Summer is coming fast! Think of the approaching summer in the same way you’d think about spring cleaning. Both are opportunities for all of us to refresh our offices and homes.
The summer season means that schools from kindergarten through college are letting out for a three-month break. People are preparing to go on vacation, to spend more time outdoors, and generally to have fun. This is a great time to set a new goal: improve the experience of your self storage tenants.
These ideas will impress at any time of year, of course, so when fall and winter run around, you’ll want to keep most of them going.
Summer Hours: Summer’s longer daylight hours cause many people to stay up later. That includes not only those who aren’t working, like some college students and teachers, but also adults who work through the summer. Consider closing later than the rest of the year. Perhaps your facility usually closes at 7:00 pm. Expand that to 8:30 or 9:00, and let your customers know.
Be Friendly: Take this time, before summer rolls around, to make sure your employees are well-versed in great customer service. Your facility is, in part, a retail business (especially if you sell storage supplies on-site). That means you need to treat your tenants who come in as a good retail store treats their customers. Make eye contact, smile, and be helpful and friendly. Don’t let people who have entered the store go unacknowledged, even if you’re alone and with a customer. Take a moment to let the newcomers know you’re currently helping someone but you’ll be with them shortly.
Keep The Environment Clean: Nothing says shabby like a messy office or facility. Make sure both the office and grounds are clean. Keep sales stock neatly stacked. Keep the bathroom tidy.
Gardening: A garden area outside your main office can do a lot to attract customers. (Remember, of course, that trees, flowers, bushes, and other plants belong near the office, not near the storage buildings.) Keep it maintained. Unless you have a very green thumb, hire a professional gardener to come out once a week to clean it up and keep it looking fresh.
Something to Do: Have you ever gone to a business and had to wait, without anything to do? Time passes slowly, and it’s easy to grow impatient. Of course, these days, many people will have their smartphones, giving them something to do, and others carry books with them. However, often, people will simply be bored. Have something there for them to read. We recommend a few copies of the day’s local newspaper and perhaps a few current magazines.
Feed their Sweet Tooth: Nothing quite cheers people up like unexpected chocolate. In the morning, have fresh coffee available in the office for your visitors. For the rest of the day, keep out a bowl of snack-sized candy bars.
Become a Drop Off Center: There are many ways citizens can help their local community, from recycling to donating food. Your facility can become a drop off point for these and more. Becoming a drop off site for a food pantry or a recycling center are just two possibilities. You could also host a recycling bin for clothes, or become a Toys for Tots site. Locals will appreciate your dedication to helping the community.
With these ideas in mind, go and give your customers the best storage experience they’ve ever had. If you come up with other ideas, great! However, these should give you a strong start.