3 Simple Ways to Simplify Self-Storage for Customers

June 13, 2013 0
3 Simple Ways to Simplify Self-Storage for Customers

Is there anyone among us who periodically doesn’t feel overwhelmed and distracted by the massive number of choices out there? From buying a flat-screen TV to making travel arrangements, there are so many places to go to review, evaluate and buy that it can create a “deer in the headlights” scenario. We simply freeze up and do nothing.

By contrast, isn’t it nice to find definitive, trusted sources and resources that can help us make savvy choices without going through all the rigmarole? For example, think about the relative ease of making travel arrangements through a trusted travel agent versus researching the vast repositories of travel options yourself. Or how about navigating a website that’s direct and understandable versus one that’s so busy that it makes your head spin?

Become that trusted adviser to self-storage tenants and prospects. Make it easy for them to make choices based on clear, concise, consistent information. Don’t load them up with endless qualifiers, disqualifiers and legal doublespeak. And, by all means, make interactions with any technology—from self-service kiosks to mobile signup—as easy and unambiguous as possible.

Of course, this can be difficult. For example, developing a rental contract that adequately protects you can require a ton of legal gobbledygook. You can try simplifying it in collaboration with your attorney, but how far that will go is problematic.

So, how can you keep things simple for customers and make those things complete at the same time?

1. Contracts and Legal Agreements
Put in all the legal stuff that needs to be there, but couple it with a direct, user-friendly, plain-speaking document that summarizes the agreement. You’ll still need to recommend that people read everything, including the fine print, but for those who opt not to, you’ve still provided an easy way for them to do business with you by providing a straightforward summary.

2. Operations
Hit the high points about issues that typically concern tenants and prospects: security, environmental protection, access, payment processes and so forth. As with legal explanations, make this an easily digested summary that explains what you do, what you can do and what you can back up factually.

Make it real and honest. If facility reviews aren’t good, don’t say they are—fix the problems instead. If appropriate and feasible, make it easy for people to read ample reviews (online and otherwise) about you—from review sites to testimonials on your website and your marketing materials.

3. Technology
Test it out yourself, have others test it out, and tweak until it’s as clear and user-friendly as possible. Think about it: When do many people rent self-storage space? When they’re under duress, at odd times of the day or night, when they’re mobile. Let’s liken this to a tire blowing out as you’re heading down the highway at 2 a.m. in the middle of nowhere. Would you rather search Google for a facility that likely will be closed until morning or call an around-the-clock, toll-free number for AAA or another road assistance service? For most of us, the answer is obvious.

Make your tenant and prospect interactions fall into that same category whenever possible. Make it easy for people to find you, find out about you and do business with you—whether they’re surfing on a smartphone, calling for more information or just wanting to complete a transaction right away.

This is the law of attraction, which will help keep tenants at your facility and keep them coming your way. It’s needed now more than ever, as the law of distraction seems to rule so much of our lives.

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