Armor Storages

Connecting Sites & Improving Customer Relations with VoIP in the Cloud

Armor Storage bridges 14 multi-state locations for an improved customer experience

Serving multiple regions of the US, Armor Storage offers climate-controlled storage units at the right size for clients’ individual storage needs, all with extended hours and capable staff on call for assistance.

Companies with multiple locations which are managed by a limited staff require a communications solution that can route calls to available agents automatically. This is achievable using a Cloud-based Wildix system, which ensures that calls do not ring at locations where managers are away from the phone and instead routes call traffic to available agents or, better still, to agents with more skill and experience in winning deals. Usability of the system also increases under the Cloud-based Wildix setup, with no downtime of the network and a more intuitive interface improving managers’ ability to utilize communications for profitable activities.

“Incoming inquiries are the most important thing for us, and now the way it is set up, the phones are going to ring at other locations, too […] meaning we are not losing any calls. That’s the main factor that we wanted from this whole scenario: a phone system that will work toward the benefit of our business.”
— Sushma Dewan, General Manager of Armor Storage

“The goal for all of the managers is to take care of their customers and not have to worry about how to figure out how to use the phones, and I think the Wildix solution provides that. Everybody’s pretty much on auto drive now when it comes to the phones.”
— Jim Hanson, Jr., President of inTouch Communications

The Problem

Consisting of 14 locations across the US states of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, Armor Storage is a business that operates best when equipped with a fully connected communications solution.
Every individual location — each featuring multiple units that customers can rent for storage purposes — is attended by a single sales representative who is on call to both answer phone inquiries and direct in-person tours of the facility. With this setup of one manager per location, the company needed a way to have incoming calls routed to locations based on availability: should potential customers call into a location where a tour is currently being conducted, those callers would instead be routed to a different location where an agent is available to answer the call.
However, Armor Storage’s previous service, Cox IP Centrex, was unable to provide this capability, resulting in missed business opportunities. According to management at Armor Storage, the system was not even operating at an effective capacity, nor was it being managed effectively by the service provider.
“We were guinea pigs, actually,” explained Sushma Dewan, general manager at Armor Storage. “[Cox] never had that program before, and they were just testing on it — beta testing and all that.
We were not able to get its full potential, mainly because there was not much assistance or hands-on training or day-to-day questions answered. The customer service basically wasted our time trying to get anything solved.”
Connections across sites were made difficult by the nature of the setup, working counter to Ms. Dewan’s preferred configuration. Furthermore, the deficiencies in these connections were only exacerbated by site downtime. According to Ms. Dewan:
“In our La Vista, Nebraska location, we did not have the phone system up and running for almost two weeks. And open phone lines are our main business, you know. We got the service transferred over to another location, but at that particular location, we did not have phone service. So many technicians got involved in it, and finally I had to call their top office to get things rolling. But it still took them two weeks to solve the outage.”
Given this combination of extensive downtime, unsatisfactory service and poor linkage between Armor Storage’s numerous branches, Ms. Dewan made the decision to change providers.

The Solution

This change came thanks to inTouch Communications a Wildix Gold Partner. Ms. Dewan, owning another business in addition to Armor Storage, had brought inTouch Communications on board to replace a Samsung system for that other company. Having had this initial positive experience with inTouch, Ms. Dewan later tasked the company to provide an alternative to the Cox system for Armor Storage. Considerations for the setup were done by Ms. Dewan and inTouch in tandem, and soon established a clear picture of what to install as a replacement system.

As Ms. Dewan related, “We wanted a system that can work between the locations and be effective between the managers, plus transferring calls. Our main goal was to set up this program to ring on these locations that we wanted the first or second or third person to be outside the person who is more qualified or more aggressive to sell.”

Jim Hanson Jr., president of inTouch Communications, likewise explained the preference for this plan:
Sushma and her management team had a very specific desire to have their most educated and top performers be the front representatives for people looking for facilities, in order to sell them more easily. But we also wanted calls that could go directly to each storage unit manager to go to them.
“By utilizing DIDs for each of the storage unit facilities and being able to route calls through to the sales people, we were able to accomplish both,” he elaborated.
Mr. Hanson also had strong feelings about which brand to use to accomplish these goals in full.
“When Sushma approached us on what some of the options might be, we felt that the solution was definitely Wildix,” he explained.
In describing why they made this decision, he pointed out:
“One of the biggest issues was going to a cloud-based system. A problem with the Cox solution was, if the internet would ever go down, it would pretty much shut every location down. We wanted each location to be separate and function on their own.
In addition to achieving self-sufficiency for individual connections, each location had to maintain a connection to other sites under the Armor Storage brand.
Mr. Hanson also explained, “Another one of the issues that we had to deal with is the previous provider wouldn’t provide service to all their locations: [Armor Storage] had a location in Blair, Nebraska that they could not service, and so all their calls were being forwarded to a cell phone.
The solution that Sushma and I put together was able to incorporate not only theirs, but any other locations that wouldn’t be serviced by one particular carrier.
Monitoring and smart working capabilities proved to be significant components in the setup as well:
“Sushma also wanted reporting on the back end in order to be able to keep track of who’s answering calls, basically do the basic reporting. Then, with Sushma and some of her management team going from place to place, utilizing the mobile app in order to continue to — pardon the pun — stay ‘in touch’ with all the locations while traveling between them.”
As for actualizing this setup, a SIP trunk integration was key to this installation of the Wildix system.
We’re using Clearfly for the trunks, so all of the trunks are cloud-based,” Mr. Hanson said. “We ported all of the phone numbers and the DIDs for each location to Clearfly. We have additional DIDs that we can utilize for managers as well.”
With these solutions established, inTouch went on to utilize the Wildix infrastructure and Clearfly trunks across all of Armor Storage’s 14 locations, in the process unifying the communications system between 17 users — 14 set up with office-based equipment, 3 utilizing the Wildix mobile app.

The Results

With the Wildix solution installed by inTouch, all 14 branches of Armor Storage achieved a consistent connection. Among the numerous positive results this has brokered for Armor Storage, foremost is a more convenient — and consequently more profitable — call flow.

Ms. Dewan explained, “Incoming inquiries are the most important thing for us, and now the way it is set up, the phones are going to ring at other locations, too. [Managers] can answer the phone, and it also rings to other locations so anybody can pick up, meaning we are not losing any calls.

That’s the main factor that we wanted from this whole scenario: a phone system that will work toward the benefit of our business.

But how effectively is the Wildix system working toward this goal? Ms. Dewan provided more specific insight for this point as well:

The quality for phone calls has improved, and phones are being answered more reliably. Then the way the programming is done is very helpful: we can put on ‘do not disturb’ and all the calls go to each location’s voicemail. Customers also appreciate that they don’t have to wait for so many rings before they see that. We also have an emergency number in there, so instead of leaving messages when they have an emergency, customers can call our emergency line and get a representative.

“It’s been helpful customer service-wise, and all together the quality of our business has improved with this new phone system.”

This improvement is also owed to smoother operations and streamlined business effectiveness.
Productivity increased, definitely,” related Ms. Dewan. “I used to worry about if managers are missing their calls or if calls are being dropped, and I don’t have that concern anymore.”
Peace of mind and a general increase in productivity come in addition to a simplified workflow for Armor Storage representatives as well. According to Mr. Hanson:
“I think another huge advantage is ease of use, for Sushma and for the managers at each facility. Their biggest concern was being able to answer a phone, and they were concerned about putting a phone on hold and transferring it to another location. We had a couple early training sessions, and in the last year we’ve had no problems doing any of that.
The goal for all of the managers is to take care of their customers and not have to worry about how to figure out how to use the phones, and I think the Wildix solution provides that. Everybody’s pretty much on auto drive now when it comes to the phones.”
When looking at growing Armor Storage, the Wildix solution also provides a convenient roadmap for expansion.
According to Mr. Hanson, “When Sushma and her team wanted to add locations in a city that surrounds Omaha, to add that new location all we had to do was order internet, then assign a DID and bring out a phone. So we’ve eliminated the red tape of having to order services from Cox by managing that in-house, to the point where it’s very easy to add on another location at any time.”
In fact, this road map has already brought in rewards for Armor Storage.
“Last year we had three brand new locations open up, and Jim did everything we needed to get them going,” Ms. Dewan related.
With these results, do Ms. Dewan and Armor Storage give a recommendation for Wildix and inTouch Communications?

Definitely,” was her immediate answer. “So far, we are happy,” she elaborated. “It’s been over a year now since the installation, and every time we need something, Jim is there to help us out. Once we switched to Wildix, Jim and his team fulfill our needs within seconds and help us in person over the phone, email or everything.”

 

Value Gained

  • 14 locations connected through a Cloud-based communications network
  • Calls automatically routed to preferred sales representatives or available agent regardless of which number called
  • Each individual business equipped with a self-contained connection to prevent mass outages
  • Do not disturb setting to instantly route calls to voicemail
  • Emergency number for quick resolution of urgent site issues
  • 3 additional branches opened with instant access to communications system
  • Possibility for more locations to be quickly opened later on

The solution was implemented by Wildix Partner

5930 South 118th Circle
68137 Omaha NE, USA
(402) 218 1205
www.intouchcommunications.com

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