How U-Haul Uses Enterprise SMS to Streamline Customer Communications and Boost Responses

U-Haul using enterprise SMS


End Results

Heymarket has increased U-Haul’s average response rate to 60%.


The vast majority of people who move manage everything by themselves, from packing boxes to driving across the country. Every year, these 1.4 million do-it-yourself movers work with moving equipment providers like U-Haul to get the products they need. There’s such a high demand for these services that brands like U-Haul focus many of their resources on managing the slew of incoming lead and customer communications.

As the nation’s leading do-it-yourself moving company, U-Haul has to manage a lot of incoming and outgoing queries every day. Since 1945, they’ve rented out a wide variety of moving equipment, from trucks to storage containers. 

In 2019, U-Haul’s U-Box Container sales team and central U-Haul contact center realized that they needed to improve two key areas of their lead and customer communications. Both departments had noticed that their team members simply weren’t able to efficiently manage the influx of phone calls and emails. They also noticed that phone calls and emails weren’t eliciting as many lead and customer responses as they wanted to see.  

Program manager Sinjin Kirkpatrick conducted research on fast communication channels and found enterprise SMS, which promised to deliver efficient and effective customer communications. After reviewing multiple platforms, Sinjin decided to try out an application that solved his teams’ key problems—Heymarket.   

Challenge: Finding the Right Enterprise-Level Communication Channel

Kirkpatrick was concerned with his online U-Haul teams’ workload management. Each team member could only make and answer one phone call at a time. Though his teams could automate multiple emails so they sent many at once, resolving email conversations could take days at a time. Incoming lead and customer messages were piling up. 

On the other hand, lead outreach was not as effective as it could be. Leads weren’t responding to phone calls or emails as often as the U-Haul team wanted them to. Kirkpatrick knew there must be a better way to reach U-Haul’s leads and customers. 

There was also a third challenge on top of those two problems: communication consolidation. The U-Haul teams were working with multiple communication channels. They found themselves spending a lot of time consolidating customer information and recording it in their CRM. Even with all of this extra manual work, managers and team members didn’t have real-time transparency into customer communications as a whole. 

Kirkpatrick had thoroughly researched enterprise SMS and decided it was a tool worth testing out. Modern business texting tools offered team efficiency, automation, and personalized mass text features. He thought these features would make it easier to reach out to leads and customers quickly, while encouraging higher open and response rates. After all, he saw that texting has a proven 98% open rate

Kirkpatrick searched the market for a robust business text messaging application that was future-proof. After reviewing Heymarket’s platform, he realized it currently had all the features his teams required and also included integrations, like Salesforce SMS, that they could leverage in the future. 

Solution: How Enterprise SMS Streamlines Lead and Customer Communications

The U-Haul teams quickly became comfortable using the Heymarket platform, focusing on SMS lead generation and cultivation as well as customer communications. After using the tool for a little over a year, they were thrilled to use the new Salesforce SMS integration. Now, they rely on Heymarket’s unique features to manage team workloads, drive a high customer response rate, and gain transparency into all of their customer communications.

Salesforce SMS Integration. The U-Haul team can manage all of their SMS communications from within Salesforce Lightning. It’s convenient to send texts from the lead object in Salesforce, allowing agents to stay within a single platform. The Salesforce text message integration also automatically logs texts sent and received from within Heymarket to the correct lead, enabling team members to spend their time answering more lead and customer queries instead of manually uploading texts to their CRM. With this key SMS integration, Salesforce has transformed into a central hub for all of U-Haul’s customer communications and lead management.

“Heymarket’s Salesforce SMS integration makes messaging leads and customers a smooth experience for our agents.” 

—Archanna Shivabhat, Developer, U-Haul


SMS automations. U-Haul has created multiple cross-platform SMS automations that vastly streamline common workflows. They can set “triggers” within one platform that result in “actions” in the other. For example, once contacts are logged in Salesforce, Heymarket can send them a welcome text immediately. SMS automations reduce the number of repetitive tasks team members have to complete, allowing them to focus on one-on-one customer chats. 

SMS templates. Heymarket’s SMS templates are another key tool for the U-Haul teams. Team members can simply create an SMS template within Heymarket’s platform, leaving space for Salesforce’s custom fields. When they need to send that message, they can access the template through Salesforce’s interface, adjust it, and send it to a customer or a list of customers. Heymarket automatically inserts contact custom fields from Salesforce into outgoing texts with help from merge tokens

Reporting. Heymarket offers real-time reporting. These easy-to-read reports help managers review team performance and compare the effectiveness of enterprise SMS to their other channels. Managers are especially interested in statistics like SMS lead response rate, which help them evaluate their SMS lead generation strategies. Managers also appreciate the transparency they have into customer communications and activities. Having it all in one place makes it easy to evaluate customer satisfaction.

Results: The Impact Of Enterprise SMS

Enterprise SMS has helped U-Haul streamline lead management and cultivation, as well as customer communications. After communicating with customers via text for over a year, the team has seen:

Increased lead and customer responses. Leads and customers engage with U-Haul teams far more than before. Phone calls and emails had between a 20% to 30% response rate. SMS lead generation and cultivation has an astounding 60% response rate. This high response rate has empowered Kirkpatrick’s teams to connect with more leads, converting them into loyal customers.

“Heymarket consistently has around a 60% response rate.”
—Kyle Royer, Program Manager, U-Haul

Streamlined communication management. U-Haul’s teams find Heymarket’s interface easy to use and navigate. Training was quick and intuitive. Where they found it inefficient to communicate with leads and customers through phone calls and emails before, now they’re easily managing both outreach and responses through business SMS. Customers respond quickly, allowing team members to close out tickets faster than before. Team members can manage multiple SMS conversations at once, increasing the number of tickets resolved every day. Plus, personalized mass texting makes it easy to reach out to many leads at once. The SMS Salesforce integration has also reduced manual legwork for contact information reporting.

Clear insights. U-Haul managers can review customer histories and interactions quickly with help from the SMS Salesforce integration. This empowers them to get clear views into customer relationships and evaluate customer satisfaction. With Heymarket’s reporting capabilities, U-Haul’s managers can also easily review team performance and make suggestions for improvement. 

The Future: U-Haul and Enterprise SMS

With Heymarket, U-Haul’s U-Box Container sales team and the central U-Haul contact center have achieved a 60% response rate and streamlined communication management. They are able to reach more leads than before, increasing conversations and building strong customer relationships. As U-Haul continues to innovate and expand its offerings, online teams expect to see more incoming lead and customer messages. They plan to continue to use Heymarket to integrate with new business apps and scale customer communications. 

 

As U-Haul discovered, enterprise SMS can:

  • Increase lead and customer response rates. People love texting. They are much more likely to respond to texts than phone calls or emails. 
  • Streamline communications management. Enterprise SMS platforms offer efficiency features, SMS automations, and SMS CRM integrations to simplify lead and customer communications management. Teams can answer more leads, faster than before. 
  • Improve transparency. Cutting-edge enterprise SMS tools offer advanced reporting capabilities and integrations with CRMs. These reports and SMS integrations allow your teams to get a better picture of team performance and customer satisfaction. 

Want to test out enterprise SMS or a Salesforce text message integration? Try our platform for free.

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