The results?

A 38% click-through-rate to Google Review, 100% Merchant Response Rate, and an 80% Automation Rate, among others. We sat down with Stephanie Hossenlopp, their Marketing Manager, and Brittany Wetzel, a District Manager, to discuss how they achieved these impressive results.

  • 38% CTR to Google Review
  • 100% Merchant Response Rate (MRR)
  • 37% decrease in Contact Form Submissions
  • 80% Automation Rate

Brittany, who’s primarily focused on the customer experience and SEO practices of their business, launched swivl on July 2023. Her first initiative was to automate Google Review requests via text message (SMS). Out of the box, swivl integrates with most Facility Management Softwares (FMSes) and is able to monitor customer activities like moving in, moving out, having a late payment, and more. The swivl platform can trigger automated text campaigns for any of these activities. An added benefit is its “asynchronous” nature. This means if a customer decides to reply to a text message at any point, swivl’s AI bot can handle the conversation with no human intervention, ensuring a seamless interaction 24/7.

When an operator adds swivl to their tech stack, they do so with the intention that the platform will act as a unified inbox and front-line communication hub. Based on this, Brittany and her team decided to consolidate these high-value operational actions, which were previously managed separately in two different tools (StorEdge and Birdeye), into one platform.

Brightlocal conducted a study which revealed that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses on Google. Review volume and response time were identified as critical factors in consumer trust. Taking this into consideration, Brittany consulted with her property managers and devised a strategy to request customers to leave a Google Review one week after their move-in. This timing was carefully chosen to ensure that customers had settled into their units and that the request didn't get lost among other communication during the move-in process. To facilitate this, Brittany and her team created specialized tracking links, customized outbound messages to align with their brand language, and managed the campaign and its cadence within Swivl's knowledge-base.

Over a period of 90 days, swivl achieved a click-through rate (CTR) of 38%, surpassing Birdeye’s touted SMS CTR by 6%.

The graph shows swivl taking over BirdEye at the end of month 6.

Stephanie takes charge of the public image of The Storage Mall brand. Before using swivl, their average response time was 9.8 days because the process was so cumbersome. They had three templates they could edit and each response required team discussion. BrightLocal states that “more than 89% of consumers are highly likely to choose a business that responds to reviews,” this includes responding to Google Reviews. With swivl, Stephanie alone can generate a unique and personalized draft at the click of a button. Once reviewed/edited, she clicks another button to send it to Google. This change in process has reduced their average response time to just 1.7 days, which shows they’ve got an active, engaged online presence.

The Storage Mall team also decided to take advantage of swivl’s Google Chat integration, making a chat option available for their stores in Google Maps and Placesheets:

About 5% of their total chats from August to October 2023 were attributed to Google Chat with the breakdown between Maps and Placesheets below:

The chat option was available for some of their stores in the past but lacked active management. Stephanie said that being able to “confidently turn that [Google Chat] on and know that swivl will respond is a huge plus for us.” This is backed by their Google Business Messages dashboard, which shows a 100% Merchant Response Rate (MRR) since going live. Response rates are clearly important to Google. Businesses using Google Business Messages must reply to messages within 24 hours. Failing to respond promptly can lead to deactivation of the chat feature for the business, impacting customer trust and engagement.

A few days after chatting in, customers receive a follow-up survey from Google Maps asking if their needs were addressed. The Storage Mall has a 100% Positive Survey Response Rate, meaning that everyone who has replied to the survey has answered “yes” to that question. Additionally, 12% of the inquiries through Google have been identified as sales leads. Once identified as a sales lead, swivl has the ability to redirect these users to the operator’s website, where it can automatically open the chat bubble, continue the conversation, display inventory, collect a phone number to send to the store and push into their FMS in a matter of seconds.

In addition to the Reputation Management improvements seen from implementing swivl, The Storage Mall has also benefited from our web chat. We automated 80% of questions over the past 90 days ranging from “what is the cost for a 10x20?” to “are they climate controlled?” Our ability to automate has not only streamlined operations but also enhanced the customer experience by providing instant and accurate answers.

As a District Manager, Brittany’s role is mostly customer-facing. She mentioned that their customer base is a mix of tech- and not tech-savvy individuals. Some property managers were hesitant about adding swivl to their website, thinking it might alienate the not tech-savvy. However, the outcome has been overwhelmingly positive. swivl has allowed property managers to dedicate more attention to customers preferring in-person or over the phone assistance. According to Brittany, it’s a “win-win” and she hasn’t heard any complaints since launch which was “one of the simplest, most seamless onboardings” she’s had with a third-party vendor.

Furthermore, they also reported that swivl has proven to be an effective sales tool. As users ask questions and take actions, we tag them appropriately and attempt to collect their information (name, phone number, and email). An analysis of The Storage Mall’s swivlCRM reveals that the Sales tag is used 19% more frequently than the next most popular tag, Contact, indicating a significant impact on sales-driven communication.

When asked how they’re measuring the quantitative value that swivl provides, Brittany and Stephanie looked at average engagement time and contact form submissions. Recent data shows that their user engagement time has decreased by 3% compared to the last 90 days and 13% from the previous year. Additionally, while they aren’t tracking contact form submissions, they are tracking contact form page views. These have decreased 31% over the past 90 days and 37% from the previous year. These statistics suggest that the efficiency and effectiveness of customer interactions has improved, likely due at least in part to the implementation of swivl.

Lastly, to further aid in servicing their customers (particularly at unmanned facilities) Stephanie and her team began leveraging, swivl’s QR code product. With spot, operators can generate store-specific codes for display at their locations. When scanned, customers are presented with a mobile-optimized landing page for each store using spot, and a variety of options, offering them immediate support depending on their need in the moment. Want to see an example? Click here.

By adopting swivl, The Storage Mall has paved the way for potential and existing customers to reach them in innovative ways. They’re having more touch-points, answering questions, and responding to reviews quicker and more accurately than ever before, all without hurting their customers’ experiences. When asked if they would recommend us to another operator they didn’t hesitate to say “absolutely!”

Brittany Wetzel & Stephanie Hossenlopp
District Manager & Marketing Manager
Brittany joined Storage Mall Management Group in 2022 as District Manager for the North East Region. She enjoys leading the next generation of property managers and storage professionals; as well as identifying and helping implement utilization of new technologies to help bring storage into the Digital Age. Stephanie is the Marketing Manager at The Storage Mall, with a rich background in design and marketing spanning three years. While relatively new to the self-storage industry, Stephanie brings a wealth of expertise and innovation from the design and marketing industries.

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