Good customer service starts with simply being nice and respectful. But let's face it: Self-storage is a retail sales business, too; and in addition to just providing customers with service, managers are also the front-line representatives for an operation. They usually work at the front desk and are the first people potential customers interact with. Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community (which just eclipsed 5,000 members), is hosting a conversation for managers to talk about their sales and customer-service techniques and styles on the thread "Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?"
There isnt a single correct method. Some managers are fairly aggressive in their approach. They rise to greet their customers with a handshake, stand next to them and lead the conversation, asking many questions and providing as much information as possible. It's a very active approach, and one you'll see endorsed by many industry experts, including Universal Management Co. President Anne Ballard on this podcast.
By contrast, some managers don't like to "bug" their potential customers or be overly pushy. They extend a friendly greeting, pass along any brochures containing information about the different unit sizes and services available, and let people make decisions on their own. They might let these customers take a walk around the office or event the facility grounds to form their own opinions. Calling it "passive" connotes that it's a lazy or timid approach, which isn't fair because it can be effective. But it is certainly more laid-back and sometimes better suits managers' personalities than the aggressive method.
So, what's your or your trained managers' sales style? Are you looking to change your style to something else and need insight on how to do it? The discussion thread is a great place to start. To post, you'll need to register for SST, but it's free, takes only a few minutes and can be done by visiting selfstoragetalk.com and clicking "register."