Are customers spoiled these days, or what? Same day, next day, any way … The traditional retail experience has been turned on its ear by companies that have leveraged the Internet and deepened their “hooks” through the use and convenience of mobile technology.
Businesses like Amazon, Uber and other tech-first providers have redefined consumer expectations, with customers now demanding instant access, response and delivery. These giants have permanently disrupted the traditional brick-and-mortar model and forever changed the way most people view retail and expect to interact with it. They’ve further exacerbated the situation by altering the supply chain, turning it into more of a “personal” supply chain. On Amazon, shoppers can get same-day delivery in large Metro areas. On Uber, they can get immediate transportation without having to go through a dispatcher or stand in a line.
Self-storage operators should consider how to replicate these hugely successful concepts to positively transform their tenant experience. Consider:
- How do you communicate with tenants after they sign the lease? What methods of communication do you use?
- What one change can you make to better engage your tenants and lengthen their stay? In other words, what do tenants want after they move in, and how can you make it easy for them to get it?
- What “self-help” tools can you create to remove the friction from the tenant experience? No pain means they stay longer. The longer they stay, the longer you put off the next tenant-acquisition cost.
The answers to these questions will likely bring you to a simple realization: You need to find or build a mobile app that’ll improve customers’ experience with your business. Think about a multi-channel approach that can handle interactions however the customer wants: via chat, e-mail, phone and text.
Whether you buy the app or build it yourself, make sure your strategy enables “self-service.” Tenants have come to expect the highest levels of convenience via self-driven experiences made possible by integrated, user-friendly mobile apps. Couple the app with a trained, dedicated staff, and this one-two punch will make your tenant experience best-in-class. This can propel you past competitors—as long as you aren’t the last one, or slowest one, trying to run from the bear.
Modern-day consumers no longer judge their experience with a business based solely on their interaction in the brick-and-mortar arena. In fact, today’s self-storage tenants find, rate and judge their experience long before they walk in your door. Avoid disappointing them by being strategically prepared to support them through a solid mobile-technology approach.
John Traver is CEO of XPS Solutions, which provides Web-based reservation services for the self-storage industry. The company also offers phone, Web-lead and live-chat support; real-time, Web-reporting tools; sales tracking; and more. John has owned and operated his own companies for more than 25 years and sold his last firm to Automatic Data Processing, a Fortune 300 company. For more information, call 877.XPSUSA1 or visit www.xpsusa.com.