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Sales Strategies: Transform Tenants Into Raving Fans

May 1, 2006

4 Min Read
Sales Strategies: Transform Tenants Into Raving Fans

Can you increase sales by providing better customer service? Is it possible to turn your renters into raving fans? Yes, you can create devotees through incredible service. A solid fan-base will increase rentals and improve your referral program. If fact, you can decrease your marketing budget at the same time.

Initially, you must know what level of customer service you are providing, and what improvements you would like to make. Start off by identifying the best ways to take care of customers. For example, how are you treating people when they first call? This is the first impression they will have of your company and likely will determine if they rent a unit from you or go elsewhere.

Also notice how people are treated while they visit your store. This is when theyll form an opinion about how much you care about their needs. Finally, once the unit is rented, look at your level of service. This may determine tenants length of stay and their future storage decisions.

Use these questions to develop an effective customer-service program, and you can take your self-storage operation to a new level of success.

Customer Care

To develop an effective program, you must evaluate the best and most effective methods of customer care. To begin, develop systems that will ensure that each and every tenant is receiving the highest level of service possible.

For instance, develop and implement a phone-sales presentation that will educate, build trust and show the value of renting with you. If done properly, the phone presentation will provide all the differential advantages of storing at your facility. It will also give you the opportunity to build a rapport and set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.

The First Visit and Thereafter

Once someone visits your site, its vital you stay focused on providing exceptional care. It starts with your welcome. Treat everyone with the same level of respect and deliver the same warmth and enthusiasm you provide over the phone. This not only makes customers comfortable, it confirms you are committed to providing them with an excellent storage experience.

If you arent careful, its easy to forget about someone after they rent a unit. It happens frequently throughout the industry. What if you were the exception and carried through with giving people great storage experiences throughout tenancy?

In other words, your customers receive great service on the phone and when they rent units, and they also have a great experience during their rental period. Would this level of consistency throughout the entire customer experience allow you to create a fan club?

Begin to measure how many customer referrals you receive as well as how many previous customers return, and youll discover how effective this strategy is. In fact, over a period of time, youll probably find that repeat business and referrals will outpace almost every other form of advertising and marketing. This may help lower your advertising and marketing budgets, and even allow you to charge more for that top-notch service.

Final Notes

Unfortunately, a brilliant level of customer service is the exception and not the rule in most storage operations. When it is found, customer referrals are generally much stronger because renters are more inclined to tell friends and families about how great a facilitys service has been.

As a rule of thumb, for every outstanding experience customers encounter with a company, they will tell two to three people. For every bad experience they will tell eight to 10 people. Its vital you minimize the negatives and maximize the positives. One way of achieving this is by continuing to provide the highest level of servicefrom initial phone calls, to first visits and through every opportunity that arises during tenancy.

One final note: On-going training is vital to ensure each person involved in the selling effort is providing the same level of sales performance. This helps develop consistency so all tenants receive the royal treatment. Over time, your new delivery of care will improve your ability to set appointments, increase customer visits, transform renters into raving fans and, ultimately, raise the rentals at your site. 

Brad North is founder of Advantage Business Consulting, which specializes in on-site sales, marketing, feasibility and operational training for the self-storage industry. He has produced two live videos and a workbook, Maximizing Your Sales and Marketing Program, designed to help managers improve their sales and marketing efforts. Mr. North most recently launched A TelePro, a mystery shopping service that assists in educating, evaluating and improving the phone-sales performance of self-storage professionals. For more information, call 513.229.0400; visit www.advantagebusinessconsulting.com

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