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You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression: Part Three
Posted 7/23/2018
Author Jim Mooney
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In the first two installments of this three-part series, the focus was on the appearance of your website and facility. The third and final passage will examine your facility manager.

The phrase "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" is especially important when talking about our managers, how they interact, their appearance and their overall attitude when the perspective customer walks in the door or calls on the phone. Are they well-groomed, wearing a professional, branded uniform or shirt that is clean and pressed or do they look like they just rolled out of bed?

If you are like most people, the first few minutes of an interaction is critical. When someone is looking for storage, it is usually not the best time for them. This can be for numerous reasons, but at that point they will most likely need and appreciate assistance. Looking at our statistics thru June, 56% of our new renters had never previously used self storage. As such, they look to us as experts in the field to help them.

It all starts with the greeting. Greet the customer with a warm smile and friendly greeting. Something like, “Welcome to ABC Self Storage. How can we help you today?” One way to achieve the smile part is to have a mirror by the front desk. It is well documented that a smile goes a long way with a prospective customer.

We have all visited storage facilities and are blown away by the lack of care that we sometimes discover in an office. We all need to remember that if it was not for our customers, we would not have a job or a business. They are not a distraction; they are the main purpose of the business and should be treated accordingly.

In a way, storage managers are like bartenders. We hear everything and simply lending a friendly ear can go a long way. It has been stated before by numerous people that we can teach anyone how to rent a storage unit, but what we cannot teach is the personality necessary to assist the potential tenant while making them feel comfortable to store their treasures with us.

In this ever-increasing impersonal technology driven era, storage owners need sales-driven individuals now more than ever to ensure that we put our best foot forward at all times to our current and perspective customers ensuring they get the best possible service. Think about Chick Fil A, Southwest Airlines or Disney and think about what makes them successful? It is a dedicated focus on customer service. How do you stack up? Are your mangers making a great first impression every time they come in contact with a current or prospective tenant?

About the Author

Mr. Mooney joined Devon in April 2001 and has held a number of different positions including property manager and general manager of a self storage facility, regional manager over a number of stores and most recently as director of operations. Jim is instrumental in the implementation and growth of Devon’s online presence, vendor relationships and the takeover and setup of newly acquired sites. In December 2016, Jim was promoted to Vice President – Operations and has expanded his responsibilities to include a greater public presence. He writes articles for various trade publications and speaks at many industry meetings and conferences. Jim is currently a member of the MDSSA board of directors.

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