as getting the call to the right person is ensuring key information is quickly accessible. The more information your agent or remote manager has when answering calls, the more likely he is to close the lead or provide top-notch customer service.

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