Finally, your management program should have integrated tools to help you optimize customer-relationship management (CRM), which simply refers to the process of tracking inquiries and leads, converting them into reservations and rentals, and maximizing the value of every customer. At a minimum, your program should have the functionality to:
- Enter prospective customer inquiries and reservations
- Make notes/comments about leads, collections and customer-service issues
- Set reminders to trigger timely follow-up
- Send e-mail communications to prospective, existing and former customers
If you’re a large operator with multiple locations and you’re using a call center or sharing customer information between facilities, it’s important to have a fully integrated CRM application with a centralized database because your employees need to have complete, accurate and up-to-the-minute customer information at their fingertips. Furthermore, multi-facility operations need the ability to track advertisement sources while capturing inquiries and reservations to streamline the process of determining how customers are finding them and ensure accuracy.
On the surface, these functions obviously make it easier for you to manage your business, but they also benefit your customers because they get the detail-oriented, timely service they’re looking for, from employees who are able to make well-informed decisions. As you evaluate your existing management program or consider the many options available to self-storage operators today, keep all these things in mind to ensure you’re making the right decision for your business as well as your customers.
Jim DiNardo is vice president of operations, self-storage software division, at E-SoftSys, developer of the Self Storage Manager facility-management software program. He’s been in the industry for more than 22 years, with experience as an operator and a consultant. Self Storage Manager is available in a Windows-based Standard Edition or Web-based Enterprise Edition, with a variety of add-on modules, including a fully-integrated e-CRM program. For more information, call 800.469.1740; e-mail email@example.com; visit www.selfstoragemanager.com.