CubeSmart Customer Service Department

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 Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: CubeSmart

Tell the story about what this nominated department 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 Customer Service Culture is called “WOW!”; it means “surprise and delight Customers by always giving more than expected.” The WOW! Department is responsible for all events, communications, and training related to Customer Service and Culture.

Laying the Foundation

The WOW! Department created two classes to educate employees on the Culture: "WOW!1–Learning the Culture" and "WOW!2–Living the Culture." These full-day programs feature fun and engaging activities that introduce and reinforce WOW!, CubeSmart’s VALUES, and the 6 S’s, which are expected behaviors (Smile, Shake, etc.). All employees are required to complete both classes.

What Gets Rewarded Gets Repeated

An array of WOW! initiatives support these classes and include:

•Recognition programs: InstaWOW! (daily); Super WOW! Stories (monthly); All Star Program (quarterly and annual). In 2013, these programs were enhanced:

o InstaWOW! is a social media platform that allows for instant recognition by employees that other employees can "WOW!" ("like"). It now includes Customer feedback collected via e-mail and social media that the WOW! Manager posts.
o The All Star Program now includes recognition for nominees. The nominee’s manager awards him/her with a certificate and tells the nominee’s WOW! story in a public forum.
o A new Call Center All Star Award highlights the significant impact of the Call Center on the organization.
o All Star winners now participate in roundtable discussions with senior leaders that may result in organizational and cultural changes.

• Mystery Shops: To ensure the best possible Customer experience, Mystery Shops are conducted quarterly. The program now has a greater focus on the 6 S’s.

In 2013, a WOW! section was created on the company’s intranet resulting in one-stop-shopping for all things WOW! at CubeSmart. It includes:

•Access to Recognition Programs: Employees can access All Star nomination forms and read WOW! stories.
•Infographics: These images provide examples of and additional information on using the 6 S’s and submitting an All Star nomination.
•WOW! Announcements: This section includes weekly inspirational quotes, photos and stories of monthly WOW! events, and employee-submitted stories reflecting the Culture in action.

Happy Employees = WOW!’d Customers

Celebrations and FUN events abound! The WOW! Department holds at least two events per month. Halloween featured a transformation of the corporate office to, among others, a prison, a Hollywood premiere, and Nickelodeon game show set, thanks to a high level of employee participation and enthusiasm! Store employees also joined in on the fun. Prizes were awarded to teams and individuals.

Better Service = Better Business

•Increased conversions (moving from sales call to reservation): up 23% since 2011
•Q3 of 2013: occupancy averaged 90.5%, up 500 basis points year over year
•Q3 of 2013–General Manager Survey:
-71% think Training and WOW! positively affect how they do their jobs; a 20% increase over Q4 of 2012
-64% think Training and WOW! positively impact their business; a 19% increase over Q4 of 2012

What’s Next?

WOW! Wednesday, a weekly Culture communication, will begin in 2014. A “Culture Club” will take on WOW! event planning for 2014. The new corporate headquarters will feature a “wall of WOW!” made up of customized cubes designed by each employee. This idea came from the WOW! Department.

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated customer service organization:

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. Shelly Azen, Vice President of Human Resources and Training, joined CubeSmart in July of 2013. Shelly brings over 20 years of experience in HR and Training, as well as a strong background in Corporate Culture. Tim Killion, Director of Training, Development & WOW!, joined in August of 2011. Tim ran the Culture department at TD Bank for over eight years and was hand-picked for this role at CubeSmart.