By Rebecca Derdoski
There’s no denying online reviews of your self-storage business are extremely important. Not only do they help with local search engine optimization (SEO), but data shows consumers trust reviews when making decisions on which products to buy. This means your potential tenants are using online reviews when deciding at which storage facility to rent.
Plus, the importance of what people say about you online is on the rise. In fact, 52 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And why shouldn’t they? Which would you be more likely to believe, an advertising campaign directly from the company or a recommendation from another customer?
Today, customers are in more control than ever before, and self-storage operators who recognize this change and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly will stay ahead of the competition and build valuable relationships. These relationships are key to customer retention, and customer retention is key to positive reviews online.
You first need to provide excellent, personalized customer service and a positive experience for your tenants. It’s a lot easier to ask for a review from someone who’s impressed by your service, and rave reviews are what you’re after. Here are five strategies to increase your online customer reviews.
1. Ask Your Customers!
It often seems intimidating to ask customers to leave a review, but the key is to be polite and know what to say. Create a general transcript to follow so everyone is comfortable when asking tenants for a review.
One effective approach is telling tenants why reviews are important to your business. Explain why their opinions and experience are important and how they can help you improve your customer experience, build relationships and even help other customers decide if your facility is the right fit for them.
The best (and easiest) time to ask for a review is when a customer expresses praise or compliments your business. A satisfied customer is usually more than willing to write up a recommendation and post it online.
2. Make it Easy
Making the process of leaving reviews as easy as possible is the most effective and important way to increase participation. It should require minimal effort for your customer to leave one. Consider the following:
- Provide your tenants clear, step-by-step instructions for leaving a review about your facility.
- All employee e-mail signatures should include links to your online profiles that allow reviews. Not everyone has a Google account or is familiar with Yelp. By offering several options, you allow the customer to choose a site with which they’re familiar.
- Consider including links on your website, invoices and business cards. You can also create fliers to put out at the front desk. Be creative!