StorageMax, an operator with over 32 locations across the United States, was looking for ways to improve their customer service and sales processes. They wanted to find a solution that would help them manage customer inquiries efficiently while also increasing lead generation.
Since 2017, StorageMax had been outsourcing the task of handling incoming customer calls and outbound efforts during business hours to a preferred third party call center, while their small management team had been handling inbound contact form submissions, boots on the ground efforts, and sales leads. The increasing number of web inquiries proved to be time-consuming and overwhelming.
In an attempt to automate and improve customer service while generating additional leads, StorageMax’s COO, Nick Newcomb, contacted swivl. Nick realized he couldn’t fully dedicate a team to handle live chats, since most of his employees were out managing facilities.
Nick wanted a hands-off chat platform that could help alleviate the growing amount of online requests without sacrificing the integrity of the StorageMax brand. He needed the chatbot to be self-sufficient in answering questions around online bill pay, scheduling move-outs, the amenities offered at each location, gate code retrieval, and more. Questions that couldn’t be handled by the bot would be rolled over to a few team members who were equipped to answer specific customer questions throughout the day.
Once StorageMax decided to join the swivl family, we scheduled three calls. First, we went through a simple Q&A to ensure that the bot would reply with answers that were custom to their business. Once all of the configurations were to their liking, a live test was scheduled to gather feedback on the bot’s performance. Lastly, we held a training with three of their employees.
The StorageMax team opted to use a combination of both swivlStudio and swivl’s integration with Slack to handle live conversations with current and potential customers. The latter allows their managers and ops team to provide live chat functionality on the go if they are running from one facility to another, all from the Slack app on their mobile phones.
Nick was impressed with the product, “The bot knew more about self-storage than I’d anticipated and it was the simplest software launch I’ve been apart of in my 10 years in the industry”.
“The bot knew more about self-storage than I’d anticipated and it was the simplest software launch I’ve been apart of in my 10 years in the industry”
StorageMax’s AI assistant has been live over 18 months and is taking over 98% of incoming inquiries from leads landing on the website per month, freeing up both their call center and store managers’ time. Since the bot replies with customized answers, the StorageMax team can rest easy knowing that customers are getting the right information - even after hours.
In a typical month, over 10% of their website visitors are engaging with their bot. Recently, we added the ability to customize the pop-up messages users are presented to increase engagement with our bots via a Call to Action card.
Month over month, over 80% of conversations are being automated, meeting Nick’s goal of implementing this software under the assumption that it would be mostly hands-off. 20% of users are typing and submitting questions to the bot and 13% of users return to the bot more than once for assistance.
Since implementing swivl, StorageMax has continued to grow. They’ve opened two new facilities and acquired five others. In July of 2021, they added custom events to their Google Analytics account which allows them to see the number of phone calls and contact form submissions they’re receiving. This year alone, they saw a 25% reduction in calls and 58% reduction in contact form submissions thanks to swivl’s automation platform.
When asked how he measures the value swivl provides, Nick first touched on the automation rate. Customer conversations being taken off of his team’s plate frees them up for other projects, like building a contact center of their own. Nick also highlighted the level of transparency he gets from the platform — for example, how easy it is for his team to see how many users started the lead process via swivl and how many converted all within Sitelink. StorageMax is seeing an average conversion rate of 29% from chat to unit reservation.
Another metric that he keeps an eye on is average pages per session. Before swivl, users were visiting 1-2 pages per session. With swivl, users are now averaging 3-5 pages per session because of the platforms’ ability to navigate users to different pages of the website and provide additional instructions based on the action a user wants to take.
Overall, StorageMax has seen an huge improvement in their customer service, lead generation, and reduction in the workload of their internal team.