'Enchant' Your Self-Storage Customers With a Move-In Checklist
By Nick Lackner
About a year ago, one of my friends attended a high-tech conference, and the featured speaker was Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s chief evangelist. In the early 80s, his job was to get people and companies to adopt Apple computers back when Microsoft and PCs were steamrolling the market. Kawasaki’s speech focused mostly on content from his new book, “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions,” and my friend suggested I read it. I ordered a copy from Amazon and devoured it the day it arrived.
I’m not going to say that reading the book changed the way we run our Pittsburgh self-storage business. However, I will say the book articulated and validated our core operating principles. Just like Apple, we wanted to make the self-storage experience “enchanting” for our customers. We looked for every opportunity to do so, including the design of our office, our focus on security and climate control, and free access to WiFi and Keurig coffee.
However, Kawasaki did introduce the idea of a “checklist” for new customers. Checklists are proof that you have your act together. They personalize the entire experience and show you have a process and a methodology for onboarding new customers. They document everything you’ve done, confirm no steps were missed, and encourage customers to show their appreciation by posting favorable reviews on any number of social media sites. They also eliminate the awkwardness that comes on busy days when you forget someone’s name … it’s right at the top of the checklist!
Do they work? We think so. We consistently receive five-star reviews on the major social media sites. And while we have yet to see the word “enchantment” mentioned specifically, it’s pretty clear from the reviews that our customers are enjoying their self-storage experience.
Nick Lackner is the general manager for City Center Self Storage in Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh native, Lackner graduated from John Carroll University and joined CBRE, one of the nation’s largest real estate service companies. In 2006, he received an advanced degree from Columbia University in real estate studies and development. To reach him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information, visit www.citycenterselfstorage.com .
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