A few days after Halloween, one of my neighbors decorated his home with holiday lights and other decorations. It was still weeks until Thanksgiving, not to mention Christmas. While this house is brightly lit every year, it came a bit early this month. At first, I was a little surprised. Then I thought maybe the beautiful array brings comfort to his family and he hopes to pass it on to his community. Perhaps it was his way of offering joy during these difficult times. And I admit, I do love driving past the dazzling display at night.
It’s been a year like no other. Most of us are simply frazzled as we continue to grapple with a pandemic that has taken more than 250,000 lives and caused the loss of millions of jobs. This week kicks off the holiday season—a time that’s crazy all on its own sans a pandemic! Tired of social distancing and mask-wearing, you might find your customers are crankier than usual. And you might be, too!
As we plunge into the holiday season and get closer to 2021, it’s a good time to think about how you can end the year on a high note. What actions can you take in the next five weeks or so to make an impact on your tenants’ lives or that of your community? Simple acts of kindness matter more these days than you might think.
As a self-storage operator, you have the opportunity to offer exceptional customer care every day. But it’s not always easy. Maybe it’s been a busy day, or you’re just exhausted. Perhaps a difficult customer is pushing your buttons, making it a challenge to be nice. This is the time to lean on those customer-service skills.
For example, maybe you have a new tenant who’s struggling to make an online payment and needs guidance. This is a new procedure for many as they navigate our present contactless environment. Rather than roll your eyes and take a snarky tone, consider that this person wants to make a payment. That’s a good thing! Unless the caller is an ogre with a bad temper, try a caring approach with the understanding that this is your customer. Helping a tenant is what you signed up for!
Another way you can demonstrate care is by assisting your delinquent tenants. Last week, ISS published a new gallery that’ll show you how to support late-paying customers while protecting your business revenue. The ideal is to keep your tenants from falling behind in the first place, but you should have strategies for what to do if it does happen.
You might also look beyond your front door and consider how you can help your community this holiday season. More people than ever before need assistance this year. Donations of food, clothes, hygiene products and money are in desperate need from a variety of charitable organizations. If you’re not sure where to begin, try a Google search for nonprofits in your community or call a few local churches, which are often well-connected with these endeavors. You might even find your own tenants need help or want to give it.
While you’re assisting everyone else, be sure to take of yourself as well. It might sound silly, but many people struggle with this, especially during the busy holiday season. It’s important to eat healthy, get some exercise, enjoy some downtown and find a good work-life balance. Reach out for support if you need it!
As we set our sights on a new year, take some time to consider how you can take better care of your customers. What are their pain points and how can you solve them? What changes can you make to your self-storage business that’ll make a real difference? When a business demonstrates it cares for its customers, it gains their loyalty. Isn’t that the goal?