The Dos and Don’ts of Responding to Self Storage Reviews

Jon Fesmire |

At some point, every self storage facility starts receiving reviews. Even those with mostly five star reviews will get some negative ones. By responding to both your negative and positive reviews, you can improve your facility’s relationship with its tenants, and gain far more positive reviews than negative.

Responding to Negative Reviews

As a business, you can’t simply ignore bad reviews, as much as you may want to. Take the review as a customer complaint, and assume the customer wants a resolution to his or her issue. Do your best to provide that resolution. This also lets other customers know that you care and are willing to help. Here’s a simple formula for responding to most negative online reviews. Keep the response short and to the point. Do not ask additional questions. However, do reiterate the customer’s concerns concisely, and let them know you understand and want to help. Explain how things work when they go well and apologize for the mistake. Next, share your contact information so that the customer can contact you. A response might look like this: “I’m sorry that our access gate did not let you in at 7:30 p.m., and that no one answered the office door. Normally, during normal business hours, the gate has no issues and if it does, someone can help you within a few minutes. Please feel free to contact me, John Smith, Manager, at 555-555-5555.” If you have your customer’s contact information at hand in your system, you can call within a few hours after receiving the review and offer to help. In that case, you can change the last sentence of your online response to something like, “I will attempt to call you to help with this. If I don’t reach you, please feel free to contact me, John Smith, Manager, at 555-555-5555.” After you talk to the customer and fix their problem, ask politely for them to update their review, but don’t force the issue. Sometimes, the customer will change the review afterward from one or two stars to four or five stars. However, the customer may forget, or be too upset still to change it, and you’ll have to live with the review. Another way to counteract negative reviews is to garner more positive reviews. The problem is that people are more likely to speak out when they’re upset than when they’re happy. While you can certainly expect to receive some positive reviews, there are great ways to receive even more. The best way to do this is simply to ask satisfied customers to review your storage facility. Add a reminder to review your business at the bottom of receipts when customers rent storage units or purchase storage materials. Ask in person when you can see that the customer is happy. Send updates to your customers via an email list, and include a request for reviews at the end of each email.

Responding to Positive Reviews

What do you do when a customer leaves a positive review? That’s easy. Thank them! Let the tenant know that you appreciate the kind words. They, and other tenants and potential customers, will see your polite response and appreciate that you interact with your customer base. Make sure that everyone knows that your response is personalized by being specific. You can also offer something extra, and work in your business name, which will help with SEO. Your response may look something like this. “Thank you for leaving such a kind review. We’re glad you appreciate our low prices on boxes and other packing materials we have here at Your Self Storage. We’d like to remind you to keep an eye on the website, as we sometimes offer a 20% discount on your unit for a month with just a $10 purchase.” Implement these suggestions, and you’ll improve the experience of your customers, gain more positive reviews, and prove that you’re dedicated to customer service. Tenants like active, helpful self storage facilities, and responding well to reviews goes a long way toward gaining their trust.