How storage operators can use text to effectively communicate in a crisis and beyond

News Wire
Published June 8, 2020

During a crisis or an economic downturn, there are many people going through life changes who become new storage tenants. In order to make sure that your storage business is effectively serving these potential tenants’ needs, it’s important that you’re communicating effectively.

Of course, great communication shouldn’t just be limited to a recession. It’s an essential part of delivering fantastic experiences even during good times. Studies show that speed, convenience, and friendly service are essential for 70% of consumers, and adopting new communication channels can help you improve in all three of these factors.

So let’s talk about what you can do to reach your tenants and potential tenants where they are, in a recession and beyond.

Adapting to the modern communication environment

Many storage businesses are still sticking to the traditional communication channels: phone and email. This is a mistake. While these channels are definitely not dead, there is a problem of oversaturation. Email inboxes are often flooded for both businesses and tenants, making communications easy to miss.

Phone calls are not much better. It’s too easy for a tenant to miss you and get your email. Then you call them back and get their voicemail. So on and so on until you’re both frustrated.

Businesses can make tenant interactions more effective by turning to text. More and more tenants are turning to text messaging in their personal lives, and they expect the same with their interactions with businesses. Here are three stats showing the importance of texting.

  • Text messaging has a 98% open rate, compared to just 20-30% for emails.
  • The average person responds to a text message in 90 seconds, compared to 90 minutes for an email.
  • 89% of consumers say text messaging is their preferred method of communication.

Storage businesses need to meet their tenants where they are. Though we certainly don’t recommend dropping phone calls and emails entirely, it’s important to realize that in most situations, texting works better.

How to use messaging to effectively communicate with tenants

Here are a few ways that you can use text messaging to communicate with tenants.

Communicate with your website visitors

Since more people are probably looking for storage operators during difficult times, it’s important that you make it easy for potential tenants to reach out. Consider adding chat functionality to your website. If you don’t have a team that can monitor chats as they come in, that’s okay. Some website chat providers like BirdEye allow you to respond to these chats via text messaging.

Payment reminders

You might see that your tenants are forgetting to make payments on time due to the other concerns that they might be having. This problem can be solved with clear communication. Use text messaging to send them a reminder a few days before payment is due.

Update tenants on operating hours

If you’re making any changes to your business operations, it’s important that your tenants are the first to know. If you’re planning to shut down or reopen anytime soon, send a text message to make sure that your tenants are in the loop.

Request a review after move-in

Once you’ve turned a prospect into a tenant, send them a review request via text messaging. We recommend doing this on the same day as the move-in, so your business will still be fresh in the tenant’s mind. Be sure to include a link to a review site like Facebook or Google so the tenant can get to your business’s profile easily.

Getting started with a text messaging software

Let’s be real. It’s not easy to stay on top of text messaging when you already have the traditional communication channels to worry about, as well as all the other things going on with your business. That’s why a software solution can help.

A text messaging software solution can simplify interactions with tenants. Here are three features to look out for when looking for text software.

Integration with landline

Make sure that your text messaging software integrates with your existing landline number. That way, you can reach your tenants through a number that they already recognize. That, in turn, makes it more likely that they’ll respond to your texts.

Messaging templates

Find a text messaging software that supports messaging templates. Chances are that there are common questions that your tenants might ask. You can save your employees time by simply creating templates to answer these common questions.

Team collaboration features

A team collaboration feature can allow you to make sure that your team is staying on top of all tenant messages. Team collaboration features allow you to assign different text messages to different employees. When they’ve completed an interaction, they can simply mark the conversation “Closed”.

Dhiraj Nallapaneni is a Product Marketing Writer with BirdEye. Dhiraj writes blogs and creates webinars on the subject of collecting customer feedback and delivering fantastic customer experiences.

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