How to Retain Your Customers
Customer retention in the world of self-storage can be tricky considering how constantly on the move people are, and how often people find alternative means of storage without having to pay a dime. Though it is an inevitable part of business, you as a self-storage operator and manager should do what you can to convince customers to continue using your facility, without coming across as desperate, of course.
When a customer of yours notifies you that they are planning on ending their lease, offer an incentive or discount to express your gratitude. Rather than having them leave your facility entirely, suggest they downsize. Many storage units have enough space to fit the contents of an entire home, and can range in size. If they feel that their current unit is too big, and they do not need to be spending so much, offer a smaller, cheaper unit, and stress the importance of utilizing self storage to keep their personal lives clutter-free. Be flexible with these payments as well. If they signed a contract binding them to monthly payments of a larger unit, offer their next payment be discounted as they transfer to a small unit.
If a customer states that they are switching storage facilities to another competitor, try and compel him or her to stay longer by offering better deals than what that competitor has. It’s a simple business tactic that is used by nearly every type of business, but it is almost always effective. Study the industry, and pay attention to your competitor’s prices and strategies.
Without being too aggressive, engage your customers face-to-face and discuss why they may be choosing to leave. Depending on the severity of the reason, it is often times something you can fix with your developed set of self-storage managerial skills. Perhaps they are having trouble fitting more items in their unit due to poor organizational skills, or they are failing to meet the payments required, in which case a temporary discount can help tremendously. Offer your professional assistance in situations that call for it, and make the entire experience enjoyable for each customer.
By owning and operating a self-storage facility that is clean, secure, and convenient, your clients may have a hard time leaving, which should be the overall goal. Build personal relationships as often as you can, and treat all of your customers with respect. At the very least, if ending their lease and moving out is their confirmed decision, those who have had great experiences with your facility will more than likely refer a friend.