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The Lost Art of Customer Service - Have we forgotten?

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  • The Lost Art of Customer Service - Have we forgotten?

    I love this forum and I have been a member on here for 10 years. I appreciate that this is a place for us to vent, ask advice and share experiences. But as of late, I am noticing NOT a lot of posts regarding customer service. I wanted to share this as food for thought.

    Without Customers, None of us are in business.

    Typically, it is only a handful of problem tenants per property, but guess what? Those are the ones we talk and complain about the most.

    Let's try to focus on the 90% plus of those that are amazing.

    Let's also remember that those who walk through our doors are getting storage for these 3 top reasons:
    1. Moving
    2. Death of a loved one
    3. Divorce
    Now let's look at the top 3 MOST stressful events in Life:
    1. Moving
    2. Death of a loved one
    3. Divorce
    Funny, how that is the same.

    Just food for thought. I am afraid our industry is becoming so money hungry and so paranoid by legal, we have lost sight of what really matters. OUR CUSTOMERS.

    Rules and Policy apply to every tenant. Be up front. Be nice. Do things by the law as that is for our customer's protection as well as ours.

    Managers have the power to be the best part of everyone's day or stressful situation. Recognize that and go make a difference for someone.

    I would LOVE to hear stories of extraordinary customer service you have been a part of.

    (Off my soap box now)

    Happy Renting!
    MCG
    Last edited by MusicCity Gal; 8th May 2018, 05:28 PM.
    Stephanie Tharpe
    Senior VP of Operations
    A+ Storage of Tennessee, LLC
    Nashville, TN
    http://www.aplustorage.com
    615.288.2162

    TNSSA Board of Directors
    www.tnssa.net

  • #2
    First, MCG, great post. Second, the tenants that cause problems are the funniest to talk about.

    Third, I have said, when needed, that my facility has never had a break in and I tell any tenant to contact the local police for confirmation. I actually had two new tenants last week that did just that. One wrote me an email and the other visited in person. They both said that so many times empty promises are made and turn out to be falsehoods. They thanked me for that not being the case with my boast. I get more compliments of tenants feeling safe here than any other things said by tenants. IMO, lots/most facilities can take your money and supply a unit and then say goodbye and let the tenant fend for themselves. Not here.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
      First, MCG, great post. Second, the tenants that cause problems are the funniest to talk about.

      Third, I have said, when needed, that my facility has never had a break in and I tell any tenant to contact the local police for confirmation. I actually had two new tenants last week that did just that. One wrote me an email and the other visited in person. They both said that so many times empty promises are made and turn out to be falsehoods. They thanked me for that not being the case with my boast. I get more compliments of tenants feeling safe here than any other things said by tenants. IMO, lots/most facilities can take your money and supply a unit and then say goodbye and let the tenant fend for themselves. Not here.
      LOVE LOVE LOVE!! This is what I want to hear. Thanks PAC!
      Stephanie Tharpe
      Senior VP of Operations
      A+ Storage of Tennessee, LLC
      Nashville, TN
      http://www.aplustorage.com
      615.288.2162

      TNSSA Board of Directors
      www.tnssa.net

      Comment


      • #4
        Customer service!! I had a guy here today and I reluctantly turned him away, referring another facility because there was no way he was getting his frankly, ginormous couch up my ramp, and around the corner to a unit. It made him happy and kept my walls in one piece. Win win.
        I want buns of steel.
        I also want buns of cinnamon.

        Newcastle, WA

        Comment


        • #5
          KrisinNC I love it. I have had to do that before as well. But he will remember and refer you just for helping him out.
          Stephanie Tharpe
          Senior VP of Operations
          A+ Storage of Tennessee, LLC
          Nashville, TN
          http://www.aplustorage.com
          615.288.2162

          TNSSA Board of Directors
          www.tnssa.net

          Comment


          • #6
            Customer service is not just about your facility/business either. Having good relationships with a few close by always help you, them and the customer. Usually the facilities that you can trust to be close with, are those offering the same type of customer service to their customers as well. It goes both ways and in the long run you all win.

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a tenant who was a victim of the hurricane in PR; she and her husband lost nearly everything. They had what was left from his business and their home shipped here to OK to live with her family while they rebuilt. My heart broke for them. We have plenty of natural disasters here in OK so I could absolutely relate. One week later, to the day, their things were delivered. And then one week to the day after that, the wife came in sobbing saying her husband had left her and moved back to PR. He served her with divorce papers. I gave her the name of another tenant who was a divorce attorney, and let her cry on my shoulder for nearly an hour. She comes in to see me every week and let me know how she's doing. She said I was a complete stranger, but the only one who offered compassion and a listening ear. I said "Darlin, I've been there, done that, I am here for you whatever you need."

              Comment


              • #8
                Walking a mile in someone's shoes can lead to great things between the two people. I have done that with fellow veterans.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  On Saturday I came in early to get a few things done before opening, and there was a van trying to get in the gate. They saw me pull up and so got out of the way while they tried to figure out what they were doing wrong. I went to their door to see if I could help, and it turns out that one of our long time tenants had died and it was his daughter that was trying to get into the unit. I couldn't do anything for them until I got things up and running so I asked if they could give me 1/2 an hour and come back so we could work something out, since his rent didn't get paid last month and the account was behind, (which made us worry b/c he was always on time).
                  I told them the best place in town for breakfast. While they were gone it hit me and I was so emotional when they got back I could barely talk. I felt so bad, there is nothing like trying to make someone you don't even know feel better about YOUR situation but I couldn't pull it together. But you know how it is, certain tenants you just develop a bond with, and this is the second one like that in 3 months that we've lost. His poor daughter and I were crying with each other, while the daughter's husband ended up trying to console us both! I gave them the best deal I could, she shared a lot of memories with me and vice versa, and they thanked me (!) and said it helped them to know that other's cared about him as well. I don't know if crying with your customers counts as customer service but they both said they felt much better when they left than when they had gotten there.
                  "I don't understand your specific kind of crazy but I do admire your total commitment to it!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tears shed over someone that you both cared about is supreme customer service. It was honest and heartfelt. When people see you understand what they are going thru and how it effects you as well, they can see a quality person on the other side of the counter. Their day got easier after what took place in your office. I am dealing with two long time tenants that have recently died and I liked them both. Always a kind word and paid on time. The older I get the more it all means to me because we all get there in the end.
                    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Y'all these are some amazing, heartfelt stories. I just love them!! I knew we had the Best of the Best on this forum.
                      Stephanie Tharpe
                      Senior VP of Operations
                      A+ Storage of Tennessee, LLC
                      Nashville, TN
                      http://www.aplustorage.com
                      615.288.2162

                      TNSSA Board of Directors
                      www.tnssa.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We had a fire in June 2017. 31 units lost. I had to walk the tenants back to the area and show them the unit. Just about everything was lost because of the water that dumped in from our sprinklers and the fire department. One lady was there with me and looked at the heap of stuff in the parking lot. Her stuff was in that pile. She looked at it, We both got tears, I gave her a hug and told her we are here to help you get the insurance claim started. and she looked at me and said "thank you for making me have insurance"
                        Another one is a lady could not get in the door, she was entering the code wrong. She was sitting in her car for about 15 mins. I called our person on site and asked her to go let her in. The lady in the car said How did she know I could not get in? The employee said the manager has been watching the camera on her cell phone and asked me to help you.

                        Janice - Maxi-Space Storage and Business Solutions

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is such a sobering post. I tend to forget sometimes that a lot of my customers are coming to me for solutions sometimes, because it's all hustle and bustle during the day. When we take the time to really get to know our tenants and find out why they are using our services, you realise that all of these people have their own very big burdens and need our help to keep all of these memories that are held inside all of these odds and ends. Thank you for reminding me that we should remember that our first and foremost priority in this business is to serve our customers before we start to look at our profits!
                          storage Inner West

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My wife and I ran a property down in Dallas. We were right down town in a very bad part of Dallas. Lots of transients and drugs were rampant. The reason I mention all of that is it did not make a difference to us. When we left one my homeless people that I had to bicker with fairly often came up to us and said, "You two are the only white people I have ever trusted." Just treat people equally and fairly.

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