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Cubesmart Contact Center

How to EnterCompany: CubeSmart, Malvern, PA
Company Description: CubeSmart is a self-administered and self-managed real estate company focused on the ownership, operation, acquisition, and development of self-storage facilities. With over 1,200 locations, we are committed to creating an exceptional self-storage experience. We offer a variety of services and amenities, and we partner with companies we trust to better meet our Customers' needs.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats) - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: CubeSmart: A Commitment to Consistency, Excellence, and FUN!

Tell the story about what this nominated contact center achieved since the beginning of July 2012 (up to 525 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

CubeSmart’s Sales Center strives to be the BEST contact center day in and day out, and it has the people, processes, and technology in place to succeed. Agents are empowered to WOW! Customers, meaning they should “surprise and delight Customers by always giving more than expected.”

Consistency and Excellence

The Center’s management team ensures the consistency and excellence of operations through:

•Unlimited call times: While calls average 5-7 minutes, Agents are not limited by this time. Agents can take all necessary steps to ensure Customers are informed and know what to expect at the Store.

•Weekly calibration sessions: Supervisors and Center management meet weekly to listen to and score calls. These sessions result in process improvements and/or new training.

•Regular coaching and feedback: Supervisors and Agents listen to calls together, while the Agent handles the call. After the call, the Supervisor reviews what went well and identifies opportunity areas. Of the monitored calls, 95% of Agents are rated “Outstanding.” The weekly calibration sessions support more consistency in call monitoring and rating.

•Ongoing training: Agents receive training related to trends in calls, partner products, business needs, etc. In 2013, training on partner products was enhanced. Agents are now more knowledgeable and more comfortable referring Customers to our partners.

•Learning from loyal Customers: In 2012, the Center closely reviewed calls from existing Customers. They identified common call reasons and worked with IT to decrease the steps needed to access information, thereby reducing call times.

•Learning from each other: The Center introduced a “Buddy” program in 2013. After classroom training, a new Agent sits with an experienced Agent. The new Agent will not answer calls until all items on the New Hire Checklist are reviewed. This program promotes good habits from Day 1.

•Efficient use of systems: Since 2011, the company re-branded to CubeSmart and acquired additional properties. As a result, the Center implemented a Workforce Management System to manage a 20% increase in call volume. This system enabled the same number of agents to handle the spike in volume, all while improving service levels significantly.

FUN!

Management plans FUN, Center-only events and participates in company-wide WOW! events. The Center’s “Fall Fair” featured a scavenger hunt, “Guess Who?” photo contest, and trivia. For Halloween, the Center turned into a 1970’s disco. The Center’s Director, Donna Plummer, won an award for best costume...leading by example in every way!

Results of the Center’s Efforts

•WINNER: Inside Self-Storage Best in Business (Call Center) for 2013

•Increased conversions (moving from sales call to reservation): In October 2013, conversions were at 59%, up 6% from December 2012.

•Improved call handling: Agents handled over 4,000 more reservations in Q3 of 2013 than in 2012, all while improving response time. Agents answered 90% of calls within 27 seconds, a 3-second improvement from 2012.

•Increased job satisfaction: Agents are empowered to manage issues through resolution by going with the natural call flow instead of being limited by a set timeframe.

2014 and Beyond

•“Day in the Life of an Agent” video: to promote an understanding of the Center’s role in the organization

•Increased social media efforts: reservation confirmations will be sent via text and e-mail

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated contact center:

In January of 2014, Chris Marr will be CubeSmart’s President and CEO. He has been President and Chief Investment Officer since November 2008 and Chief Operating Officer since May 2012. Chris served as Chief Financial Officer of the Company from June 2006 to November 2008. Guy Middlebrooks, VP of Operations has extensive operations and management experience in both the retail and self-storage industries. He oversees the management of more than 500 owned and managed self-storage facilities across the U.S. and London. Donna Plummer, Sales Center Director, has worked for CubeSmart of since 2009. Prior to that, she worked for QVC for 15 years, holding numerous positions in Sales and Customer Service.