Impressions: Elevating the Customer Journey in the Self-Storage Industry

The self-storage landscape is changing, creating both new challenges and opportunities. Last year, the industry had a sales volume of $3.68 billion, covering over 46 million square feet. The sector did not see a downturn during the pandemic, causing lots of new capital investment.

So, how is all this changing the customer journey? A roundtable of experts joined Impressions host Daniel Litwin to discuss—CJ Stratte, Marketing Director of On the Move, and Co-Founders of Atomic Storage Group Rick Beal and Magen Smith.

When discussing the self-storage customer, Beal said “it’s a need-based business.”

Those needs vary depending on events or location. Beal noted that storage space is a necessity for densely populated areas like New York City, while Stratte added, “In Texas, I have storage, because I can’t store things in the attic because they’ll melt – and we don’t have basements.”

Beal noted that success in the business depends on the right place, revenue and understanding of the customer journey. “Getting the customer journey right is the difference between making good money and great money.”

“Don’t overlook the small things like answering the phone, having someone in the office, and an easy website. We train managers to ask, ‘What’s going on in your life that you need storage today?’ We listen to the answer and plan properties to fit those journeys,” Smith added.

The need for self-storage isn’t just about the space. “It’s services for the entire journey and the convenience you can offer with boxes, locks, and moving trucks,” Stratte said.

Beal’s recommendation to self-storage owners is to document the entire customer journey. “Add every step. For example, a phone call includes lots of opportunities. What will you say? What happens if you don’t answer? How will you reach back out? Lay it all out and find the pain points, so you can be creative in solving them.”

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