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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Amy Campbell

September 16, 2008

2 Min Read
Where Everybody Knows Your Name

After reading Amy Campbell's Monday blog, I realized she and I have a lot in common with the city mouse and the country mouse. She resides in a booming metropolis, whereas I live in a town of few. In the Phoenix sprawl, the speed of life sometimes surpasses the speed limit. And amidst it all, people come to rely on technology to make daily tasks a snap. If a task takes too long, frustration and tempers rise. Not a good combination for those living in the summer's swelter.

Which is why kiosks at cityside self-storage facilities are likely a great inspiration, as Amy pointed out. Kiosks can make life swifter for self-storage managers and tenants alike. As she also pointed out, though, they may not be for everyone. Which is precisely the case in my small town.

Here, everyone does know everyone by name, and that is reassuring, for several reasons. People in these parts like face-to-face relationships, because there is a certain trust factor that builds businesses. Plus, the oldtimers here would never even think of learning how to use such newfangled technology as a kiosk. Many of them don't even trust or like the ATM, preferring to walk right into the bank office and make a personal deposit, while finding out how Marjorie, the clerk, is enjoying her newest grandchild.

Regardless of whether you are a city or country self-storage facility, all managers must face tenants at one time or other. For this reason, I bring you some pointers, some from experience and others courtesy of SmallBusinessScope.com.

First off, acknowledge customers as quickly as possible and never make them wait more than a second if you are involved in a personal conversation either on the phone or in person. That's just rude! Also, look customers in the eye when communicating, so as to send the message you are honest and forthright. Learn tenants' names and use them, out of respect. And don't try to be overly friendly or try to oversell them with products/services they don't need.

In a small town, people know better than to burn a bridge. Bad business between a manager and customer would not go over well. Instead of just one, many bridges would be burned because word, like fire, spreads quickly.

On the other hand, a good word, an honest smile and respectful business practices can seal a deal for a lifetime. Take the country mouse's word for it. No technology can ever do that.

 

 

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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