WEBINAR Q&A: Live Chat & 24/7 Pay-by-Phone: Great for Tenants & Your Business

Sue_C NADaily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 2017 in Industry Webinars

Below is the list of Answers to the Questions asked during the September 20, 2017 Industry Webinar with Shannon Charbonneau from XPS Solutions. If you missed the webinar you may watch it on-demand from the SiteLink website.

Q. Does my website company have to create a live chat feature from scratch?

A. There are many companies available that offer live chat as a “plug and play” module for you to monitor yourself. Once you choose one, and we suggest looking for one that is user-friendly, they will provide you with a snippet of code to give to your web developer to add on the webpages where you want the live chat option to appear, for example on a “Contact Us” page or even your “Home” page.

You can also choose to use a live chat solution that is monitored by a third party. This is beneficial if you have multiple stores, because the code “knows” which location they’re looking at online, so the staff will know which facility the person is interested in.

Q. Do people actually rent units after using live chat?

A. Absolutely! XPS Solutions track live chats in the same way they track phone calls. About 25% of the live chats received are sales-type questions, such as “What size unit is best for my stuff?” they are able to quickly provide some expertise and then turn these questions into a scheduled tour with your facility–where someone who never would have even picked up the phone to call you actually walks in through the door, providing you with a rental opportunity. You will see a percentage of this group who will actually rent from you.

Having the option to use live chat is perfect for situations where a voice call is not practical. Maybe there’s too much background noise or the person needs more privacy. Potential customers may choose the live chat option in these cases and you can get the information you need to move forward with a rental.

Q. Do convenience fees actually make a difference in my bottom line, and do people actually agree to pay that extra amount?

A. A convenience fee is typically assessed to tenants who want to provide payments to a live person over the phone. Whether this makes sense, depends on your business philosophy. Fifty percent of the facilities XPS Solution’s Call Center takes payments for assess a convenience fee averaging around $3. They take thousands of payment calls every month. If you have many units and locations, this can definitely add up and make a difference in your revenue. On the other hand, your store may feel that convenience fees are not appropriate due to your types of customers and can choose not to have them.

Q. Can you explain a little about PCI compliance?

A. PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance is the credit card industry’s way of having a merchant say, ‘We’re paying attention to what we need to do to keep cardholder information safe, and we’re taking the steps we need to do that.’ It includes masking credit card numbers when you type them in during a payment and encrypting information when you send it from one place to another place. There are stiff penalties for a merchant not being compliant, which can be compounded and the merchant held responsible for additional fines and other fees.

Any merchant  who stores, transmits, or processes credit card information must be PCI compliant. There are various levels of PCI certification, for example SiteLink is PCI DSS Level 1 Certified, the highest level of certification and the same standard in use at Amazon.com. Any company handling credit card information must ensure they are meeting the appropriate level of PCI certification.

Q. For online payments, how much access does the tenant have to their account?

A. This varies based on the management software in use. SiteLink offers a variety of security controls that will limit the actions a tenant can accomplish through their account. For instance, in the Web Template Configuration Setup via Corporate Control Center, SiteLink users can limit changing credit card information, changing tenant information, deny payments after x many days late, and force full payments (no partial payments).

On an automated pay by phone system, the caller uses their telephone number to look up the account, then the system returns the account balance (total) for that account. The caller agrees to pay that amount by choosing that option, and then enters their credit card number, zip code and security code.

Q. Is there a mobile live chat option? For example, if we are out on the property doing inspections or other housekeeping chores, could we be notified and respond from our phones?

A. Most live chat solutions are web-based, but you may want to ask the chat code provider if it also works on mobile devices. Most likely if you’re using a web-based application in your store, you would be able to access live chat on your smartphone.

Another thing to keep in mind when reviewing live chat options is your Wi-Fi access/strength. If your Wi-Fi is spotty, you may want to choose a third party provider for consistent, reliable live chat response.

Q. How do you price live chat to your clients?

A. It’s very inexpensive. XPS Solutions charges less than $50 a month to monitor more than 100 hours of live chat for you per week. Contact XPS directly for more detailed pricing information.

Q. What is the average monthly cost for the use of pay-by-phone?

A. XPS Solutions typically bundles pay-by-phone with our call center service at no extra charge. If you would only like the pay-by-phone service, please contact us directly and we can customize that for you. Keep in mind that if you charge a convenience fee to customers not using an automated system, you can easily offset this cost.

Q. Does SiteLink control live chats or is that onus on the site staff?

A. SiteLink does not have a live chat feature, so it would fall under the control of the site staff.

Q. From what I understand, live chat is more of a point of contact than anything else. Can someone complete the entire rental process via live chat, or would a portion have to be delegated to other staff?

A. If you’re on a live chat in your store, you could do everything up to and including the payment portion of the rental via live chat. It is unsafe to provide credit card information over a live chat service. At that point, you would need to ask for their phone number and then get their credit card information over the phone or schedule a time for a follow-up call. Live chat is that powerful tool to convert someone who just wants to get info into someone who actually walks through the door.


  • Chuck_Vion
    Chuck_Vion VASiteLink Employee, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified marketplace moderator
    edited September 2017
    Here are the results to the polling questions asked during the webinar.

    Chuck Vion
    FineView Marketing
      |  Chief Marketing Officer

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