10 of the Self Storage Top Customer Complaints
It would just be splendid if you were to open a self-storage company, everything ran smoothly, and we never heard any complaints from any customers, right? Unfortunately, we’re dealing with human beings, not robotic beings. It’s only natural for any business that someone, someday will complain. So here are the self storage top customer complaints.
Firstly, how do you handle the self storage top consumer complaints? If an unhappy customer arrives, follow the steps illustrated below. More importantly, write these items down or print them out on a piece of paper and pin/tape them to the front desk!
- Stop what you’re doing and be sure to look that person in the eyes. This shows that you’re attentive and care.
- The moment that they convey complaints, acknowledge their issue, apologize for the issue and request a means of helping the valued customer.
- Make sure you listen intently to what they have to say.
- DO NOT interrupt them, let them finish what they have to say.
- Issue another apology, then explain how you will solve it, if possible.
The above process can take 5-10 seconds or 15 minutes. Regardless of the time, remember that your job and the company success depend on quality customer service! There are several companies out there the only difference between you and them is how you treat your customers and your surrounding environment. The following will help you avoid encountering the self storage top customer complaints.
Let’s take a look at each:
1. Being attentive to customers
Absolutely no one likes to be ignored, especially if they feel they’ve been wronged in some way. If you continue to keep your head burrowed into the computer screen, it will cause an even bigger issue than before. Direct eye contact is the only way to acknowledge you’re listening. Show sympathy, even if you haven’t any.
2. Acknowledge, then apologize and help
Firstly, you want to apologize. It’s helpful to say, “we’re very sorry you’re so upset. What can we do to help you?” this will defuse the conflict brewing. Many customers with complaints just want an ear to express their issues to someone that will care. ALWAYS remain calm, don’t let them make you angry.
3. Listen Intently
It’s very hard to listen to someone when they’re screaming at you. Listen to what they’re saying. Observe their body language. Is the breakdown the customer is having “the end all be all of issues” , or is this a real issue that needs to be addressed? Listening to the complaint helps you determine a solution if there is one.
4. Do not interrupt
If you don’t let the customer finish before jumping in, you’re adding kindle to the fire and adding to the turmoil brewing. Use the time you’re listening to formulate an answer or solution. Using terms like, “Oh My” or “Oh No” will validate their feelings. It’s always easier to give an explanation to someone who feels like they have had their side heard first.
5. Take swift action
When the customer is finished addressing their issue, apologize again. A simple “I am so sorry this happened” will do just fine. Explain to them how you intend to solve the issue. Regardless if they’ve caused the difficulty, (rent overdue, can’t get in gate, etc.) you can address the solution and be helpful to them in their time of need.
Always remain calm and don’t argue! Fighting with a customer is a can’t-win situation. They’ll leave in a fury and tell everyone they know not to use your company. Attempt to resolve their issue before they leave.
What are the ten self storage top customer complaints?
- My Gate Code Doesn’t Work:
Typically, the fault lay with the customer for forgetting their code, late on rent or misplacing their card. Educating the customer upon lease execution as to the steps and procedures if a payment is missed, is your best bet. During the lease process, teach them how to punch in the code for access and explain the details behind your late payment policies. When a tenant has forgotten their code or key, it’s important to ask for ID before helping them, this insures security over ones’ unit. Allowing a client to see that you’re protecting their unit give them a sense of ease and a feeling of protection.
If they’re entering the code incorrectly, demonstrate the correct way to punch in the code. Don’t use a speaker system if it can be avoided, go to the gate to greet them. Always be pleasant, don’t express frustration because they’re having trouble with a simple task.
If a customer’s rent is delinquent, explain in a pleasant mannor that they may not have realized their rent hasn’t been paid. Do not chastise or reprimand. In many cases it’s just an honest mistake.
- Late and Miscellaneous Fees:
Throughout the lease process, be sure to explain how fees are assessed. Make eye contact; make sure the customer is paying attention and understands the policies implemented by your establishment. Sometimes offering a one time “late fee waiver” will help them feel more comfortable. Clarifying and defining all miscellaneous charges at leasing can help you avoid misunderstandings in the future. Request initialing of the fee policy on the contract to acknowledge they understand the late fees, policy’s and procedures, if one was to be late with a payment.
- The Collections and Auction Process:
Many customers have claimed that they never knew about the collections/auctions policy and weren’t notified. Education is paramount; while processing the lease, explain the policy’s regarding fees, collections and auctions clearly. Presenting the signed lease with signature and initials will most likely help them settle down. This helps them accept responsibility and avoid an angry rant.
- Vacate Notifications and Refunds:
Many facilities require move out notices and don’t give refunds. Due to most leases being month-to-month, refunds for partial months aren’t really feasible. According to learnselfstorage.com: Stamping or writing “NO REFUNDS” on the lease, putting a copy of a move out notice in the lease package and explaining policy may help, but in most instances, people just forget. All you can do is to reiterate the rules.
- Your Climate Control Isn’t Cold Enough
Most people think that climate controlled storage units should be air-conditioned and heated like that of a home or office building is controlled. Truth be told, grandma’s old liquor cabinet doesn’t need to be 71 degrees at all times. Climate-control exists primarily to regulate humidity and maintain a consistent temperature. Customers will typically accept this explanation. Always explain the temperature policy at leasing.
- Access to the Unit
There are usually two issues that arise from unit access times, the first is access hours. In many cases, hours are regulated for the security of the people and their belongings. Storage unit access hours can sometimes be governed by government or by the owner or property manager. If a customer requests 24 hour access, define the policy and/or adjust hours for the customer for a surcharge.
The second issue usually has to do with a person or persons not listed on the lease agreement not getting access. Call the tenant immediately and ask if the person is permitted access. Make a note on the rental unit file to request update authorized access permissions. Authorizing access without approval can open the door to liability.
- Requesting Electric in Units:
The majority of storage facilities will not provide electrical outlets in the units. In most cases, it will be commercial tenants that require electricity. Find out the person’s needs; if the customer mows lawns or uses other electrically powered equipment, ask if they need access to electric and water. Upon showing them the unit, show them where the electrical outlets are and consider a surcharge if they intend on using the electricity a lot.
- Prices are way too high!
In the market of older worn-down facilities, price could be an issue. Newer storage facilities with more amenities will justify a higher price. Distinguish the customers’ needs and present the property in a manner that meets their needs the best you can. NEVER Criticize the competition!!! The manager makes the difference by making the customer comfortable with you through rapport building. A couple dollars over the competition won’t matter if you have all of your ducks in a row with customer service.
- Invoicing is very important
Many self-storage operators don’t invoice every customer. If you do invoice, charge a small fee; invoicing requires time and money. Address this topic during the lease process and also consider invoicing habitually late customers at no addition fee.
- Actual Unit Size isn’t what it says it is…
We love this complaint. If a person actually measures a unit, they will most likely find other grievances. Units are always approximated and should be listed as such on your lease agreement and your website. Your answer should be that all sizes are listed as approximate and the pricing stands. Many customers look at this as a loophole to request discount or they’ll threaten to move out. Let them.
If you’re catching an earful about the facility being dirty, doors or elevators not working, or lights are out, this is a maintenance issue and can easily be avoided by making sure the crew is keeping up on it. Customer feedback is the only measuring tool we can use to gage how the customer feels about our services. Offer the opportunity to fill out a brief survey.