Using an omni-channel CRM, like CallPotential, facilities send and receive emails through the same program and interface that sends text messages, website chats, social media messages, etc. Communication is no longer fragmented and siloed between channels but integrated and holistically incorporated into everyday operations and tracked and recorded.
As we continue to explore omni-channel communication for self storage, let’s discuss another available digital channel – email. Specifically, how it relates to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
First, let’s answer the question, what is a CRM? It’s all the technologies, strategies and activities a company uses to interact with past, current and potential customers. CRM tools help businesses collect data to communicate in a scalable way throughout the entire customer journey. It’s about building and maintaining relationships. Focusing on customer retention and ultimately about driving continued growth.
A CRM will know whether the individual you are interacting with is a lead, or customer and will provide all relevant details historically and dynamically. Scripts, workflows, and business rules are built into the CRM allowing for automated and manual messaging to be delivered.
For example, CallPotential, a best-in-class CRM for self storage, uses relationship data from management software via API and creates custom systems that can be partially or fully automated. A new lead is automatically entered as the manager interacts with a prospect. All activities are recorded and tied to the customer. Business rules are pre-set so upon saving the lead a trigger of events can occur - such as texting the lead quote info, emailing them a series of emails with facility information and appointment reminders, etc without a manager having to manually create these items.
Is email a top preferred channel? The short answer, YES! Email has many advantages when used properly. It can influence sales, keep you top of mind with new customers, help with retention and even stay in touch with past customers.
The top self storage property management software providers have API integrations with CallPotential’s CRM allowing you to send and receive communications through one program. As you evaluate your CRM process ask yourself these questions: what customer information is relevant and important to your sales process? How many times do you need to make contact with a customer before they purchase? How often do you want to communicate with your customers? What are your touch points going to be along the customer journey? You should be communicating before, during and after the sale.
Once you decide on the email tool, set up your CRM process to learn, organize and optimize.
Learn about your potential customer. Be sure you’re collecting all the information you need about your potential customer – including what are their needs and all the correct contact information. Just like getting the right phone number for SMS communications, it’s important to collect the correct email address to add to your CRM software. A great first communication is a welcome or a thanks for contacting us email to confirm you have the right email address. Your campaign is only successful if your communications reach the right person!
Organize your process. Create a process that allows you to effectively communicate with customers throughout and beyond their buying process. Before a customer moves in send inquiry or reservation confirmations and move-in reminders. Once a customer buys from you, or in this case, rents a storage unit, send them reminders about the property including gate hours, how to pay and move out procedures. You can also schedule event email templates to request reviews or remind customers about referral programs and specials. There’s no limit to what you can do. Setting up an email communication strategy via CRM can truly be a “set-it” and “forget-it” activity, though power users return to measure the effectiveness of messaging, channels and time of day and tweak as necessary.
Optimize your interactions. Once the content is built and scheduled, it’s time to set periodic review times. Stick to a schedule but make sure to give enough time to have enough data to have a clear picture. Monitor how it’s working. Is it producing results? Are customers interacting with emails and business? Pay attention to how often communications are sent out and what is being sent. Continue to optimize your process to improve customer satisfaction.
Variety is the spice of life.
While building a communication strategy, the same message may be designed to be sent out as a Text message AND an email communication. Hitting multiple channels is better than one or none. At the end of the day you want to communicate with customers how, when and where they want. Potential, current and past customers will engage on the communication channel that’s best for them. Using omni-channel tools at CallPotential, allows operators to scale their communication strategy providing an excellent customer experience.