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Teri L. Lanza,
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Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

[Self-Storage] Survey Says: What Do Your Customers Think About You?

By Amy Campbell Comments

By Amy Campbell

Recently I’ve noticed more retailers I frequent are including requests to complete a survey about my shopping experience. The requests come in many forms—via e-mail if I give over my info, at the top of the purchase receipt, or even on the website itself if I’m shopping online.

Just as the methods of delivery vary, so do the questions. For example, in a recent survey for PetSmart, I was asked the usual questions about customer service, store cleanliness and price competiveness. A few other questions focused on technology. The survey asked if I had perused the PetSmart website before visiting the store. It also inquired if I used a mobile or tablet device while in the store. These questions show how the Web is shaping the way we shop. They also demonstrate that PetSmart is in tune to the evolving shopping experience. 

If you’ve never offered a survey to your self-storage tenants, now’s the time to try it. Surveying your customers can be an excellent way to gauge how you’re doing—and what you can do better. It’s really your basic customer-service tool. You can ask tenants their take on a number of topics such as how they feel about your rental prices, facility cleanliness, curb appeal and customer service. You can also ask tenants how they heard about your facility, or if they’ve ever referred you to a friend. You might want to know how long they plan to rent with you or how close the facility is to their home of place of employment. Surveys don’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, keeping it simple will ensure your tenants respond.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are a number of articles online offering advice on creating and distributing a survey. You can even offer an online survey through Survey Monkey.

Also, keep in mind you’ll get a better response if there’s some motivation for customers to complete your survey. During a shopping trip last week, two separate retailers attached a survey request to my receipt. One offered $3 off my next purchase, while the other had no incentive. Guess which survey I took the time to complete? Let’s be honest. We all have very busy lives, so taking even five or 10 minutes to complete a survey without incentive is unlikely.

Again, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant offer. No discounts or free months required. Pick up a handful of $10 gas gift cards or some passes to the local movie theater. Then tell your customers they’ll be entered into a “drawing” if they complete the survey. Or give away a retail product such as a new lock or a box to someone new to your facility. Small tokens of appreciation really can go a long way.

Has your self-storage facility given a survey? What was the outcome? Post a comment below or on this Self-Storage Talk thread.


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