By Joel Little
How do you respond to the simple, yet complex question customers dont ask, but you know every one is thinking when they contact your self-storage facility? The question is: What makes your facility different than all the others? Many property managers are quick to answer a well-rehearsed monologue on why theyre better than their competitors. Some keep this response simple, while others make it very complicated. Often they dont sound sincere. The hard part is to really understand why your facility is better than the one around the corner, and then relate that to your customers.
You can dazzle your potential customers with tales of how safe and secure your facility is. You can tell them no one would dare consider taking anything away from the facility including the dirt on the bottom of their shoes. Everyone likes to feel safe and rest assured knowing their belongings will be safe while storing with you. But what customers are really looking for is that wow factor that will have them itching to sign their name on the lease. What is the wow factor and does your store posses it?
The wow factor isnt anything you can buy and you wont need to invest a fortunate to achieve it. It could be something as simple as going the extra mile for your customers. When customers or even potential renters come in your door, drop everything and take care of their needs. Make eye contact with them, empathize with their situation if need be and find a solution for them. Open your ears and clear your mind of anything not pertaining to them and listen. Ask for names, shake their hands, come around from behind the counter to discuss how you can help them. Share some laughs and make a new friend.
You guessed it. The wow factor is you. Most of these concepts are not new. They just arent used across the board. Many companies try to attract people with low prices and other bells and whistles, but the facilities that attract people with stellar customer service are typically those with higher rental rates, longevity of renters and higher profit margins. Spend less time trying to incorporate the latest and greatest in technology, and invest more in developing the wow factor in yourself and staff. You money will not be wasted.
Joel Little is the head sales coach at PhoneSmart, a self-storage call center and marketing firm. He's been in the self-storage industry for more than five years, and has been in retail management for more than a decade. He strives daily to help improve the self-storage industry one call at a time, gaining insight from each customer.