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October 25, 2018
A successful self storage brand starts with your facility manager. Your facility manager is on the front line of your business but sometimes you, as the business operator, do not have the time to check in on them.
By implementing a manager rewards system, you can encourage your managers to be successful in acquiring more positive online reviews.
It is essential to monitor and track all of your current online reviews before you can start a successful incentive program. By defining a formal goal and incentive system, you are creating excitement within your business.
If you have not monitored your online reviews before, now is the time to begin reading what current and past customers have to say about your store online. The majority of self storage operations do not set goals for their staff to acquire online reviews.
When you don't have goals set for garnering online reviews, people who Google your facility might immediately go to a competitors website merely because they have several reviews on Google.
Begin by having a conversation with each of your store managers and let them know you would like to start achieving 5-10 new online reviews a month. These reviews need to come from the following websites: Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook.
Go to each one of those websites to verify that your storage facility has been claimed. By claiming your location(s), you can respond to reviews, upload photos, change hours of operations, and add special promotions that can only be acquired online.
Inform your managers how important online reviews are.
According to BrightLocal, “85% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
There are many different avenues that you can take when creating a successful incentive program. StorEdge provides information on creating an online review championship tournament where all of your managers can create an online bracket, similar to March Madness, then whichever manager gets the most reviews gets a $1,000 gift card to Amazon, Southwest Airlines, or the Apple Store.
Just remember to keep this fun and not feel like extra work for the managers since they are already busy with the facility's operations.
The best way to acquire reviews is to ask your customers directly.
Research shows that 70% of customers will review a business if asked.
There are many other ways to obtain reviews besides asking in-person. Some examples are linking to a review website on your site, provide a direct link to a leave a review in your email signature, use a service like Podium to text them and lastly use social media posts to ask customers to review your facility.
There will be times when you will get negative reviews. It is part of running a business; you cannot please everyone. To respond to a negative review, you can say something as simple as, “Thank you for the feedback. We value your business, and we will be contacting you within 24 hours.”
Research shows that almost 70% of unhappy customers will give that business another chance after receiving a response to a negative online review.
Offer a solution to the customer once you speak with them. You can offer a discount, refund, or you can provide something as simple as an apology to their negative situation.
Tracking the results of your online reviews can be quickly done by searching for your storage facility online and checking to see if your managers are responding.
Most importantly ensure that you are getting the allotted amount of reviews per month that you put in place. You can have your managers send you weekly reports of the analytical data from their store online reviews.
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