RingCentral MVP certainly had the feature set we needed—and more, it turns out—but we wouldn’t have gone with RingCentral if it weren’t for the company’s reputation as a leader.
Like many large businesses that have been in operation for decades, Extra Space Storage, the second-largest self-storage business in the United States, had over time developed a decentralized on-premises phone infrastructure built on analog telephone lines. “We had no visibility into how many calls were coming into each of our stores,” explains Bron McCall, Chief Technology Officer for Extra Space Storage, “We also couldn’t determine what times of day call volume rose and fell, or even if calls were being answered.”
“Part of our brand’s promise is outstanding service to every customer, at every location, every time,” McCall continues. “Without this call visibility, we couldn’t be sure we were delivering on that promise.”
Frequent and efficient coordination among Extra Space Storage’s more than 1,600 properties requires an outstanding communications infrastructure—something that, until recently, the company did not have. “Because the customer experience is so central to our success,” says McCall, “we knew we’d need a cloud communications solution to give us this type of business intelligence, to help us centralize our communications infrastructure, and to give us the additional features we wanted, such as SMS text messaging.”
The other major catalyst that prompted the company’s search for a cloud solution was cost. “Our previous phone infrastructure was decentralized, built on in-house hardware we had to manage, and we were working with different telecom providers in different regions,” says McCall. “We were paying more than we should for antiquated, feature-poor service. We knew implementing a company-wide cloud solution would not only improve our communications but also eliminate a lot of these expenses and reduce our telecom costs.”
So Extra Space Storage began its search for the right cloud communications solution. But the company had one major requirement for any potential cloud partner.
A communications provider with a proven track record
“We were looking for a number of things in our move to cloud communications,” explains McCall. “We wanted centralized management so we could quickly and easily provision phone capacity ourselves. We wanted reporting and data analysis capabilities. And we wanted SMS texting to give our stores another way to communicate with customers.”
“But we had one deal breaker for any provider we considered: They had to have an established track record of success. Phones are critical to our business, and we weren’t going to bet something that mission-critical on any company that hadn’t proven itself a market leader. RingCentral MVP certainly had the feature set we needed—and more, it turns out—but we wouldn’t have gone with RingCentral if it weren’t for the company’s reputation as a leader.”
RingCentral: all the benefits and more
“Since we replaced the landline phones across our locations with RingCentral, we’re already seeing a cost savings of 20%,” McCall explains.
“Our store managers are also now able to use their RingCentral business phone numbers to send SMS text messages to their customers. This is something we’d wanted to do for some time because we know many customers prefer to communicate by text rather than a phone call. But prior to RingCentral, we just didn’t have the technological infrastructure to make it happen.”
“In fact, we have plans to begin deploying automated text messaging for our property management service to automatically send customers payment reminders and receipts from the business numbers of their local stores. Again, this is a great way to improve the customer experience that we’d wanted to do for some time but couldn’t with our decentralized phone infrastructure.”
“We’re also able to pull call data from RingCentral into our data warehouse, which will help us both measure the responsiveness of our stores and help us make better-informed decisions about scheduling and resource allocation.”
The Extra Space Storage IT team has even found a surprise benefit of the RingCentral migration. “We’ve discovered an added bonus that we didn’t even realize we’d get when we selected RingCentral,” McCall says. “Many of our store managers still need to fax on a regular basis. Now, rather than needing to maintain a desktop fax machine and dedicated fax phone line, those stores can use their RingCentral numbers to fax online, without having to print or scan or use any paper.”
Since we replaced the landline phones across our locations with RingCentral, we’re already seeing a cost savings of 20%.
Looking forward to even more benefits
McCall’s team is also finding additional ways to leverage RingCentral to improve their business. “We’re now working with RingCentral to help us automate everything, including auto-provisioning phone service and implementing our standard phone settings when we open a new store. I can’t tell you how much time that’s going to save our IT team.
“We’ve also developed a custom data-extract solution to automatically pull RingCentral call data into our own data warehouse, which will help us measure KPIs for our stores, such as their answer rates. But we also expect our business analysts will leverage this data for resource scheduling and even to learn more about our customers as well.”