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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

Are Your Customers Thankful for Your Self-Storage Business?

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Tony Jones***A guest installment by Tony Jones, Manager, Inside Self-Storage Store

I’m sure the majority of self-storage owners are extremely appreciative of their customers, even if a few of them are occasionally a little nutty. Customers are, after all, the lifeblood of any business. With that in mind this Thanksgiving season, I’d recommend examining your business through your customers’ eyes. How grateful are they that your self-storage business is around, and how thankful are they that they’re able to do business with you? In other words, are your customers doing business with you because you’re the only option or the best option?

The difference between “have to” and “want to” can be a fine line, but the customers that want to do business with you are the ones you need to get to know and the ones you want to cultivate. Customers who fall into the “have to” camp because they face an immediate need for self-storage can be turned into “want to” customers by delivering a storing experience that exceeds their expectations. A clean and well-managed facility is certainly key, as are desired amenities and specialty services. Of course, everything should begin and end with tremendous customer service delivered consistently and repeatedly.

Customers who choose to do business with you because you are checking boxes beyond basic storage needs are those who are most likely to become brand loyal and drum up referral business. Therein lies your sweet spot. The most loyal of your customers like you for more than just your storage facility. They tend to develop a personal rapport with their manager, attend the community events you host, and come to think of your brand as more than just a business. When a friend needs self-storage, they’ll likely recommend you. Why? Because they’re thankful.

Take a critical look at your self-storage operation. If you were a customer, what would you appreciate about your business? What would detract from the experience? What do you appreciate about certain businesses you spend money with that could be integrated into your operation? Businesses often find their best points of differentiation from sources outside their immediate industry because no one else in the market is doing them. These kinds of additions often feel fresh to customers and can provide motivation and energy for staff.

If you show your appreciation for your customers, they’ll feel it and likely act in kind. Where do you stand with your customers? What are they most thankful for about your business? Please take a moment to share an example in the comments section below illustrating why your customers are thankful to be doing business with you instead of your competitors.

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