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  1. #1
    jcarlisle's Avatar
    jcarlisle is offline CM Emeritus, Reg. Member
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    Question Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    Basic customer service starts with simply being nice and pleasant to your customers and treating them with respect.

    But, let's face it, in the office you're a salesperson, so when potential tenants walk in, what's your strategy?

    Are you agressive, getting up from your desk, walking over, shaking hands, and leading the conversation?

    Are you laid-back? Do you greet the customers but then leave them alone and let them mill around the office, looking at your ancillary products or floor/property layout plans, or whatever might be in there?

    Are you a combination of both and you pick the strategy based on "reading" the customer? And how do you "read" a customer to know whether you should be in their face or let them come to you?

    To hear a sales/customer service expert in action (and I don't think it's a stretch to say she's in the "aggressive" camp), check out this awesome podcast I did with Anne Ballard. http://www.insideselfstorage.com/art...e-ballard.aspx
    Last edited by jcarlisle; 17th April 2012 at 12:51 PM.
    John Carlisle
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    Still a Big Fan of Self-Storage!
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  2. #2
    dakselfstorage's Avatar
    dakselfstorage is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    I'm agressive, getting up from my desk, walking over, shaking hands, and leading the conversation?
    If they are in the office, I have a rather large close rate. Since 1998 I am guessing only about ten people that came to the office rented a unit. Although we are appointment only. I do get some walk ins also. I did have one today that said they were going to check out another place tomorrow. I asked what I had to do to get them to rent today? I ended up at $45 from $48 per month and waived the one time lock rental fee on a 5x8 temp controlled. They were so happy with that, they paid six months to which I gave them 15 free days. Made them happier yet. That is the norm for six month payment. Thanks competitor that refused a cash payment.
    Joe Krezdorn
    DAK Self Storage
    Leesport, PA 19533
    www.dakselfstorage.com

  3. #3
    astro is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    To me, customer service is pretty easy, as it is for most, if not all, here. I find out what the customer needs, and then do everything I can to provide and fill that need. See? Simple.
    Bob Taylor (Astro)
    Blue Ridge Self Storage
    Cashiers, NC

    Disclaimer: What Gina said....'cause the the cheese fell of my cracker.

  4. #4
    MamaDuke's Avatar
    MamaDuke is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    Quote Originally Posted by astro View Post
    To me, customer service is pretty easy, as it is for most, if not all, here. I find out what the customer needs, and then do everything I can to provide and fill that need. See? Simple.
    Ditto!
    MamaDuke

    The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.

  5. #5
    geraldine1051 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    I enjoyed listening to the podcast.

    I, too, get up and greet the potential new tenant at the door. My dog does the same thing. If I get the feeling that the potential tenant does not like dogs, then Poppy goes into the back room. Most folks who come here like dogs. All my advertising (website, print ads, etc.) feature a picture of me and my dog, so if the potential tenant has seen any of my ads they already know about the dog. (Of course this works in reverse as well. If a potential tenant sees me with the dog in an ad, and that person does not like dogs, then that person is not going to rent from me.) Poppy is very friendly and loves the attention of folks, so the potential tenant and I already share something in common: a love of dogs. That is a good starting place to begin sharing information about my facility. Interspersed with conversation about the facility and units, we are talking about dogs. I think that creates a great bond in the beginning, and then the rental part is easy.

  6. #6
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Lisa T is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    it's a good thing you are full, Geraldine...we have a storage facility near us that keeps a cat on the counter, and we get lots of their business....customers who are allergic, or who don't like the smell. There was also a pack n ship business down the street where the owner kept his dog in the store....we got even more of his business for our UPS shipping....to the point where he shut down and went out of business last month.

    Facilities who don't have the ability to pick and choose their customers would not be well served by keeping any animals in the office....and though we have a cat at home, and I like animals...I have been bitten twice in my lifetime by people's adorable dogs and would not go into any business where a dog was present.

    If you wouldn't allow smoking in the store due to other people's allergies or health concerns...why would you allow an animal that can bring on similar health problems in unsuspecting walk-in tenants? I hope you have a sign on the door warning those with asthma or allergies.

  7. #7
    geraldine1051 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa T View Post
    ... If you wouldn't allow smoking in the store due to other people's allergies or health concerns...why would you allow an animal that can bring on similar health problems in unsuspecting walk-in tenants? I hope you have a sign on the door warning those with asthma or allergies.
    Lisa, the allergy/asthma/health problem issue really never occurred to me whether with smokers or dogs. I don't allow smoking on the premises because everything here is made of wood and is very old. I hadn't thought about a sign on the door warning folks that my dog is here, because she is my alarm system and always goes to the door (it's a full glass door) when she hears a car or even a bike approaching. When I move into my new office I will take your advice and post a sign since the door to the new office is only glass at the top, and the potential walk-up tenant may not see Poppy, and she won't see them. So I thank you for that tip.

    The hardest part of having Poppy here with me is that some tenants think it is OK for them to have their dogs here, too. I explain to them that she is my assistant (I am always here alone, and it is nice to have her with me, and even though she is friendly, if a bad guy showed up, she would not let him get to me.)

  8. #8
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Lisa T is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Customer-Service Approaches: What's Your Style?

    At the doctor I go to, we are asked not to wear perfume or scented deodorant even when we come for visits....one of the doctors in the practice specializes in migraines and apparently certain smells can set those off. So I've tried to be more sensitive in our office...we do have bathroom spray which is desperately needed at times...and we have a popcorn cart...so far no one has complained about the smell of freshly popped popcorn.

    AS far as the sign, I think that would be a good idea...I was bitten in the foot for no reason when a neighbor's dog ran out the door as she was going out in the front yard and she just came over and bit me...the neighbor was aghast and said the dog NEVER bites anyone...had the same thing happen when I was about 12 and my parents took us to their friends house for dinner...their big dog jumped up and bit me in the mouth...again..their dog NEVER bit anyone....2 dog bites in 50 years isn't bad...but I must give off some kind of aura that dogs don't like..because I tend to avoid them at this point. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the world who would avoid going into a business with a dog present due to previous encounters....even though I don't have any health issues....I think it's great you love your dog....but they are still animals and who knows what goes through their brains? The previous assistant manager here brought her dog to work, and her dog bit a tenant....yet another dog that never bites anyone...I don't know how that one turned out, but I know it wasn't pleasant for the facility owner. Just be careful....you never know when a smell or a sound will set them off...maybe even the smell of another animal on a person...who knows????

 

 

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