Episode 19: Insights from Over 2 Million Customer Conversations | Self Storage Lab

March 29, 2024
4 minutes

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Welcome to the Self Storage Lab — where we deconstruct how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.

This episode will be the final episode on our special series covering our report on the State of Technology in Self Storage. We discuss our main takeaways from analyzing over 2 million customer conversations used to optimize day to day operations, and cover topics including patterns in customer inquiries, most frequently asked about unit size and amenities, and much more.

If you haven’t already, go download the second edition of our industry report directly on our website. We cover a ton of data points focused on how operators should think about putting The Modern Customer at the center of their universe.

Mentioned in this episode

Understanding Customer Inquiries: Service vs. Sales

Our analysis revealed distinct patterns in customer interactions, primarily divided into service-related and sales-related conversations.

  • Service dominates: Approximately 70% of inquiries are service-related, highlighting the need for efficient account management and payment systems.
  • Sales opportunities: The remaining conversations focus on unit availability and amenities, signaling strong sales leads.

Operational Efficiencies Through Automation

Automated systems are proving to be a game-changer in managing routine tasks, significantly reducing the operational burden on staff.

  • Automating routine tasks: Solutions like bill payments and account updates through automation help streamline operations.
  • Enhanced customer service: Automation not only saves time but also ensures consistent, high-quality customer interactions.

Trends in Customer Behavior

Our analysis unearthed interesting trends regarding customer preferences and behaviors, which can inform targeted marketing and service offerings.

  • Short-term storage needs: A noticeable shift towards shorter rental periods, with many customers inquiring about monthly or even weekly rentals.
  • After-hours inquiries: A significant volume of messages arrive outside traditional business hours, suggesting the importance of 24/7 customer service options.

The Rise of Digital Communication

Digital channels are becoming the preferred method for customer interactions, offering opportunities for real-time engagement and support.

  • Preferred communication channels: Customers are increasingly choosing text messages, web chat, and other digital platforms over phone calls.
  • Channel effectiveness: Analyzing which digital channels lead to higher conversion rates or more efficient resolution of service issues.

Seasonal Variations and Customer Needs

Our data also highlighted seasonal patterns in customer inquiries, which can help operators anticipate fluctuations and adjust their strategies accordingly.

  • Seasonality in self-storage: Insights into how customer needs vary by season, informing inventory management and promotional activities.
  • After-hours engagement: A significant volume of conversations occurs outside of traditional business hours, suggesting the need for around-the-clock support options.

Looking Ahead: Personalization and Precision

The future of self-storage lies in leveraging data to offer personalized experiences and optimize operations based on precise customer insights.

  • Granular data analysis: The potential to break down data by location or specific customer segments for targeted improvements.
  • Innovative communication strategies: Exploring new channels and technologies to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.

As the self-storage industry continues to navigate a technology-driven landscape, understanding and adapting to customer needs through data analysis will be key to staying competitive and delivering exceptional service. Our findings underscore the critical role of automation, digital communication, and personalization in shaping the future of self-storage operations.

If you haven’t already, go download the second edition of our industry report “The State of Technology in Self Storage”. We cover a ton of data points focused on how operators should think about putting The Modern Customer at the center of their universe.

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