Nov 16

A Different Kind of Call Center

Posted by: Entrata | Category: Leasing,Newsletters

Can you get good customer service over the phone? Bad call center experiences are notorious, we’ve all been there – the seeming endless cycle of transfer, hold, explain, repeat. No property wants to put their residents or prospective residents through that kind of hassle. And yet, someone needs to pick up the phone. At Entrata, we believe that excellent customer service can be delivered by phone, and we’re revolutionizing the way we run the Leasing Center to prove it.

So what is it that makes Leasing Center different from all of those other call centers? The answer to that question runs deeper than technology dashboards or screening systems. Entrata is continually investing in the kind of operational innovations that allows us to offer consistent quality that eclipses any other call center service in the industry. If you’ve ever wondered how we make it work, here’s a little glimpse behind the curtain.

Hire Right
At the Leasing Center, ensuring your residents and prospects get great customer service begins weeks before an agent picks up the phone. With call centers located in Utah County, we are able to recruit from among the student population of two large universities (BYU and UVU) and are constantly nurturing a pipeline of qualified, outgoing, and smart candidates for every position. We are able to engage with top candidates through targeted local advertising and social media campaigns, and we guide them through a simple and intuitive application process to make sure we get a wide selection of candidates.

But the high-volume recruiting doesn’t mean we’re filling seats with anyone who walks in looking for a job. Over half of applicants are screened out in the hiring process. Stakeholders have the flexibility to use a variety of resources (including video interview tools) as we focus on identifying and selecting the best available talent for every position.

Train to Succeed
The Leasing Center training process is an intensive four week program. No canned scripts here! Every agent spends two weeks in a classroom learning about the property management industry familiarizing themselves with the Leasing Center dashboard. Agents must demonstrate proficiency with the technology as well as the ability to accurately determine a caller’s needs and provide accurate information before they ever touch a headset.

But beyond the basic information necessary to answer a caller’s concern, agents are trained extensively in the “soft skills” that take a call from acceptable to remarkable. We don’t leave qualities like rapport building, empathy, and active listening to chance: we teach them. These skills are tracked and evaluated from the first day of the training process, and new hires work closely with the QA team, comparing self-assessments with QA grades to verify a full understanding of every requirement. So every time an agent picks up one of your calls they’re not only able to quote a price or list available amenities, they are connecting with the caller.

Don’t Coast, Coach
Agents graduate from training with a full and demonstrated knowledge of what it takes to provide our clients with excellent service. But their relationship with the QA team continues long after training has ended. Every agent is regularly evaluated on performance metrics, including the Quality of Interaction provided to the caller. Excellent performance is rewarded via an incentive program that allow agents to earn points toward rewards like vacations or electronics. For every top-rated call, an agent earns an automatic gift card. Consistent high performance is rewarded with additional opportunities for recognition, perks, and promotions.

But, even with intensive training and incentives, not every call will be a winner. When an agent is seen to be underperforming, they are quickly paired with a coach to help them identify skills that need tightening and offer expertise and suggestions that help them improve their performance. Coaching is automatically triggered after only two poor call evaluations, or may be requested by a manager or even an agent who is just looking for a little extra help.

Match Top Teams with Top Tech
Ultimately, the Leasing Center is the ultimate intersection of technology and people. Entrata provides an army of agile developers who can design and build tools specifically for our multifamily clients, including a proprietary automatic call distributor (ACD) program that automatically integrates with the Entrata platform, including CallTracker, CallAnalysis, and LeadManager. This allows our clients unprecedented access to call recordings and reports, and enables a highly efficient QA program that lets us create unique pathways to route every call to the optimal agent.

We’ve also built custom workforce management tools that make it easy for our agents to stay on top of their schedule, request time off, and interact with their own performance and productivity metrics. This helps manage the complex needs of a growing 24/7 operation as well as empowering agents in their own roles, which makes them happy, which means they stick around longer, which improves the quality of service your caller receives. Win win!

At the end of the day, Leasing Center is more than just a call center. Every time the phone rings, it represents an opportunity for us to deliver great customer service on behalf of our clients. Whether we’re answering resident questions or scheduling a tour for a new prospect, we see each call as an opportunity to learn how to do the job that much better.

If you’d like more information about the Leasing Center, contact your Customer Success Manager.

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