By Drew Case
You best know your facility, but try being a customer one day. There is a lot to learn from your customers. through observation, conversation and customer reviews. Feedback or actions by a customer are very telling. Here are a few things you can learn from a customer.
Parking: They will pull in and park where they think is the best. Maybe your parking isn't in the correct area or your signage needs improved. Pull into your own entrance and look again at what you see. Is the signage clear? Is the parking area striped accordingly?
Extra Storage Items: Do you have a plan for items customers don't plan to take with them? Are they leaving items in your aisles or units? You don't want a broken grill, dresser, old mattress, etc. laying around your storage. Would you allow for or charge for dumpster use? Do they take everything with them? Make this clear at the time of rental. Your customer must know the guidelines on disposing of items. Make this clear.
Finding the Unit: Hallways can be tricky. Hopefully you showed them the unit and put their lock on it. However, the second time they come back, can they find their unit with ease? Do you have building/hallway letters, A, B, C to differentiate the separate buildings/hallways? Are there building numbers at the end of the row (ie, 105-199)? Does the customer have a map of the facility to make it simple to find their units? Walk around and ensure you act as a customer and see what you learn.
Lighting: Be a customer for a day, but what about at night! Lighting provides illumination to see but also a sense of security. Drive to your facility at night to review lighting and ensure you have areas well lit for customers to move in and out, as well as feel safe at your facility. Indicate any burnt lighting or areas that need additional illumination.
Facility Drive By: Pass your facility along the road and look at it as a customer. Zoning may limit what you are allowed, but what can you do to get around the zoning limitations? Fake doors to the street, interior signage through windows, feather banner, pennant, neon or other. If you are a customer and drive by the facility, what is going to catch your eye and pull you in.
It is easy as an owner to think that your directions, signage and advertising are perfect, but you must tale a look as a customer. A customer may not always provide feedback that an entrance keypad has issues or the light by their unit is out, but keep your facility maintained through the eye of a customer and catch the small things before they do. The customer may decide to rent elsewhere or give you a negative review if you don't tune up. Customers can often be the best teachers and we should learn from them. Set yourself up for success.
Do you want to have a 15 minute call to learn how Storage Authority helps improve the systems, sales, marketing and profits at your existing facility? If you are building from the ground up, let's also review how we help you find land and get your facility designed, approved and built.
Please send me an email or call me- no appointment is needed. Drew@StorageAuthority.com or 513-582-0125. You can also click the link below to start your journey today:
Drew Case is a Franchise Director for Storage Authority Franchise. He has 30 years of self storage experience at all levels of management. Drew enjoys teaching and training others the various aspects of a successful self storage location by reinforcing policies, programs and procedures. Catch him at a local car show with one of his several classic hot rods.
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