Serving Customers With Patience and Compassion
The coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest continue to dominate news headlines and our collective attention. Self-storage business owners are adapting to the "new normal" with changes to operational procedures and customer interactions. While it may not be spelled out in state or local guidance for doing business during these challenging times, one of the most effective tools is quality customer service.
As a business owner, this is an ideal time to reinforce your company's values and model the behaviors that promote those values and lead to positive outcomes for staff and customers. Here are some ideas to consider.
Lead With Compassion
Enhance your team members' awareness of the stress and uncertainty that customers may be facing when they enter the self-storage facility, make a phone call, or send an email. A customer's experience of your business can be made better with the application of respectful customer service. This is an opportunity to do the right thing for your customers, solidify productive relationships, and build your business all at the same time.
Reinforce With Training
Increasing the frequency of your staff training helps to reinforce the message and provides added opportunities for discussion of specific interactions or incidents. Brief weekly online meetings can serve as an operational update and training session with the added bonus of giving owners and senior managers a chance to check in with facility personnel. They are all experiencing added stress right now, too.
Diligent Ongoing Maintenance
Stressed-out customers may react harshly to anything that they perceive as putting further pressure on them during this time such as a slip-and-fall injury on your premises. To avoid the risk of potentially serious claims or other negative occurrences, revisit the basics of timely maintenance and premise inspections multiple times each day while practicing the appropriate social-distancing measures. Some of the key areas to consider include walkways, driveways, steps and stairs, lighting, security gates, fencing, roofing, signage, and fire prevention.
The uncertainty and disruption of today's environment makes it more important than ever to recognize the pressures on your customers and team members and to conduct business with an attitude of respect, patience, and compassion.