Posted by Chris Smith - 07 February, 2020
This week, we're taking a close look at the Self-Storage industry, and the insights we've taken from the SSA's 2019 Annual Report. It sheds light on consumer behaviours when purchasing self-storage, and we draw critical conclusions to what is required to maximise sales conversions in this highly competitive sector.
Self-Storage consumer behaviour
The 2019 SSA industry survey revealed that 41% of all customers initially discover their chosen self-storage provider online. And of the remaining 59% that discover their chosen site offline, 47% of these will then conduct further research on their website. So, in total over two thirds of all customers will research their chosen self-storage provider online, BEFORE getting in touch.
Couple that with public awareness of self-storage only being at 48%, and over half of all customers getting prices from more than one business when they are looking at self-storage, and one thing is very clear. Self-storage companies are dealing with a relatively ill-informed customer base and these customers are increasingly researching multiple business for answers online.
Why is this important to your business?
Well to convert as much new business as possible, you must be accessible to people that will often know nothing about your business, or about the self-storage industry as a whole. And that means delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Your customer is directly comparing you to competitors at every opportunity during their journey, before they make their final decision. If you’re the business that delivers an exceptional customer service from the moment they engage with you, providing the answers to their questions when they want them, you will stand out from your competitors and win more business as a result.
Simply put, you operate in a very competitive market and your lead conversion process needs to be seamless.
It is crucial to invest in customer experience to secure new business. 40% of domestic customers who know their intended length of storage, store for more than a year. This same statistic increases to 82% for business customers. Capture a new business opportunity and they are likely to stay with you for a long time, and pay that investment back many times over.
Better yet, deliver a great level of service throughout their custom with you, and why would they look elsewhere when they ever need self-storage again? After all, 40% of all self-storage users will purchase again.
Read our Infographic below for a quick summary!
How to achieve exceptional customer experiences?
Your customer now has more touchpoints with your business than ever before. They have the choice to enquire online, via email, over the phone or coming to speak to your direct in store. It is vital that any initial experience they have with your business is as close to perfect as possible. You will never get another chance to make that first impression.
And you cannot improve what you do not measure.
So, you must create a way of systematically measuring every touchpoint you customers have with your business. To ensure that you are continually optimising the customer journey at every touchpoint.
Once you have measured your journeys and understood their strengths and weaknesses, both from a customer experience and sales process angle, it is time to put those learnings to practice.
Implement changes to your customer journey that aim to improve conversion rates at every opportunity. This could be via a change in processes or a staff training programme. Then consistently repeat the above process to ensure that the changes are having the desired effect.
Yomdel have years of experience helping self-storage business better understand their businesses exactly in line with the above. We are the SSA's Approved Supplier of Mystery Shopping and Market Research. If you are an SSA member interested in a mystery shopping programme, you can click here to order your mystery shops of choice.
Deliver exceptional CX online
The other consistent thread from the 2019 SSA survey is that customers are online more than ever before. So, whilst exceptional CX at every point in your journey is really important to maximise conversion rates to sale. Online customer experience is increasingly becoming the most important aspect when it comes to converting new business opportunities.
As part of that conversion process you should consider how live chat can help deliver exceptional customer experiences. Live chat is increasingly the preferred communication channel online, and all types of businesses now offer this communication channel as standard. But beware. Not all Live Chat is equal. The benefits vary according to the investment level of live chat service that you offer – you can read more on that here.
However, a well-managed live chat service is proven to deliver an increase of 52.3% in online conversions. So, it should be something your business considers for 2020.
Yomdel offer an industry leading 24/7 managed live chat service for a growing a number of Self-Storage businesses online. Delivering live chat on their behalf to maximise lead generation and customer service. And we like to think we know a thing or two about live chat, so if you have any questions at all, we would be happy to chat.
"Yomdel’s 24/7 live chat operators have been a huge success for Metro Storage. The personalised interactions provide us with additional sales leads both night and day. The collaboration with the Yomdel team has been great, and feedback from our customers has been really good. It’s fair to say it’s made a very positive impact on our business"
Angus Burnett, Director, Metro Storage (SSA member)
If you'd like to chat with me, Chris at Yomdel, about any of the content in this blog, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a time that suits you now, via this link: