Good customer service is important for the success of any business, but in the current economic climate, it’s even more critical. In the struggle to differentiate yourself from competition, it’s easy to get caught up in price wars, discounts and specials because these are tangible things we can point to easily.
But it’s been proven that price is fourth or fifth on the list of reasons why people rent at a particular self-storage facility. Location, convenience and trust are consistently the top three reasons people choose one facility or another.
Why, then, do we focus so much on price? Because it’s the great American conversation-starter. What do we ask when we know nothing about a product? “How much is it?” The question of price is usually not the important one, but it’s generally the one that gets the conversation started. From here, consumers begin to evaluate the product. They determine how price leads to the answer to their real question, which is “Will this be the solution I’m looking for?”
This is where the job of great customer service begins. When a potential tenant asks the price, he’s indicating initial interest. It’s your job to explore his situation further and give details to help him understand the value of your product and the reasoning behind the cost. Remember, self-storage is an extension of a person’s home or business. The prospect needs to like and trust you.
There are several things you must “be” to help the consumer decide you are the solution he is seeking: appropriate, knowledgeable, interested, genuine, nice ... and ready to close the sale.
Don’t assume your prospects know anything about self-storage. Or that they don’t. The question “Have you used self-storage before?” will define where the conversation should begin. This is an important step to creating rapport and trust. If you have the same sales pitch for everyone, you’re losing more business than you know.
You’ll lose the attention of an experienced storage user when you launch into a diatribe about electronic gates and cameras. He knows this already, so you’re wasting his time. Get to what’s important to him.