Dealing with Difficult Tenants
Self-storage managers and operators who have been in the industry for a decent amount of time are familiar with the occasional hard-to-please customer. It’s a common routine in nearly every type of business that almost everyone will encounter at some point or another. They never seem to be satisfied with your goods or services, yet the continue to return asking for discounted prices, and making your job that much more difficult. Rather than letting them walk away however, consider implementing certain strategies to persuade them to stay, and find use in your self-storage facility.
A common complaint self-storage users may have is claiming that an item has been lost or stolen. If a customer is irate in this situation, reassure them that theft prevention is an important part of your facility. You, nor any employees working there would ever steal. But, do not act in a defensive manner. Calmly ask the customer where the last place was that he or she had seen the missing item, and whether or not they have given friends or family members access to their specific unit. If neither of these suggestions seem to relax said customer, offer to show them security footage to prove that no one had broken into their unit (assuming theft has not actually occurred). Always tell the truth, and adhere to your own philosophies.
Always make sure that you are interacting with your customers in person as often as you can. While there is a level of convenience that comes with smartphone technology and computers, it denies you the opportunity to connect with your clients on a personal level. Also, body language and tone of voice cannot be read, or easily misinterpreted when communicating via email or text. Express how much you care about customer satisfaction. Regardless of whether or not the customer has left an angry voicemail or exasperated email, offer to meet with them in person to discuss the issue at hand.
When you’ve learned which, if any, of your customers are fairly difficult to deal with, set protocols among your team so that everyone employed at your facility knows how to effectively communicate with them, and diffuse the situation. Refunds should never be the initial compromise, though it may resort to them should customers demand nothing more. In order to prepare for this, hold regular meetings with your employees to discuss how these situations should be handled.
While the perfect outcome when dealing with a difficult customer would be for them to achieve happiness and continue working with you, that is not always the case. Some clients can never be satisfied, and understanding that beforehand is crucial to know when to draw the line. Never escalate the situation more than what it already is. Following the strategies mentioned above can certainly help, and can give your self-storage facility a much better reputation among your community.