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October 18, 2018
Reviews have become a staple of the way we interact with businesses and products online. For some reason, it feels beneficial to receive guidance from strangers when making a final decision on a purchase.
97% of consumers search online for local businesses.
There is a significant chance that your customers will see an online review for your self storage facility before they even contact you.
Online reviews can kill the bottom line of a business if or when it gets hit with continuous negative reviews.
It is crucial to implement a strategy to increase the ratio of positive reviews to negative reviews, so this does not affect your future occupancy, or worse – lead to a mass exodus.
Before the internet, the only way we essentially heard or read reviews were from the newspapers, word of mouth, or magazines. Today, all we have to do is do a simple online search with the computer in our pocket (a desktop still works too) to find out what other people think of any local business.
According to BrightLocal,
“85% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
In other words, consumers today are trusting the opinions of strangers online as much as their friends and family! Reviews not only help your business but also provide essential benefits that you should be aware of.
According to the StorEDGE blog, you could be missing out on the following if you are not managing your online reputation: real feedback, opportunities to build credibility & trust, know if you have a problem, create better user-generated content descriptions, if your description is wrong, and finally helpful SEO boosts.
You may already have reviews on websites like Yelp and Facebook and not even know of it.
First thing, be sure to begin claiming all of your self storage locations on Yelp, Google My Business (search for your business on Google to claim it), Bing Places, and Facebook. These are a few of the most trusted/used review websites.
By claiming and managing your self storage locations, you can upload photos, update your hours of operations, add special discounts or promotions, respond to reviews, and more.
Claiming your listings on these sites and making the information provided as useful as possible is a great way to show that you care about customers and the service that you provide.
Along with managing your reviews your star ratings and reviews on your website can significantly boost your website’s SEO performance. Self storage websites that have strong customer reviews tend to climb higher in search engines.
Because Google itself provides reviews, the more positive reviews you can get the better ranking you will receive from Google.
Could you possibly start writing fake positive reviews? Yes, you could, but be aware that Google is very watchful and you are more likely to cause more harm than good in the end.
Negative reviews can sometimes be the most difficult to deal with, but they can also be the most rewarding.
Never ignore a negative review, no matter how ridiculous or absurd it is, always respond and be as professional as possible.
Respond to negative reviews by thanking them for their feedback. Next, the goal is to move the conversation away from the review site ASAP.
Successfully moving the conversation is easier if they are a current tenant whose contact information is already available to you. Let them know that you or a store manager will be contacting them as soon – preferably that day.
If you don't have contact information for the person, perhaps they weren't a customer, and you can have the review removed by reporting it (you still want to respond for the time being though). Either way, provide a means for them to contact you in your response.
You want potential customers to see that you do take action when an adverse situation arises and you can provide help during a crisis.
Never shift the blame to the customer or make excuses, take full responsibility for the situation at hand.
If you are able to solve the customer's issue, or resolve the situation, ask them if they could edit their review to reflect their current satisfaction. Even if they raise their review from 1 star to 3 stars, it will help in your SEO rankings – and more importantly, your star average.
If you aren't able to get customers to bump up their ratings and you still have some one-star reviews, don't freak out! It's okay as long as you have good reviews as well.
Be sure you solve the root issues and keep providing the best storage experience you can. Over time, you will have many more good reviews than bad.
Creating an incentive program for your store managers can help motivate struggling stores to gather as many positive reviews as they can.
An example of an incentive program for a self storage facility would be, for every positive review, each employee would be placed into a drawing to win $100 or any other prize to your likings.
An example of an incentive for a customer would be 10% off the next month's rent. Be careful with incentivizing reviews though. The customer must be fully aware that it is optional, or there could be severe consequences in a worst-case scenario.
Today, reviews are the lifeblood of any company, especially local business, and in the self storage industry, reviews are key to standing out!
If you haven’t started managing your online reviews for your self storage facility yet, don’t panic, because StoragePug can help you improve your reviews so you can stand out amongst your competitors. Be sure to contact a StoragePug Product Specialist today to learn how to integrate reviews into your website!
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