Gabfocus Episode 5: The Whole Customer Experience

Gabfocus Episode 5: The Whole Customer Experience

What kind of impression do you leave on your customers? What’s it like renting from you? What makes them stay and what makes them leave? Check out this Gabfocus Session to hear how other self storage owners and operators focus on their customers.

Moderators: Melissa Huff and Tommy Nguyen
Featured Speakers: Jim Mooney, Sue Haviland, Jess Casto, Phil Murphy

Category: Operations
Focus: Owners and Managers
Aired: May 7, 2020
Duration: 1:33:00

Gabfocus Sessions

Gabfocus Sessions are weekly, virtual workshops for self storage owners, managers, and operators. Brought to you by the team behind Gabfest: StoragePug and MR Management.

Each session features hand-picked industry pros who will dive deep into relevant topics surrounding our industry, share best practices, and explore trends in the market. It's our hope that these sessions help you navigate your self storage business better during these uncertain times.

Want more tools for your managers? Join us on Gabfocus weekly on Thursdays.

gabfocus logo

Top Questions Answered in this session

  1. What do you do to maximize your first impression?
  2. What’s the move-in process like?
  3. How do you get new tenants “up to speed”?
  4. What’s a tenant’s experience with you when it’s “business as usual”?
  5. What’s the most important part of the customer experience?

These are just a few of the questions answered during this session! Get your pen and paper ready!

Live Poll Results: What tools are most important to provide to your employees?




Meet your speakers


Jim Mooney

Freedom Storage Management


Jess Casto

Digital Marketing Consultant


Phil Murphy



Sue Haviland

Haviland Storage Services


Got questions or comments for the panelists?

Our panelists will be happy to answer any questions you have. We hope you enjoyed this Gabfest Session. Talk soon!

We care about your privacy. Read our privacy policy to learn more.

Resources from this session

Move-in process: Jim Mooney

  • Send Welcome Email
  • Give them information on what we expect and how it works
  • Our managers reach out to them on the phone to double check that the information we have is correct
  • To streamline the process, we've even got so far as to have their lock ready for them in the unit
  • Managers follow up to make sure they've gotten setup properly or have questions

Awesome Quotes

“Everyone gets a different point of first contact - those driving by, those on your website, even those still looking at the yellow pages. You have to keep them simple and consistent." - Phil Murphy 
“Whatever your policies, whatever your procedures, make sure they’re consistent. If your managers and operators know what the process is and stick to it every time, no one has to ask questions. Keep it clear.” - Sue Haviland
"We spent most of our time focusing on the empathy portion of the sales journey and the customer process. You can rent three walls and a door anywhere, so we want to focus on what the customer wants or needs. If we can make you feel good, you’re more likely to store with us." - Jess Casto
“With digital versus physical, you have to be able to walk in both worlds.” - Jim Mooney 

Tools Mentioned

Question of the Week

We asked our panelists: "What’s the most important part of the customer experience?"

Branding. That’s the first thing they see about you. That determines if they trust you or not. I think branding is the most important part of that entire customer experience. - Jess Casto
I think the most important part really is the manager. They’re controlling your first impression. They’re controlling the cleanliness of the property, the phone conversations - the whole customer experience. They’re in charge of it all. - Phil Murphy
It’s about developing that comfort level for the customer. They never see the owner, they see your manager and your front line. If they’re not comfortable with you and don’t have that trust in you, you could have the nicest property in the world and they’re not going to come to you. - Jim Mooney 
If they don’t leave feeling good about having spent money with you, then we haven’t done a good job. You want that customer to leave that first time, glad that they chose you. - Sue Haviland

Gabfocus Takeaway

Be agile. Every location has different customers, and different customers have different needs. Cover your bases, but pay attention to who your customers are. Tailor your customer experience to conduct business and messaging to the way the customer wants to experience it. Be consistently agile
. ( Jared Carter from the Live Q&A)

Loved this? Share with a friend, manager, or operator who you think will enjoy this video.

Share your thoughts

Gabfocus - logo - 2023