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South Africa Valet-Storage Operator SpaceBox Launches Initiatives to Improve Customer Service, Sustainability

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SpaceBox, a South Africa-based valet-storage startup launched as a division of XtraSpace Self Storage, has started several initiatives designed to increase customer satisfaction and the operation’s environmental sustainability. Among the moves are a redesigned website, automatic-payment option and a “Space Creation Application” tool for those who register on the website, according to a press release.

While redesigning the website is intended to create a more intuitive experience online, other moves, such as automatic payments, are meant to streamline company processes and reduce paper waste, according to Hjalmar Venter, co-founder and CEO. “This enables us to deduct the storage rental subscription each month directly from our customers’ credit or debit cards. Not only does this result in increased online security, it shifts the risk of online purchases away from the customer and onto [SpaceBox],” he said. “It also makes debit order forms obsolete, saving time and reducing wasted paper.”

The company is also implementing a paperless warehousing and distribution system in an effort to reduce its environmental impact, according to the release.

“We’ve also improved customer-service satisfaction levels through instant, automated communication,” Venter said. “Along with all these improvements, we’ve added the Space Creation tool. It’s a neat little tool on the website helping the user to organize her personal physical environment. It’s free, and anyone who registers on the website can use it.”

The company is also allowing customers to use their own cardboard boxes to store items, although it encourages users to use its branded plastic bins at no cost because they are “recyclable and reusable, making cardboard boxes redundant,” the release stated.

Similar to other valet-style storage operators, SpaceBox offers by-the-bin storage targeted at businesses and residents who don’t have adequate onsite storage. Items are stored in secure warehouses that are off limits to customers. The company uses an online platform that allows customers to schedule item pickup, maintain a visual catalog of stored bins, and schedule delivery of items to their home or office. Service is available within a 30-kilometer radius of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The company was launched as an e-commerce extension of XtraSpace, which operates 19 self-storage facilities in the South African provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. In addition to traditional self-storage space, XtraSpace locations offer business centers with flexible offices for small and mid-sized companies, meeting rooms, free Internet, and copying and fax facilities. The company also offers domestic and international courier services.

SpaceBox is not related to Spacebox Ltd., a Hong Kong-based valet-storage operator.

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