A friend (who is currently moving house) recently had to use self storage for the first time in his life. Since I work in the industry & know most of the players in his area (they all use Storman), I thought I’d ask which company he ended up going with and why.
Out of all the reasons that he may have picked from – pricing, proximity to his new / old location, size options, opening hours, etc – he said that he chose the facility based on their easy-to-use, helpful website and the fact that he didn’t have to wait for a quote. “I was quickly able to figure out how much space I needed and got a price for it straight away; some of the other companies took two hours to respond!”, he said.
Being in the middle of a move meant he had no fixed internet connection and no desktop computer – so he was reliant on using his mobile phone for research. He commented that some of the storage facilities that came up in his search results (on Google Maps mind you; not Google Search) had “hopeless websites that just redirected me to phone the facility”, and that others had websites that were completely unfriendly to users on a mobile device; “I just gave up on some of them – it was too hard and taking too long”, he remarked.
Said friend is very much like me; we grew up with the internet since the dial-up days and are used to getting answers (especially pricing information) quickly. If we don’t, then we’ll just move onto someone who does and, well – someone else’s loss is the next company’s gain. It doesn’t matter if the other company was better or cheaper… they didn’t even make the shortlist.
Regardless of whether your business believes in the important role that your website plays in driving business to you, it seems to matter to your customers – potential & existing. My friend, like me and a growing number of young(er) people these days expect immediate answers to the information they’re seeking. We’ve come to expect it, thanks to our always-on, real-time connectivity, access to push notifications and social media.
So, buzzwords aside, is your website falling short? Would it have made my friend’s shortlist? To find out, ask yourself these questions…
- Does your website quickly and easily demonstrate how much space a person needs? If not, implement a Self Storage Space Calculator – the SSAA has a free one for its members.
- Does your website work on a mobile device and / or tablet? If not, ask your web developer to implement a responsive (mobile- & tablet- friendly) design. Storman can recommend a number of web developers, so please get in touch if you need a hand.
- Does your website provide the pricing information that people want – and can the user move-in or reserve a unit online? Storman’s Online Move-ins add-on lets your storers move-in online (or reserve a unit online, and then complete the move-in process in-person at your facility).
- Does your website let people pay their storage invoices online? Our online payments add-on, called Storman Payments, lets your accept storer payments via your website, with all payments automatically synchronized with your copy of Storman.
PS: In case you’re wondering who he went with in the end, it was Kennards.