Inside Self-Storage

MAR 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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W ith 2019 underway, many self-storage operators are wondering, "What's next?" We're already meeting our customers' needs, even in this Age of the Consumer. We're talking their language and meeting them on all their preferred channels: e-mail, phone, live chat, social media and others. We've learned to adapt to how, when and where they want our products and services. So … What's next? Today's consumers can hail a ride or operate their home appliances from their smartphone, order a pizza by pushing a button on their shoe, and rent a storage unit online without ever speaking a word to anyone. The future isn't coming, folks. It. Is. Here. The Many to the One Multi-channel communication allows you to converse with customers through as many channels as your company supports. For most self-storage operators, this means in person at the store, via e-mail and on the phone. Some operators also use live website chat and one-way text messaging. Bonus points if you run your social media in-house and have a "responsive" badge on your profiles! Text messaging has proven to be one of the most effective channels, with a 98 percent read rate within two minutes. Some operators think this mode of communication is too informal for business correspondence, but consumers disagree. When Twilio, a cloud-communications platform, surveyed 6,000 consumers worldwide, 89 percent said they'd like to use text messaging to communicate with companies. So, why are some storage operators still struggling with whether use text messaging? Unfortunately, many feel a bit frazzled and disconnected in a multi-channel world, which can hinder their adoption of a new channel regardless of how effective it may be. Companies around the world have felt the same growing pains. However, operating in siloed programs is dysfunctional to a customer-service organization. When notes from calls, e-mails, in-person visits, etc., are kept separately, it creates confusion and frustration for employees and, worse, clients. One of the top complaints of customers is they must repeat themselves over and over as they're handed from one service representative to the next. The brightest organizations have solved issue by switching to an omnichannel platform. Omnichannel communication integrates all channels into a single program and interface. A customer can send a message through Facebook Messenger, another Texting in a Multi-Channel World Exploring the new communications frontier By Holly Fiorello Source: Customer Think, "7 Essential Text Messaging Stats Every Business Owner Should Know" Texting by the Numbers 98% of U.S. adults 18 to 29 own a device capable of receiving text messages. 90% of business leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call. 90 seconds is the average response time for a text message. 75% of all Millennials would rather communicate via text. 50% of consumers would rather text for customer support than call 30% of consumers report receiving texts from the companies they patronize. 64% of consumers are likely to perceive a company contacting them by text in a positive light. 64 ISS I March 2019 www.insideselfstorage.com

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