July 8, 2019

Keep your Tenants Cool | Customer Service

The customer is always right. Except when they aren’t. Summertime has a way of bringing out the best and the worst in everyone. Here’s how to stay on your tenants’ good side. 

Start with your Staff

The first, and most important, key to excellent customer service is your staff. The team you have managing your facility are the face of your company. Hire the right team members, treat them well, and you’ll see them take great care of your tenants. 

Finding talented managers doesn’t have to be an endless search. In a previous blog, we partnered with S2E Solutions to share the tips and tricks to finding and retaining top Self-Storage talent. 

Hiring great people isn’t where the buck ends. Treating them right is as important as finding the right fit. That means giving them the best benefits you can. That means letting them do what they do best while giving them the resources to do it better. 

The key takeaways: Hire right, don’t micro-manage, and support them with resources.

Show them you mean it

When tenants complain online, and off, you can’t just leave their comments un-attended. Make them a priority, if there was a mistake made on your part, own up to it and make it right. If they were mistaken about a policy, don’t just correct them about it. Kindly explain the policy (and if applicable the reason why it’s there) then thank them for pointing out a confusing part and adjust the verbiage of your policy or re-train your managers to ensure the tenant’s misunderstanding doesn’t happen again. You can learn more about great reputation management in the eBook at the bottom of the page!

The key takeaway: Don’t just apologize, show them you mean it

Shaved Ice and Gimmicks

Who doesn’t love a good shaved ice in the heat of summer while they move heavy things into their unit? In all seriousness, gimmicks can be a fun way to entice new tenants and set things off on the right foot, but they’re not an excuse for bad customer service. Ditch the gimmicks in favor of solid staff, good service, and reputation management. Of course, if you have a bit of extra time and resources to put towards having special sales, gimmicky items and maybe a shaved ice stand?

The key takeaway: Start with good customer service, if you can afford a gimmick go for it.

Setting expectations

One of the main reasons tenants respond in anger is because of unmet expectations. You’ll want to make sure you build proper expectation setting into your customer service training. Teach your managers not to anticipate resistance when an answer or rule sounds harsh to them. Don’t let them overpromise just to get a tenant to be agreeable. Being transparent about what to expect helps keep your tenants aligned. 

A parallel point here is to have your managers focus on re-aligning with the tenants when something upsets them. Get to the reason for their anger, and approach it as a partner in solving a problem. Finding common ground and letting the customer know you’re here to help, not to put up resistance goes a long way in diffusing the situation.

The Key Takeaway: Set correct expectations before, align and partner after.

Service with Integrity

Treating your managers with respect trickles down into how they treat your tenants. Respect and integrity are the two most important soft-skills. Ultimately a self-storage manager is a customer service agent. As an owner/operator you can make an impact by understanding the demands of their role and providing them the support they need to do it well. (are we sounding like a broken record yet?)

The Key Takeaway: pour respect and integrity into your managers and they’ll share it with tenants.

Save the day with TPP

Should the unexpected happen (heaven forbid!) partnering with Tenant Property Protection ensures that your tenant’s expectations will be exceeded. We approach every claim with the tenant in mind, working as quickly and tirelessly as we can to provide the replacement value of the property they’ve protected. When you’re selling our plans to your tenants you’re putting our decades of excellent service at their fingertips. Complete a comparison form today to see how choosing TPP can provide a serious upgrade from your current insurer.

The Key Takeaway: Sell TPP at your facility!