The road to excellence in customer service starts with YOU. Here are five basic super services you can offer your guests to assure a fantastic storage experience. Remember having an attitude “it's all about the customer” equals success.
Make Your Customer King
TIP#1 – Put On Your Game Face
I recently attended a live symphony and had the pleasure of arriving early. In a basically empty auditorium, I could hear the musicians warming up their instruments. While this was not a “melodic” experience, it reminded me of the hours of practice and last minute preparations that musicians invest to make the performance a very special experience for the guests.
The professional storage manager and “GRS”- guest relations specialists (anyone who deals with customers) can make many preparations to make the guest experience nothing less than fantastic.
Here are some preparations you can take:
1. Know your inventory before the door opens. Any good, self-respecting GRS has gone over the program and has the music ready to play, in the proper order. You will know what sizes are currently vacant and that at least three of each size (if you have that many, and you won't have the vacant spaces for long!) are 125% ready to rent. You will have made certain:
The Space is spotless. Make sure you clean:
- The door, inside and out
- The tracks on either side of the door, particularly the corners
- The floor
- The walls
- The ceiling
- The threshold
- The driveway
- The entry doors if in an interior space.
- The corridors
- The elevator
- The golf cart
- The office counter
- The office lobby
- The front door
- The sidewalk to the door
- The parking spot
- The drive entrance
- The sign
2. Clean up your act. Are you ready to stand and deliver excellence? I am amazed that anyone would need a personal grooming checklist, but I see sloppiness and poor personal grooming in amazing proportions.
Check your appearance:
- Comb your hair
- Brush your teeth
- Make sure your shirt is cleaned and pressed
- Shave (and this means legs for ladies if you are wearing shorts)
- Wear clean shoes – you will probably want to keep a different pair of shoes at your desk for maintenance and non-guest interface time. This comment is specifically targeted to tennis shoe wearers.
- Put on the biggest SMILE imaginable
3. Clear you work area of distractions.
In view of the guests should not include:
- Personal items
- Any reading material other than job or career
- Delinquent guest information
- Clutter, junk, toys, trinkets or noise emitting devices
TIP#2 – Go Out Of Your Way To Convert Yout Prospect Into A Guest (Tenant) With A Space Reservation Special
I love making my pre-reserved guest feel very special. Here are things your can do to make your reserved space guests feel like VIP's:
Reserve the parking space closest to the door for guests with reservations. Put up a real estate yard sign (very inexpensive) that says something like:
FOR GUESTS WITH
Or better yet (with respect for guest's privacy),
RESERVED FOR (MR)(MRS) B,OUR NEWEST 10 X 10 GUEST
When dealing with commercial guests, request permission to reserve a space with their company name on a sign. Imagine the impression you will make on a guest when taking their reservation, that upon their arrival at the property, a parking spot will be reserved for them as “Mr. B.” It is also a good idea, with the guests permission, put their name up on the reader board, again use their initials. Don't forget to have a welcome sign inside the office with their initials.
You can even have all the paperwork printed, ready for signature and copies folded and prepared for guest pick-up. Remember, legally, the guest copy does not need to be signed by the guest, but does need to be signed by the management (the office copy must be signed by the guest). Don't forget to put a “reserved” sign on their space and lastly, greet them with a “we have been expecting you” statement.
TIP#3 – You Can Extend All Of The Previous Services To Guests Who Have Made An Appointment To Tour The Property
A reserved sign is not just for those who made a space reservation, it is equally effective for people you want to walk or tour your property. Imagine the power of signage and preparations like:
“MR. B WILL BE TOURING OUR PROPERTY TODAY”
Posted on the reader board and in the office lobby (again with the company's permission you can use their company name).
TIP#4 – Never Park Your Car Closet To The Door
This is just rude. Make your guest more important than yourself and show it.
TIP#5 – Stand And Greet Your Guest
I know it is almost moronic that this needs to be in writing, but very few self-storage employees transcend beyond discourteous and enter the world of a GRS.
Most of our guests call before they come to our store for a tour. Your traffic sheet should include an appointment time. The time can be set very informally – “what time might you be arriving, and what kind of car will you likely be driving”?
Imagine the power of seeing a green Volkswagen enter your driveway, and you stand and greet your guest in the lobby with a “are you Ms. Smith?” Great, we have been expecting you. WOW!!!!!!!
These are just a few of the simple things you can do to make the guest experience so far above and beyond what is customary in our industry. You will note several times, I mentioned “imagine the power”. This is really important that you recognize that superlative guest relation skills empower you to close. While we are making our guests “King”, we do so by embodying ourselves with the power to do so. Anything less than this effort is likely to be viewed as average, and it is my belief that very few professional GRS's are willing to settle for a “C” performance. I can't imagine the conductor of the symphony thanking the musicians with a “that was a totally average performance” or worse yet, that is how the audience felt.
Parting Words- The Customer Is King!