Written by Jim Camoriano, guest blogger
Welcome to PhoneSmart’s self storage blog, a diary of self storage industry.
I’m at the airport with keys in hand, and I’m 10 feet away from my rental car. Suddenly, this guy appeared (it was a stifling hot day in the Deep South, so I wiped my eyes in case it was a mirage). Nope. He was still there.
It was the rental car rep, and he greeted me with a big smile and asked how I was doing. He opened the door and showed me where the lights and wiper blade controls were. He asked if everything was comfortable, had me check the interior and then shook my hand. “Have a safe trip, sir.”
Why all the attention? I wasn’t even part-way famous. It’s just a car, for crying out loud!
Then again, maybe it’s not.
This guy wanted to make sure I was properly acclimated, because some cars have buttons in weird spots. For example, finding the hazard lights can be really hazardous – poking your fingers at things connected to things that are connected to megavolts of electricity and hair-removing heat. I don’t know why the manufacturers can’t all get together and decide once and for all that hazards should forever and always be where you can find them. Like in front of you.
Needless to say, I drove out of that airport parking lot feeling important and definitely feeling good about how I was treated.
In the self-storage business, our goal is to get customers to reserve units. But should we go to the same lengths as the rental company did to secure new business? Absolutely. Why? Our business is just about 10×10 rooms without sunlight, for crying out loud. Right?
When our callers feel good about entrusting their goods to our care, when they feel important, when they are put at ease, that’s when those lonely rooms out on your storage lot get filled. And a full storage unit is earning your company important dollars.
So here are two very simple, but very neglected, reminders about how to secure a reservation:
1) Help the customer understand everything. Explain the policies, options and prices so there are no doubts or questions in their mind. Ask them if the location is convenient for them. Sell your store
by offering amenities – climate control, downstairs, upstairs, security gates and alarms, packing tape, packing boxes, deposits, etc.
2) I know this sounds just as weird as hazard lights in a car trunk, but try doing all of the things in #1 as if you were trying to persuade your best friend to try your mom’s batch of homemade cookies. Having that level of enthusiasm can do wonders in helping customers feel like your store is the right one for them.
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