As a self storage operator, many of the customers you interact with everyday are experiencing major life changes. They may be dealing with life’s joys and adventures: moving to a new city, having a baby, getting married. Or they may be dealing with life’s tragedies and disappointments: divorce, death, financial hardship. Whatever the case is, when someone rents a storage unit, they’re often looking for more than just extra space; they’re looking for compassionate customer service.
In many industries, good customer service often feels rudimentary. But in the self storage industry, it can transcend the ordinary and become an unexpected cornerstone of business. After all, the most memorable customer service comes when you least expect it. Here are five ways to deliver it to your self storage tenants.
Thank You Cards
In the digital age, it’s amazing how powerful a piece of actual mail can be. Anyone can fire off a quick “thank you” email or take a minute to make a phone call, but the amount of people who take the time to write something by hand, put it in a stamped envelope and place it in the mail is diminishing in both personal and professional settings.
This is where you come in.
A thank you card is an unexpected way to express gratitude to self storage customers for a number of reasons. You can use one to show your appreciation to a long time self storage tenant, a new customer, or one who just renewed their lease. You might also consider sending cards out for other occasions. For example, a sympathy card for a tenant who is using storage to safeguard the possessions of a recently deceased loved one, a congratulations card to a newly graduated student tenant or even Christmas cards around the holidays.
Self Storage Tips
Many first time self storage users—-and a few long term storage users—-don’t know everything about best storage practices.
You’re the self storage expert. Don’t assume that your tenants aren’t coming to you with storage questions because they don’t have any. Anticipate their unasked questions by offering that advice through a variety of mediums.
In addition to making sure new tenants know that they can come to you if they’re not sure how to store a tricky item (for example, a flat screen TV
), offer tips on your website or via email. You might even consider offering storage tips via handouts and flyers around your facility or as a supplemental printout when giving a customer a copy of their self storage lease.
Earlier this month, we ran an article on responding to reviews of your self storage business
. This is just one of the many ways that you can engage with your customers in the digital space, and while it’s an important one, there are others.
If you have an active social media presence, engage with your current tenants and prospective customers by responding to or liking their Facebook comments, tweeting back to them or retweeting them and responding to their messages. You can also use this space to thank your customers and offer promotions and self storage tips.
On your storage facility’s website, be sure to have your contact information including a business email address available so that customers can reach you online through that platform. You might even want to add a user-friendly contact form where customers can reach you with questions or comments without having to open up a separate window to send an email.
Treats in the Office
Remember how excited you were as a kid when someone would bring in cookies for the whole class? That feeling applies to adults too.
While you don’t have to commit to having freshly baked cookies in your office every day (kudos to you though, if you can), you can commit to offering a little something extra at least once in awhile. Whether it’s cookies every Wednesday, coffee every morning, pizza once a month or even just a bowl of really good candy, offering some kind of treat to your customers is a simple, effective way to make an impression.
It not only gives you a few extra moments to chat with tenants (and perhaps even share some information about a recent upgrade to your storage facility) but it gives them something to remember your business by.
Month-to-month leases and changing life circumstances make self storage the perfect fit for commitment free extra space. With that in mind, it’s nice to reward loyal self storage tenants. This is especially true if your facility is in a market where possibilities for storage unit rentals are plentiful.
Take the time to acknowledge that you know that your long time customers have other options, and you appreciate them choosing your business. When a tenant renews a lease, consider offering a token of your gratitude. Whether it’s a free month of storage, an upgraded lock, one free use of a moving truck, a coupon for a discount on packing and moving supplies or something non storage related like a gift card, rewarding customer loyalty is the best way to keep it. You don’t have to spend much. Even a $5 gift card to a coffee shop says volumes. The investment on your end might be minimal, but the impact on customer satisfaction will be huge.