Self Storage

5 Benefits of a Fully Automated Self-Storage Facility

December 18, 2022
3 minutes

Are you interested in uncovering the potential benefits of a fully automated self-storage facility? You have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to take a look at how operators and renters can benefit from fully automated self-storage facilities. While 58% of operators are actively exploring automation solutions, many are unaware of how easy they are to embrace.

Software solutions are taking the self-storage industry by storm. When implemented correctly, AI solutions can radically reduce operational inefficiencies and streamline customer service. If your existing business model lacks scalability, leveraging the right software solution will enable you to reduce team demands and edge closer to running a fully autonomous facility.

What is a fully automated self-storage facility?

A fully automated self-storage facility essentially sells and books itself. When inbound leads arrive on your website, they can ask questions about your self-storage services and swiftly receive insightful responses from a trained AI chatbot. Once the chatbot has worked its conversion magic, prospective renters can book different types of units by availability.

Upon arriving at your location, a cloud-based access control system can ensure the security of your fully automated and unmanned facility by texting a security code to the renters. No matter the time of day, automated facilities are “always-on” and successfully deliver the 24/7 online experience that customers have come to expect across a broad range of services.

What are the benefits of automated self-storage?

Operators Can Eliminate Call Center Expenses

When you have the right systems in place to adequately address customer needs, you can begin to eliminate unnecessary expenses. For instance, the cost of manning call centers can stifle growth and create operational bottlenecks. Many operators are beginning to recognize the opportunities presented by AI-driven tools that act as a cost-effective alternative to call centers.

According to a 2017 Demand Study from the national Self-Storage Association, approximately 40% of calls to storage properties go unanswered. Operators find it challenging to balance the administrative demands of the business with promptly responding to new leads and closing the sale. This means many prospective renters simply end up taking their business elsewhere.

Operators Can Leverage Variable Rate Management

An automated self-storage sales flow will enable operators to generate more revenue. They can achieve this using variable rate management tools designed to automatically adjust facility rates based on a wide range of variables. For instance, you can use occupancy triggers to adjust the rates and display dynamic promotions to customers ready to reserve a unit. Deploying the right tools and systems will help operators cater to supply and demand.

Renters Can Experience Improved Customer Service

In the on-demand world we live in, people are accustomed to instant customer service. From finding information quickly to making rapid purchase decisions, service providers must pick up the pace and readily meet customer needs. The self-storage industry is no exception. Renters now expect to instantly receive answers and solutions to their questions and problems.

Automated self-service solutions give prospective and existing customers all the information they need at their fingertips. Customers do not want to wait around for answers to their questions. Artificial intelligence is perfectly capable of answering any questions they have in a matter of seconds. The best bit? Unlike call centers, artificial intelligence is infinitely scalable.

The previously mentioned study from the national Self-Storage Association found that 34% of all first contacts with self-storage businesses occur via the phone, and nearly 60% of all customers choose to rent from the very first facility they are able to reach. Failing to quickly swoop in and communicate with prospective renters is evidently costing operators considerable revenue.

Renters Can Embrace Cloud Access Control Systems

Access control plays an important role in providing renters with a seamless experience while ensuring the security of an operator’s unmanned storage facility. Operators with access to a cloud access control system can tailor customer experiences to the specific needs of their renters. Upon signing a digital lease, the system will text a gate code to the renters.

Renters Can Complete Self-Service Reservations

When operators are only offering walk-in or call-in reservations for self-storage facilities, this alienates prospective renters that learn about self-storage facilities online. A robust website is a critical component of automating self-storage facilities. In just a few clicks, renters should have the ability to make reservations and kickstart their customer journey without human delay.

Contact Center Vs Call Center (Let’s Settle The Debate)

Are you struggling to handle your inbound call flow? Embracing digital technology to centralize and automate customer communication is critical to turning more leads into paying customers.  With this in mind, utilizing the right automation tools can often prove more effective than trying to outsource to a contact center or attempting to bolster your internal call center.

While outsourcing to a contact center can certainly help in speeding up customer support, you are still reliant on humans and the costs they entail. Ultimately, automation is about enabling your employees to do more. Automation is at its best when all the pieces are working together in harmony. This is why many operators are embracing automation and AI with open arms.

Streamline Revenue-Generating Actions With swivl

Let’s introduce you to swivl – our self-storage AI assistant. With a built-in self-storage natural language library, swivl is your team’s first line of defense against a sudden flurry of inbound leads. As you import brand-relevant knowledge into the AI assistant and roll it out onto the front line, you can unlock higher levels of productivity and achieve optimal customer experiences.

Are you ready to get the ball rolling? Schedule a demo today.

This article is an expanded and a more specific swivl-focused version of an original article that first appeared on Inside Self Storage. Read Here

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