This site is part of the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Informa

4 'Stupid-Simple' Tricks for Elevating Your Self-Storage Service Skills

By Rick Beal Comments
Print
Continued from page 1

At times, hiring is difficult and there may be occasions when you’re under the gun. Nevertheless, take as much time as you need to find the right people. Teaching someone how to use the computer and operate the store is the easy part. Teaching them how to deal with customers is the hard part. If you want someone to treat your customers right, hire someone who’s friendly!

Stupid-Simple Trick 4: Guiding Principles

The fourth stupid-simple customer-service trick is to teach your employees guiding principles and give them the power to self-manage. Every company needs “rules,” but I cringe at that term. It stifles creativity and encourages people to look at things in only one way.

The worst work culture you can create is one governed by fear, where employees are afraid to fix a customer-service situation because of an angry boss. Empower your staff to solve problems as they arise. Here’s an example.

One day I was working the desk when a customer entered the store. He wanted a late fee waived because his wife had been getting the e-mails. As it was our policy to charge the fee, I informed him it was his responsibility to keep his e-mail address up-to-date, and I wasn’t going to waive the fee. He then told me his wife was sick and hadn’t told him the rent was due. Still, I said the fee would stand. He decided it was a matter of principle to get this fee waived, and even threatened to move out. Then, after 10 minutes of arguing, I had a realization. This wasn’t who I was and not how I wanted to do business. I stopped and sincerely apologized to the customer. I waived the $15, and two-plus years later, he’s still paying $400 per month for his unit.

Guiding principles are in place to help you make good decisions. Once in a while, it makes sense to break the rules to provide the best service you can.

Dealing with customers is rewarding and exhausting. However, we’re in the business of helping people in need. At times, they need you to be on your A-game. I urge you to post the following customer-service quote from Mahatma Gandhi somewhere so you can see it on a regular basis. It’s one of my favorites:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

Rick Beal is the district manager and part owner of Cubes Self Storage in Salt Lake City. His goal is to help a historically slow-changing industry embrace new, innovative ideas. His professional motto is “Storage is a business of inches not miles.” He can be reached at rickb@cubesselfstorage.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/storagerick.

« Previous12Next »
Comments

Similar Articles

comments powered by Disqus