Self Storage: 3 Proven Tactics to Monitor Reviews and Online Reputation
Self-Storage – Why Being Popular Matters
Yelp is typically followed by ‘Gulp’, for Self-Storage owners and operators. That isn’t even accounting for negative reviews on Facebook! The complaints your facility receives are sometimes malicious and unfair. Other times they’re right on the nose. While it’s frustrating to be on the receiving end of a negative review, there are ways to curb negative online chatter. Let’s convert naysayers into main-stayers.
Self-Storage – 1 is the Loneliest Star
It may come as no surprise, but roughly 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. We suspect this statistic will only grow as mobile traffic continues to outpace that of desktop searches.
The Self-Storage team at Linkmedia 360 scoured various directories for inflammatory one star reviews, and the coveted five star reviews. Here are some reasons on both sides of the spectrum.
1 Star Reviews (Poor Performance):
- Lack of cameras or surveillance
- Unresponsive and/or rude and unprofessional management and employees
- Selling tenants’ personal belongings to recoup late payments
- Poor Website experience (not being able to pay bill online)
- Surprise rent price increases
5 Star Reviews (Excellent Service):
- Outstanding customer service
- Ease and convenience
- Clean and spacious units
- Attentive staff working onsite
- Safe and secure
As you can see, many of the elements creating negative reviews are within your facilities control. You’d be surprised by the reviews your facility would garner by having an attentive, courteous staff member available to help tenants out.
It’s inevitable that at some point, a customer will have a negative experience. Consumers are far more likely to write a scathing review after a negative experience, than sing your praises after a positive one. After all, customer service is a minimum expectation in this space.
Check out this infographic on how Star Ratings can either drive customers to your facility, or right to your competition, courtesy of Reputation.com.
What your facility can do to become a Star
Google’s recent change to the star ratings will make review management and maintenance even more important. Now, instead of beginning a star rating system after five or more reviews are aggregated, Google assigns a star rating after just one review is posted.
This obviously presents a great or terrible opportunity for your facility, based on the review itself. Here are a several ways to encourage positive reviews, and manage your overall online perception.
1.) Claim your Storage Facility listing on directories like Yelp
This is an easy and quick way to start managing the online word-of-mouth on Yelp and similar directories. You’ll most likely have to create an account for your facility. Once you have created your account, you’ll have to verify the authenticity of the facility by providing a phone number and picking up when that directory calls.
Once you’ve done this, you can begin customizing your facility’s listing by adding in the address, hours of operation, and other pertinent information. Once your facility is claimed, you can begin addressing issues of the positive and negative sort.
2.) Be Responsive & Proactive
The best way to manage your facility’s online reputation is by interacting directly with the tenants who have posted a review. Make sure to not merely empathize with a negative customer experience. Challenge yourself and your team to instead pose a solution to the initial problem or critique. You won’t win over every disgruntled customer, but addressing and responding to both negative and positive reviews will keep your team ahead of issues before they begin collecting digital dust.
3.) Invest in a CRM or partner with a third-party
Once your self-storage facility has accumulated a decent amount of reviews, a natural next step is to continue that momentum by managing incoming reviews. If you staff is unable to respond to every review (positive or negative) that is submitted, a CRM or third-party partner is a recommended investment. This will help your team capitalize on positive customer experiences by asking for a review.
Trust Pilot is a trusted third-party reputation management partner.
Next Time Self-Storage Stars
Consumer trust is difficult to earn, and a negative review can undo hours or years of hard work and due diligence. Make sure to keep your star rating and reviews at the top-of-mind. Of course, our team will be available to answer any questions your team has if you encounter a stumbling block. Contact us here. Until next time!