Good customer service goes a long way toward the success of a business, yet so frequently we encounter employees who seem disinterested in their work. You know the type: When you enter an office or store, they ignore you or act like you're bothering them. It really makes you want to take your business elsewhere, doesn’t it?
Self-storage managers are officially the “Directors of First Impressions.” As frontline staff, they provide tenants, customers, vendors and the general public with the first impression of a facility and the company they represent.
How do you fare as the director of first impressions at your self-storage site? What impression do you provide when someone walks through the door for the first time? Are you genuinely happy to see them when they come in? Do you stand up, greet them promptly and call them by name if you know them?
10 Tips to Earn the Good Impression
Here are 10 tips that will help you succeed in making a good impression. Incorporating these items in your day-to-day activities will increase your facility’s business and leave you feeling more satisfied as you grow professionally and personally.
1. Be genuinely pleased to see everyone who walks through your door. Greet people at the door; hold it open for them as they enter. A smile and a handshake is always a great way to greet people—even the mailman. Be enthusiastic about your work. Treat everyone as if they were your personal guests.
2. Take interest in each caller or visitor. Smile easily. Ask questions to understand their needs and determine a solution for their requirements. Use open-ended questions to invite customers to paint a true picture of their situations. Make lots of notes and repeat things back to solidify your understanding. This helps people realize you identify with their situations and are serious in assisting them with the correct choices in storage. Offer the appropriate packing supplies, insurance or other ancillary items to enhance their storage experience.
3. Don’t presume, assume or lead. It is easy to think that we know the answers to tenants’ questions before they even ask. Remember each individual’s situation is different. Even if you can identify the solution quickly, you will have better rapport and a long-term tenant if you let them explain their needs in their own words.
Don’t make determinations about what folks will or won’t pay for, do or don’t want or what they know or don’t know. Also, don’t lead by asking a question and then answering it for them. Your job as a professional is to listen, offer the options and items that you feel would be of benefit to them, then let them make the decision.
4. Don’t say, “No.” If you do not have a solution that readily fits their needs, be creative. Rather than saying, “We don’t have a 10-by-10 at this time,” say, “We don’t have a 10-by-10, but I can offer you two 5-by-5s for the same price, or a 10-by-15 unit that will give you even more room. Which would work better for you?”
Remember you are in the business of providing solutions and renting all the units you have available. Don’t be easily stopped if customers hesitate to sign a rental agreement. They are calling or are in your office because they want to rent a unit, so find a solution that works for both of you.