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Omnichannel Communication: Streamlining Self-Storage Operations With AI

May 10, 2023
7 minutes

Omnichannel communication can play a pivotal role in enabling you to streamline your self-storage operations. When you throw artificial intelligence into the mix, you can radically reshape your workflows and deliver enhanced renter experiences. In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about omnichannel communication and its potential benefits.

What is Omnichannel Communication?

Omnichannel communication is all about the seamless integration of various communication channels to provide a consistent customer experience. In the self-storage world, renters expect to communicate with operators through a variety of channels, such as email, phone, chat, and social media. Omnichannel communication ensures you can meet expectations.

Self-Storage Omnichannel Strategy (4 Key Benefits)

1 - Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

When you offer a range of communication channels and ensure every interaction is consistent, self-storage operators can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Prospective renters want to reach out to operators in a way that is convenient for them and receive prompt, professional, and personalized support without delay during the customer journey.

2 - Add convenience and consistency

An omnichannel strategy also offers convenience for customers by allowing them to switch between channels and pick up where they left off seamlessly. For instance, if a customer starts a chat with a self-storage operator and needs to step away from their desktop, they can easily switch to a phone call or email and continue the conversation. These interactions can create a consistent experience for the customer - which inevitably increases satisfaction and loyalty.

3 - Eliminate silos and reduce operational costs

When executed effectively, an omnichannel strategy eliminates silos and reduces operational costs. If you can integrate all communication channels, this will ensure all customer interactions are tracked and logged in a centralized system. With everything in one place, you can eliminate the risk of communication silos and accelerate customer interactions across channels.

4 - Minimize the tools your team has to use

If you can nail down your omnichannel strategy, you can start to reduce your technology stack or at least reign it in a little. With all communication channels integrated into a single system, you can easily stay across customer communication threads, provide tremendous flexibility, and avoid the risk of amassing convoluted communication threads that are hard to follow.

Want to learn more? Listen to the Self Storage Lab
Episode 7: The Importance of an Omnichannel Communication Strategy

Transitioning To An Omnichannel Strategy (Key Tips)

1 - Set goals

The first step in transitioning to an omnichannel strategy is to set clear goals. From improving customer satisfaction and loyalty to reducing operational costs and increasing efficiency, you should aim to clearly define what you are trying to achieve with your omnichannel strategy. The goals will inevitably align closely with your core business objectives.

2 - Understand the customer

You recognize the needs and preferences of your prospective renters. From gathering data on customer preferences to conducting customer surveys, you can utilize a range of data to create omnichannel strategies for different customer segments. Depending on their needs, different customer segments may prefer communication via certain channels over others.

3 - Choose the right channels

You should carefully consider the channels you wish to include in the omnichannel strategy. This may include a combination of phone, email, online chat, and social media. It is important to choose the channels that are most relevant and convenient to the customer segments targeted.

4 - Outline the purpose of the channels

Once you have selected the channels for inclusion in your omnichannel strategy, take the time to outline the purpose of each channel. You should think about the types of interactions you may have with customers on certain channels and how each channel can feed into the other. Some channels may only be of use at specific stages of your sales funnel or customer journey.

5 - Connect the channels

With solutions like Zapier, it’s relatively easy to connect your entire technology stack and synchronize all of your customer and lead data. You can often bring everything under one roof and manage all customer interactions across multiple channels from a single dashboard. If you can create this type of setup, it can help eliminate silos and boost operational efficiency.

6 - Maintain each channel

When you take a centralized approach, it’s usually quite easy to stay across all the different communication channels. Once you begin to offer omnichannel communication, you can begin to see which channels different customer segments prefer to communicate on. Using this data, you can continue to refine and optimize your strategy to deliver strong customer experiences.

What’s the role of automation in an omnichannel strategy?

Automation is the glue that binds your omnichannel strategy together. Sure, you can have one of your store managers managing the different communication channels - but is this the best use of their time and skill set? It’s better to leverage workflow automation tools to automate communication and ensure all customer interaction threads are interconnected.

How can self-storage operators leverage conversational AI?

Self-storage operators can use conversational AI to streamline customer interactions and broadly improve experiences. From providing access codes to existing customers to answering common questions for prospective customers, conversational AI tools, such as chatbots, can offer 24/7 support to existing and prospective customers choosing to interact with your business.

Creating An Omnichannel Strategy (Next Steps)

Are you interested in learning more about how your self-storage business can embrace the possibilities of an omnichannel strategy?

We have developed an Operator’s BluePrint to “Building an Unmanned Facility” — the all-in-one resource of all the tools accessible to an operator to run their self-storage business more effectively.

To find out more about the self-storage technology landscape and how you can utilize AI-powered tools for self-storage businesses, get your hands on the PDF blueprint today.

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