AI-powered Chatbots

5 Ways Generative AI Can Benefit Self Storage Customers and Operators

April 13, 2023
Read time: 4 minutes

The self storage industry has seen significant growth in recent years, with more and more people choosing to rent out storage units to store their belongings. With the rise of technology, it is no surprise that chatbots have become a popular tool for commercial real estate companies to improve customer service and streamline operations.

Chatbots and the text box are cool again

One type of chatbot that has gained popularity recently is chatGPT. GPT stands for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer". It is a type of machine learning algorithm that uses a neural network architecture to generate natural language text. GPT models are pre-trained on massive amounts of text data, allowing them to learn the underlying patterns of language and then generate coherent, human-like responses to prompts. The most well-known GPT models are widely used in a variety of natural language processing tasks, such as language translation, chatbots, and text completion.

AI Chatbots in the Self Storage industry

AI-powered chatbots have the potential to revolutionize multiple industries, not just self storage, by improving customer-facing and admin-like tasks efficiency. Here are some ways that these types of chatbots can impact the self storage industry:

  1. Improved customer service: swivl’s industry specific natural language model is already leveraging the large language models that make up tools such as chatGPT. These GPT-enhanced features allow contact center teams to offer 24/7 customer service, even outside of regular business hours. Customers can ask questions or request information through the chatbot, and receive immediate responses. This can save customers time and improve their overall experience with the company.
  2. Improving efficiency for contact center agents: swivl’s chatbot can already handle multiple customer inquiries at once, freeing up time and resources for human customer service representatives. In addition, it can assist contact center agents by providing quick and accurate responses to common customer inquiries. This can free up time and resources for agents to focus on more complex or unusual inquiries, and improve overall efficiency for the self storage operator. Things like automatic conversation summaries, sentiment analysis, live translation, and context-specific response generation are a few ways this new wave of LLMs are revolutionizing the industry.
  3. Personalized recommendations: these tools can assist self storage customers in searching for available units and services, providing personalized recommendations based on the customer's needs. For example, if a customer is looking for a climate-controlled unit to store their valuable artwork, the chatbot could recommend a unit with specific temperature and humidity controls.
  4. Enhancing data collection and analysis: GPT-powered tools can collect and analyze data from customer interactions, providing valuable insights for self storage companies. This data can be used to identify trends and patterns, helping operators to improve their marketing and sales strategies.

There are another number of ways GPT-powered tools can help outside of website/customer service. 

  1. Predictive Maintenance: By analyzing data from sensor, cameras and chat interactions, an AI powered chatbot can predict when equipment or units need maintenance before they break down, and schedule the repairs during low-occupancy times
  2. Automated Revenue Generation: The chatbot's capability to understand customer's priorities, lead and route sales related interactions to the right team member, thus helping the facility and staff to focus on sales oriented tasks increasing revenue.

Disadvantages and Potential Issues

While GPT-powered tools have the potential to greatly benefit the self storage industry, it is important for companies to be aware of the limitations and potential drawbacks. One potential issue is that chatbots may not be able to fully understand and respond to complex or unusual customer inquiries, leading to frustration for the customer. Additionally, chatbots may not be able to fully replicate the human touch and personal connection that customers may be seeking.

To ensure that these types of tools are used effectively in the self storage industry, it is important for companies to properly train and monitor their chatbots, and to have human customer service representatives available to assist with more complex inquiries. It is also important for companies to be transparent with customers about the use of chatbots and to provide clear information about how to contact a human representative if needed.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, GPT-powered tools have the potential to greatly benefit the self storage industry by improving customer service, increasing efficiency, and providing personalized recommendations. However, it is important for companies to be aware of the limitations and potential drawbacks of using these tools, and to properly train and monitor them to ensure a positive customer experience.

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