How Can I Reduce Call Center Costs?

Find out how you can nurture every lead and reduce your costs at the same time.
August 3, 2020

The multifamily industry is in an unprecedented time where ‘work from home’ is the new normal. You may be searching for a way to quickly reroute your leasing office calls to ensure no leads fall through the cracks. What’s the first service that typically comes to mind to do that? Call centers. They’re a great alternative for handling missed calls. But they are expensive, and onboarding can take forever. How can you cut costs and quickly get calls answered?

One easy solution: Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It sounds way more complicated than what it actually is, so don’t be intimidated! This is not a shiny, silver robot working in your leasing office. It’s simply an automated (yet, eerily human and conversational) system that answers calls before they are sent to your call center. And most of the time, RPA can satisfy a caller’s inquiry and won’t even need to forward them along to a call center at all.

It’s very common for Fortune 500 companies, like pharmacies, banks and hotels, to use RPA. And now, the technology is readily available for apartments too. LeaseHawk’s virtual leasing assistant, ACE, uses artificial intelligence to interact with callers in a similar fashion to RPA. For example, ACE will answer your leasing office phone calls when your team is unavailable. It will engage in a conversational manner and answer the caller’s questions, like pricing and availability, and then ask the caller if they would like to setup a tour—or, even a virtual tour. ACE will collect all the needed guest card information, schedule the appointment, and then send all of the important details to your leasing team.

Based on ACE client data from May 1 - June 30, 2020.

In the last 60 days, ACE has converted 41% of prospect calls to appointments. If the caller doesn’t want to converse with ACE, it can simply say ‘operator’ or ‘representative’ and it will forward the call to your call center.

By using ACE—you are bound to cut down on your call center costs. Here are 5 ways it will help you do this:

1. Shorter Average Call Duration

If you are billed by the minute or by the call, then odds are most questions can be answered by a virtual leasing assistant, like ACE. Can you think of more than 10 leasing questions that a prospect would ask? It’s harder than you’d think! ACE can handle more than 130+ leasing inquiries and is constantly learning.

2. Significant Error Reduction

Call centers are ramping-up their staffing to handle the influx of calls resulting from closed leasing offices. It takes time for these agents to be properly trained about your properties, and until they are, it’s likely that these agents will relay incorrect information or appear uninformed to your prospects. Remember, they are not assigned to your property or portfolio like a virtual leasing assistant would be.

3. Enhanced Communication

We are currently in uncertain times and with that comes a lot of questions (and calls) from renters. There is a good chance wait times will be longer with call centers in this new environment. How long before a prospect moves on? Have your vendor provide you with a call drop log. Most callers will hang up if their call is not answered by the fifth ring. A virtual leasing assistant can answer calls whenever you need it to, whether that’s on the third ring or first ring—you decide.

4. Optimal Use of Resources

When it comes to optimizing your budget, it’s all about re-allocating dollars. LeaseHawk’s virtual leasing assistant, ACE, costs half of a typical call center. Just imagine having 50% of your budget back—how would you spend the money you are saving? You could have more to give back to your communities and be a hero in time of need. Now, that’s something worth re-budgeting for!

5. Automated Response and Triggers

Need customized responses? You can ‘train’ the virtual assistant to respond to common leasing questions, schedule virtual tours, capture guest cards, and more. You have full control over your virtual assistant, you even get to choose how its voice sounds!

Bonus: Virtual Assistants Answer More Than Just Calls

ACE is powered by artificial intelligence, and that allows it to not only conversationally answer your leasing office’s phone calls, but to also chat on your property websites and send text messages. We’re willing to wager by just adding the ACE chatbot to your website, that you will also significantly reduce your call center volume and expense. Over 80% of perspective renters start their search from a mobile device and it’s hard to find information on a tiny screen. Make it easier for them to find the information they need by chatting with ACE.

Your properties can be setup with a virtual leasing assistant in as soon as 48 hours. Contact LeaseHawk to start your ACE pilot now.

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