ARE YOU A STORAGE TREND SETTER, OR FOLLOWER?
When it comes to marketing your Self Storage facility, there is no doubt that customer satisfaction is 100 per cent important – and that is now being recognised within the industry internationally.
Feedback from clients, whether it is positive or negative, is always important in helping you fine-tune the details of your business, and the fact there is now more emphasis on staff training in the Self Storage arena in the US is a direct result of customer feedback.
However, it is not the only trend that is worth following and a recent survey from the US gives some pointers as what customers want when they choose a facility.
The results may help give you some points to ponder for your next marketing campaign, so see if any of these correlate with your experience and utilise that knowledge in your forward planning.
- In the US, the primary decision-maker when choosing which facility to use is a woman.
- The two age groups most likely to needing space are 25-34 and 45-54. The 18-24 age group was the third highest.
- In terms of how long they are renting, almost twice as many people held their units for somewhere between two and six months, rather than a longer period. However, almost 20 per cent of respondents were holding for up to a year or longer. Predominantly the use is personal, but commercial use is growing.
- The survey respondents said most of their business came from online bookings, but other reports suggest phone calls, signage/walk-ins and referrals are more important – proving a good customer experience is vital to provide more business.
- The survey also showed that promotional deals or discounts are very popular with a bonus free month of storage rated more highly than free packing supplies or use of a moving truck/van.
- Having said that, only about 35 per cent of respondents made their choice based on price. The remainder were more concerned with special features such as security levels and access hours, as well as the location and any add-on services.
- Having a retail section pays dividends with locks, boxes and packing tape and packing materials all popular purchases.
In the UK, the whole Self Storage industry is still much less developed than here or the US, but some interesting points came out of a survey over there that might also be worth thinking about when you look at what you are doing, and how to do it better.
About half the respondents didn’t know that Self Storage offers a range of different sized units, that contracts are flexible and not fixed periods as with renting houses, and that the renter is the only person who can access their goods.
Awareness of facilities in their area depended on direct visibility and good signage – advertising was very low. If they needed a facility, they were most likely to search the internet or be aware of one nearby (location, signage) and ask a family member or friend. They were also likely to check the phone directory or the local paper, rather than social media.
When it came time to book a space, most were likely to call direct to the facility by phone or dropping in, but email contact or online through a website was not far behind. Women preferred to ring while older people were more likely to come in.
How does that match up to your experience? And what are you doing about it?