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Should You Use Self Storage Chatbots?

June 2, 2022

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5 min

Are you looking for a way to improve your self storage business’s customer service?

What if you could reduce your individual workload while improving your customer service?

Chatbots are an increasingly common tool used to improve the customer experience without making the burden on owners and employees even heavier. Let’s look at the benefits of using a chatbot and how to decide if they’re right for your business!

 

What is a Chatbot?

Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re all familiar with what a chatbot really is.

Chatbots aren’t live chats. You don’t have an agent sitting on the other end waiting to respond to any incoming messages.

Instead, chatbots utilize AI-powered software or pre-defined rules to provide a certain level of automation to the customer service experience.

The goal here isn’t to replace human interaction.

Instead, chatbots help handle the bottom-level customer service needs that are a drain on businesses and their teams. They’re effective, too: Over 1.4 billion people are using chatbots by 2022, and roughly 60% of people are likely to have interacted with a chatbot in the last 6 months or so.

While chatbots aren’t self storage software specifically, they may be useful to your self storage business!

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The Types of Chatbots

According to chatbotslife.com, there are three main types of chatbots:

  1. Rule-based chatbots
  2. AI chatbots
  3. Intellectually independent chatbots

The right chatbot for your self storage business may depend on a wide range of factors. Instead of trying to prescribe a choice, let’s just talk about what each of these types really do.

3 Chatbot Types

Rule-based chatbots are simple bots that read a query and respond based on a set of pre-defined rules. Usually, these will just look for keywords in the user’s text and offer up the solutions that the owner of the bot has associated with those keywords. For example, a user might ask: “Do you have any storage units available?” The bot reads “storage units” and “available,” and provides a link to your rates page for the user to see what you have!

AI-powered chatbots are a little more complex. They have some pre-defined rules as well, but they also are a little bit better at reading the intent of the user’s query rather than relying purely on keywords.

Intellectually independent chatbots utilize full-on machine learning to handle customer interaction. They can read the intent of queries, and over time they refine their understanding of queries by learning from past customer interactions.

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Should You Use Self Storage Chatbots?

It’s no secret that you should make it as easy as possible for your customers to find information on your website or to communicate with your business.

What’s more, we know that text messaging is increasingly the number one way to communicate with customers.

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What does this mean for self storage and chatbots?

Well, it may depend more importantly on your self storage business.

Only you can really decide how worth it a chatbot or other AI-powered assistant would be for your business. However, here are some general questions to consider that might help you make the decisions:

  • How much time do you or your team spend answering customer questions?
  • Do you ever get complaints about being hard to contact?
  • Do you have multiple automated/unattended facilities running on a hub-and-spoke model?

By asking these questions about your self storage business operations, you can probably start to get a clearer picture of whether or not a chatbot would help you out.

If your managers often have a lot of extra time on their hands, then maybe you aren’t in dire need of an AI assistant for your customer service.

But if freeing up your team on the customer service side gives them an opportunity to get other work done finally, or to give more attention to customers with more complicated situations?

Well, it might just mean that a chatbot is right for you.

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The Benefits of a Chatbot

Let’s wrap up by talking about some of the benefits of a chatbot.

If you have considered your team’s workload and your tenants’ needs and are still on the fence about a chatbot, here are some of the key advantages of using one to help you make your choice!

  1. Make customer service available 24/7
  2. Save time and money
  3. Allow for more seamless contactless service
  4. Eliminate the use of clunky phone-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems

Chatbot Advantages

These are just some of the most important and self-storage-related benefits of using a chatbot.

Most importantly for self storage operators, the use of self storage software to automate time-consuming tasks and allowing your customers to interact with you 24 hours a day are probably the largest advantages.

If a storage customer has questions about your facility after office hours and doesn’t get a response until the next business day, it’s very possible you’ve already lost them to a competitor.

Even better, with some self storage software providers, you can even integrate your chatbot or set it up to interact with customers via SMS!

What do storage customers care about the most? Download our Top 9 Amenities to  find out.


A self storage chatbot won’t be the right answer for every business. That said, it’s important to consider the technology and whether or not it can benefit your self storage business.

If you think a chatbot is right for your business, see if you can find one that integrates with your self storage software or one that can be customized the way you need for your facilities!


Here are some other great posts from StoragePug!

At StoragePug, we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

Learn what your customers will pay more for.

Check out our free list of the most valuable amenities!

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