When is the last time you ventured into a store or restaurant without looking at their website, pictures and reviews first? Chances are you probably viewed the place online first and then made a decision about visiting the business. Whether it be on Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp or just their website, you made a decision about the business before visiting their brick-and-mortar location. Once upon entering the store, were you disappointed or surprised by how the actual store differed from what you viewed online? Was the appearance of what was presented online versus the actual place of business disconnected; or was it the same?
In this tech era, consumers have more choices and access to information much quicker than ever before. Technology and online marketing have disrupted the old model of doing business, but the manager and in-store experience are still keys to success. To build awareness, trust and loyalty, a self storage facility must give the tenant the same experience online and in-person.
The key to having a connected experience is that operations and marketing must collaborate and be in constant communication. The seamless integration of these two departments will lead to better leads and lead conversions. Marketing strategies can be executed flawlessly and attract leads. However, if the operations/storage manager is unaware or ill-equipped on how to handle the leads, the marketing does not matter. Below is a checklist on how marketing and operations can team up to give the tenant a connected experience.
- Logo use: Both departments need to be clear on how logo is presented. Ensure that logo is used in consistent manager across all print and online marketing and communications.
- i.e. If you use the logo on invoices or tenant communications, have marketing proof the use of the logo. The logo should be the same size, color, font, and branding across all forums.
- Signage: Ensure the signage is sufficient, visible and gives clear indication that your storage facility is in fact a storage facility. Operations must make sure all the signs are lit correctly and stay clean/free of debris.
- Personnel: The manager is the key to success at a storage facility. Ensure that they create an inviting atmosphere by standing and greeting the customer. Their apparel should also be branded so a tenant can easily identify store personnel.
- Cleanliness: It goes without saying that the store should be clean and have the same appearance of the photos put online. Ensure that the facility looks and adheres to the quality presented on all profiles.
- Website and social media sites: Ensure that all promotions that are done digitally are able to be used at the store and the store managers are aware. If a customer sees a discount online, a manager must be aware of the promotion to be able to help that customer in the store. The operations team is at the facility more frequently and knows the facility better. Have a quarterly audit of all online websites and profiles to ensure the accuracy of features, hours and information by the operations team.
- The person answering your reviews should be able to have access to operations information/operations team directly. Many of the reviews are specific situations that to answer, the marketing team must be able to provide an informative response to the tenant. Use the reviews to help the operations team. If a specific issue keeps arising, ensure that the operations team is trained properly.
- i.e. If there are a number of reviews about not knowing about autopay or online bill pay, ensure the manager is trained in telling the tenant at the time of rental about payment options.
Utilizing this operations and marketing checklist can ensure that the marketing draws leads and that those leads become leases. Marketing and operations must seamlessly work together to give the new informed customer the same experience online and in-person.