I’m sure you’re all familiar with the commonly-used adage, ‘Happy wife happy life’. This blog’s insight is similar in that vein, except in this case we’re referring to ensuring your existing self-storage tenants’ happiness.
Many self-storage facilities make the mistake of investing in the acquisition of new tenants without keeping their current customers’ needs top of mind. That fallacy in judgment often creates occupancy-related issues.
Our goal for our SS clients at Linkmedia 360 is to create enticing digital assets for potential tenants while also cultivating positive customer experiences that result in loyalty and retention.
That isn’t to say that the customer is always right, or that your team shouldn’t know when to cut its losses. We aren’t recommending turning a blind eye to negligent tenant practices. Your facility can’t win every customer.
We aren’t necessarily recommending developing a loyalty program, either. While those practices can certainly be successful when integrated, the self-storage team at Linkmedia 360 wants to be kind to your budget by offering some free ways to incentivize and cater to existing tenants.
Unfortunately, in both SEO and in customer service, the devil is in the details. Serving your tenants an average experience simply won’t work in today’s hyper-connected reality.
Tenants have both social media and review-aggregate sites like Yelp to share both positive and unsavory customer experiences. And, while we can’t control what individuals say about a facility online, we can minimize that impact those reviews may have by focusing on a positive and consistent experience for customers.
The smallest efforts can go a long way in creating a pleasant environment your tenants will look forward to visiting repeatedly. Plus, they’ll be more likely to spread the word about their positive experiences online. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond for your tenants. If that means providing freshly baked cookies in the office and a daily newspaper to read – do it! The expense will be minimal, but the impact on existing customers will be measurable.
An easy way to gauge what your existing customers would like to see is to send out a survey. Simply ask your customers what amenities they would like to see. By reinvesting dollars back into your facility, you’re also reinvesting back into your occupancy strategy.
Since when do the words “free” sound bad to anyone? The Linkmedia 360 self-storage team doesn’t necessarily recommend amending the entire pricing structure in place at your facility. Before engaging in any type of discount or offer, make sure that your facility is operating with the ability to still turn a profit while also incentivizing customers.
Here are several considerations before launching into a discount program:
Take those considerations seriously before deciding to create incentives for customers, as they will be the most impactful when thought out and consistent. Don’t begin a discounting program lightly, because your customers will start to expect these discounts all the time.
Consider this – according to WordStream, 51% of people want location-based coupons when searching online. So, what your facility loses in its initial investment in a discounting program can be gained in loyalty and referral traffic.
At the end of the day, even though storage units can appear transactional by nature, remember there is an underlying level of sentimentality each tenant will have to the belongings they’re storing. In addition to that, tenants are most likely geographically linked to the region where your facility is located.
Your facility can capitalize on and address these areas with your social media channels and content assets like blogs, infographics, and newsletters. Cultivating a community element for your facility with content doesn’t have to be costly, but it may eventually cause your ownership team to consider partnering with an SEO agency. If so, contact us and we’ll provide recommendations customized to your facility.
For the time being, your facility can utilize options like monthly newsletters or emails to help cultivate loyalty. A newsletter allows you to communicate your commitment to reinvesting in the facility to all tenants at the same time.
Moreover, these consistent actions show your tenants you’re after more than their money. It doesn’t have to be an overly sentimental gushing of affection, but a monthly update can keep tenants in the loop.
The newsletter can include any storage unit updates like renovations, changes in ownership, upcoming updates, etc. If tenants feel that your facility is investing in their safety, security, and quality of life, they will reward your facility with their loyalty and patronage.
If a traditional newsletter isn’t time conducive, perhaps email updates are easier. Your facility can accomplish the same effect of a newsletter with a monthly email update for current tenants. Experian reports that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, so keep the information relevant and personalized to ensure your facility receives the most clicks.
Again, these aren’t all-encompassing recommendations, but they should help your team get started.
This isn’t an exact science. As was mentioned earlier, your facility won’t be able to win over everyone. It’s impossible to keep every customer happy and returning, no matter how positive you try to make their experience.
But applying these best practices should help you and your ownership team carve out a community of loyal tenants amidst an area of transactional customers.
Happy tenants, happy life, remember!