Whether conducting a market study for the benefit of our clients or for our internal company use regarding a new development, acquisition or expansion, I systematically phone every facility within the primary marketing area of a subject site. From start to finish, this exercise may involve several phone calls to the same facility over the course of days or even weeks to ensure I get every rental rate per size and class possible. Additionally, I dedicate time to call competitors and verify the results of quarterly competition surveys.
Regardless of the state, city or marketplace, there is one constant subject matter that stands out among all others: phone etiquette.
As an optimist, I am always expecting to hear a clear, professional and courteous manager on the other end of the phone. Unfortunately, the majority of the time I am at the receiving end of a flippant and often lethargic attitude displayed by some facility managers. Many times, I am not even asked my name.There are plenty of managers who are well versed, knowledgeable and professional in their discourse with potential customers. However for those who are not, consider the impact this has on potential tenants and the word of mouth surrounding your self storage business.
Being client facing, store level management upholds the reputation of the facility. To overlook the fundamental practice of being courteous reduces the accountability of the most important element in our industry: the store level manager.
When the phone rings at your self storage business, consider the following:
A customer will often forget their due date, their unit number and their gate code, but they never forget how they were treated or their initial experience. Make it an experience to remember.