Does your self-storage business need a contact center or a call center? While many choose to use these terms interchangeably, there are some important differences in how contact centers and call centers approach delivering exceptional customer experiences for renters. This guide will break down these differences and bring clarity to the “contact center vs call center” debate.
A call center is best described as a centralized customer service operation that delivers support and sales through either inbound or outbound phone calls. The call center operation is staffed with trained support agents who may complete tasks in a physical location or remotely through a cloud-based infrastructure. These agents are trained to offer assistance in different areas.
From booking storage facilities to resolving access-related issues, inbound support agents can play a pivotal role in defining a customer’s experience with your self-storage business. As the go-to contacts for communication with your business, inbound agents at the end of these calls can make or break customer relationships and influence customer retention rates.
Even though clusters of call center agents may deploy outbound strategies to drive demand for self-storage facilities, they will likely spend most of their time talking with inbound leads. Agents often conduct outbound calls with prospects they identify as having an event-driven need for self-storage facilities. For instance, they may have a list of homeowners trying to relocate to a new home.
This is the crucial difference between contact centers and call centers. Call centers can only offer phone support. They do not offer support via other communication channels such as email, social media, SMS, or live chat. In a world where customers have the freedom and flexibility to reach businesses through many different digital channels, an omnichannel experience is essential.
A contact center is the combination of people, processes, and technology to create omnichannel experiences. When all communication channels are interconnected, leads and customers can seamlessly communicate with your self-storage business in a way that suits them. Offering a one-size-fits-all solution to communication (via phone calls) is a dated approach.
You can leverage intelligent automation solutions to create consistency across multiple support channels. If your self-storage business has established clear customer experience processes, automation can enable you to replicate these across different platforms. For instance, you can train a chatbot to answer 80% of the repetitive questions related to your facility’s amenities, available inventory, or unique storage services provided in the same way as a human in a call center.
While automation can accelerate workflows and streamline processes, you can embrace the potential of automation without fully replacing humans. If you have customers expressing their dissatisfaction with your self-storage facilities, human agents can seamlessly jump in and will have the emotional intelligence to communicate with the customers in a way that directly addresses their frustrations.
When nuance is required, human agents can swoop in and take the reigns. For standardized tasks, such as booking self-storage facilities, you can leverage an automated AI assistant to ask the right questions at the right time. You can import data, such as existing FAQs and email transcripts, into the AI assistant to ensure it always delivers hyper-relevant information.
Harnessing the potential of an AI assistant, using an industry-labeled natural language model, will decrease your dependence on human response times and their general availability. With an “always-on” automation system in your corner, you will never miss an opportunity to interact with a website visitor or pick up a phone conversation (using voice AI) again. If website visitors are ready to book your facilities, you can offer instant 24/7 customer service.
The 2019 NICE CXone Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark study found that agent-supported customer experiences are still preferred over self-service. 22% of the survey participants used a chat service in their most recent customer service interaction. 90% of participants prefer doing business with companies offering omnichannel communication.
The 2017 Demand Study conducted by the national Self Storage Association uncovered that 34% of all first contacts with self-storage companies happen via mobile phone, and almost 60% of all customers rent from the first facility they are able to reach. With this in mind, utilizing artificial intelligence chatbots to ensure 24/7 customer service availability is the way to go.
As part of a digital transformation strategy for your self-storage business, you should begin to explore ways to bake automation into your workflow processes. By doing this, you can engage with existing and prospective customers across multiple channels and create touch points to enhance the customer journey. Human and machine collaboration offers the best of both worlds.
When it comes to turning a box-standard call center operation into a contact center connecting several communication channels, you must embrace cloud-based digital tools to power this approach. This is where swivl comes in. As an intuitive AI assistant, swivl is equipped with a self-storage natural language library that is designed to quickly get leads to conversion events.
At the same time, you can also use swivl to address queries from existing customers in a matter of seconds. If a customer has a burning question outside of typical working hours, your AI assistant stands poised and ready to answer their question, regardless of what time it is. This is a scalable way to elevate your customer experiences and provide support around-the-clock.
Are you ready to get the ball rolling? Schedule a demo today. Or download how we’ve helped operators like you streamline their repetitive tasks with our automation platform below.