Turn Your Tenants Into Champions [Self Storage Customer Service Guide]

September 23, 2021

self storage customer service guide
6 min

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. This is as true in the self storage industry as it is for any other. A great self storage customer service experience can improve your customer's journey and turn your tenants into champions that bring in more business!

What does good self storage customer service look like, though? What brings your service from good to great? If you’re a manager or owner of a self storage facility, you might know that you need better service but might not know precisely how to give great customer service in self storage specifically. Exceptional service goes beyond greeting customers with a smile, and often it’s the small things that are forgotten about but make the most significant difference.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make sure your customer service goes above and beyond customer expectations!

Download our free Customer Journey Playbook

Remember the Basics

Having the basics down sets you up for success. So what does this mean for customer service in the self storage industry?

First and foremost, it means putting forward the best face you can for customers. Greet them with a smile and be polite! Don’t come off as lazy or as though you wish you were somewhere else. Use the customer’s name to greet and converse with them, and ensure they feel like a person rather than a unit number.

Remember that no matter your position at the facility, you represent the entire company every time you interact with a customer. The way you greet, converse with, and otherwise interact with customers can even flavor their perception of the facility itself and is reflected in their reviews!

Know Your Customers

Not every self storage customer is going to have the same expectations when it comes to customer service, and some customer trends and expectations might surprise you.

Do they expect a friendly but professional reception, or would they prefer personable and down-to-earth?

If you are running a family-owned business that banks on that fact as its appeal, your customers will probably appreciate a more personal or familiar touch to the service they receive. Being too professional could come off as stuffy or distant.

On the other hand, some customers prefer a business to be run professionally and expect a professional atmosphere when dealing with you. If your company’s image invokes professionalism and a sense of modern big business, you probably want to maintain that image when interacting with customers.

Download our free Customer Journey Playbook

Be Helpful, Not Just Friendly

A cheerful, friendly personality is the basic expectation customers have. How, then, do you reach beyond the basics and impress your self storage customers with outstanding service?

Make yourself helpful.

This helpfulness can come in various forms, and some may be more feasible for your business than others. Still, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can upgrade your self storage facility’s customer service:

  1. Help people move their boxes or other items.
  2. Provide water on a hot day.
  3. Show them to their unit instead of pointing it out on a map.
  4. Give advice on storing and moving their items.
  5. Provide a place for children to stay busy.

Your job isn’t over after you welcome the customer in and get their lease signed. It’s what you do after they’re in the door that really has the chance to impress them.

Be Available and Communicative

How many times have you contacted a business looking for answers and been unable to get anywhere? Maybe the response was vague or unhelpful, or perhaps you couldn’t even get ahold of anyone to begin with.

Don’t let this be your business.

Make sure you are available to answer customer questions and address their concerns. Set up multiple lines of communication, and allow tenants and potential tenants to choose the most convenient option for them. Most importantly, make sure you monitor and respond to those lines of communication!

Have someone available to answer the phone during business hours and to respond to messages. Clear out your voicemail inbox. If you struggle with keeping up with emails, set yourself daily reminders to get to them.

Responding to a query could be the difference between converting a lead or losing it to your competitor.

5 ways ebook

Go the Extra Mile: Show You Care

So you have a friendly persona, you are well-known for being helpful, and you are great at picking up the phone and responding to messages and emails. What’s next? How do you level up your customer service in the self storage industry now?

Time to earn those bonus points.

The way forward is simple. To take the extra step and go that extra mile, all you have to do is care about your customers and let them know that you care. Here are some great ideas to implement:

  • Take notes about customers and conversations you have with them.

    Being an active listener helps show that you care and are paying attention. Showing that you are listening can make all the difference when it comes to servicing customers. Very often, self storage customers are looking to rent due to significant life events and transitions. Most people want to talk about life changes, and giving them this opportunity is an excellent way to show you care by listening.

    If they mention any personal details or plans, make a note of that! Bring it up the next time you talk and take notice of how impressed—and probably how happy—they are in response. A simple “Good afternoon! How was the vacation? Did you get any fun souvenirs?” can transform your customer’s experience.

  • Send thank-you letters when a customer moves in.

    A thank-you is a great way to give customers a warmer association with you. This is especially true if you can personalize the thank-you note, letter, or email. Sending a thank-you is also a chance to reinforce that they made the right decision and bestow greater peace of mind.

    There are other great benefits to this if you do it in the form of an email. For example, you end up verifying their email address while simultaneously providing them with an easy means to reach out to you without searching the web for your contact information.

  • Offer complimentary snacks and drinks.

    Treats are the way to many people’s hearts. Create a more welcoming and caring atmosphere at your self storage facility by setting out fresh snacks, candies, and drinks! A tasty baked treat can even make your business smell more inviting. Ultimately, providing complimentary items to your customers reinforces the image that you care about them beyond the profit you make from them. In self storage, that translates to you caring about the safety of their belongings.

  • Make long-term customers feel seen and appreciated.

    New customers aren’t the only ones you should spend time on. If your facility has any customers that have been storing for longer periods, consider reaching out to them to celebrate relevant milestones. Call or email them on the anniversary of their move-in, and consider opportunities to pass on discounts to these customers to remind them of why they chose you in the first place.

    This continued nurturing of your relationship can play an important role in maintaining long-term customers through rent increases.

  • Sponsor local community events and support charities.

    Another way to show that you genuinely care about people beyond business is by supporting your local community. An excellent way to do this is by sponsoring local events and supporting local charities. It provides customers greater peace of mind when they see the way you are trying to make a difference in the community that they, too, probably belong to.

Download our free Customer Journey Playbook

The Bottom Line

We’ve explored many ways to give good customer service in self storage, and it might seem like a lot to take in. What it really comes down to, though, is being intentional and caring about your relationship with customers.

You don’t need to be every customer’s best friend, but taking the extra steps to be helpful, available, and show that you care makes a significant difference in the customer’s experience.

Nurture your relationship with your customers, and you may be surprised at how quickly even a new tenant can turn into a champion that furthers your cause.

For more articles about the Customer Journey, check out:

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. With Insights, our self storage marketing platform, operators get the data and digital tools they need to make the get out of their website and their self storage investment.

The best way to grow your self storage business? Understand your customers.

Download our eBook to learn how!

Customer Journey Playbook - Cover Shadow