I think we can all agree that as customers we have higher expectations than ever. We want good products that are quick to obtain and easy to use. Market leaders recognise this and are diversifying to meet customer needs (we can now order products directly from our mobiles and have them delivered the very same day.) Trying to apply this to your Self-Storage business can be daunting and offering your customers everything under the sun feels like it’d be costly or an inconvenience to you. However, you have all the knowledge you need from every procurement experience you’ve had… think back to the last purchases you made and what factors enhanced, excited, dissatisfied and disappointed you.
1 Cup of Wonderful Website
A website can be your top-ranking sales employee and should be treated so. You can’t expect successful results if you’re not prepared to put in the time, effort and research to truly invest in it. When was the last time you looked at your website with fresh eyes as a new customer or had a friend or relative put it to the test? Are you looking at the flow of traffic through your website, keywords, product titles and text links? If you don’t have Search Engine Optimisation techniques in your website content, you won’t rise in the search engines’ results pages. Just as a quick example, I am sure you have all had bad experience with swapping energy providers. But Bulb have a fantastic, engaging, user-friendly website.
50 Grams of Raving Reviews
It’s a common saying that ‘the best advertisement is word of mouth.’ Thanks to the internet we now have instant access to opinions, which can make or break your business. 57% of a customer’s decision is already made before they call your company. Along with the impression given by your website, reviews go towards a customer’s opinion of your company. Consumers have faith and trust in them, even if they are from complete strangers. They need to not only be on your website, but also Facebook, as well as Google Reviews on your website listing. Don’t panic if you get a negative review, the worst thing you can do is to ignore it. More loyalty can be built from resolving an issue efficiently and effectively. Reply openly, at the end of the day we’re all human and make mistakes but it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.
1 Tablespoon of Initial Impressions
I realise you may get asked the same questions by potential customers every day on every call, but it may be the first time they have enquired about storage and even a customer service voice from Harvard won’t disguise frustration! So, if customer service isn’t your thing, fake it till you make it – a smile can be heard through the phone. Regardless of whether the interaction is over the phone or face to face, first impressions are important. This goes for your site too – finishing touches make all the difference. Your site locations may not be plastered online for security reasons, but is it easy for your customers to find you once they have ordered? Something as simple as directions sent out via email or text would avoid confusion, improving customer experience. Something else to consider: What does your office say about you and what do you want your office to say about you?
Cook for 24-hours Access
There are various reasons you wouldn’t want to offer 24-hour access on your site. But to give a flexible approach (and so you don’t feel like you have to live on your site) you could state that 24-hour access is available upon agreement. Most people like to have the option even if they won’t choose to use it. For those who do, ask why they want access at early hours, it may be for legitimate reasons but it’s always a good idea to check. If you’re not based on site do you offer a day that you are available? You could even have a notice board that you and your customers can communicate through. This all engages and builds rapport with your customers.
Sprinkle with Gallons of Accessories
Are you offering everything your customers need? If they’re not buying them from you, they are getting them somewhere! If you do provide accessories are you advertising them well enough and are the prices clear? Extra revenue streams through accessories cannot be ignored. To improve your customers experience you must understand their requirements and be able to fulfil the need. Everyone will want a padlock but what are your customers storing and how often will they be accessing their unit? It’s no good offering racking to someone storing a motorcycle, but offering internal lighting to someone who comes on evenings is a brilliant up-sell. Finally, never hide the additional costs for these extra products as this loses trust and can damage a customer relationship. Upfront honesty is the best policy.
Your brand needs to be consistent in the impression given and the atmosphere provided across the board. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have been misled by a company, so your website, reviews and customer service all need to reflect what you want. Is your business a labour of love? If not it’s never too late to make a change! So why not start now… get motivated from cleaning your office to cleaning your website.