Improving Customer Experience
By Alyssa Browning
Despite common belief, the overall customer experience is not the same thing as customer service. The customer experience is defined by Forbes as “interactions between customers and organizations through their entire business relationship”. This means that the customers experience goes beyond just one purchase or rental with your self-storage business. It extends to each and every interaction they have with your business including (but not limited to) searching for you on Google, renting a unit, and paying their rent. The experience that your customers will have is based on numerous factors including level of ease, level of satisfaction with service, and whether or not their expectations were met.
Ease is one of the most important factors of providing an excellent customer experience. In the self-storage industry ease could include the ability to rent units online through your self-storage software, or the ability to automatically pay rent through autopay each month. The common denominator is making it easier for your customer to get what they need. To illustrate, imagine that you are a customer looking for a great place to rent a storage unit. You go to Google to find a facility. Only two facilities in your area show up on Google- even though you know there are more. You decide that since the contact information for these two facilities is readily available on Google, you will decide between them. However, when trying to find additional information, only one facility allows you to view information, rent the unit, sign up for autopay, and sign your lease agreement online. The other facility requires you to come in during their short business hours to ask questions and complete the process. Which facility would you go with? In this day and age, most people would go with the facility who made it extremely easy for them to rent the unit and sign the agreement. There are many tools to help you show up on Google (SEO & Online Marketing) and make it easy for your customers to use your facility (Self- Storage Management Software).
In addition to ease, having good service is a contributing factor to an overall positive experience. Providing good customer service will aid in making the process easy for your tenants. For example, imagine that you are a tenant who just booked a rental online and were satisfied with the ease of the process. However, you notice after completing the rental that you chose the wrong unit. So, you call the facility. Nobody answers the phone at the facility and when you go to the facility nobody is there. Now imagine a similar scenario where the facility has a manager (or Call Management service) and someone has answered the phone and resolved the issue in a timely manner. Which would have a greater experience and earn your business again in the future?
Finally, meeting your customers expectations is the cherry on top of a perfect experience. When someone is looking for a self-storage facility it is because they need to store their items. They have beliefs that the process will be easy and it will be something they handle once and don’t have to worry much about after the fact- aside from paying their rent. Meeting this expectation by providing outstanding customer service, and the tools to make the process simple will ensure a good overall experience for your customer.
To conclude, providing an excellent customer experience goes beyond providing just customer service. This is what will set you apart from your competitors and help you earn long-term business.