The World is a “Customer Service” Stage

Monty has done it again, another great blog that hits the nail on the head.  After you read this I am sure you will want to read all his blogs!  Marc

The World is a “Customer Service” Stage

by montyrainey

“Choose to give amazing service to your customers. You’ll stand out because they don’t get it anywhere else.” ~ Kevin Stirtz

Over the weekend I was reading a book about customer service penned by a former director of Walt Disney World, Lee Cockrell. Mr. Cockrell told that when he first went to work for Disney in Orlando, he wrote a story about the Rogers family and what he envisioned to be a world-class vacation at Disney World and all of the world-class service they encountered. He shared his story with his staff members so they would have a clear picture of what kind of service they should be giving to each and every customer. This sounded like a terrific idea, so I thought why not do the same thing for that day when the Rogers family needed to rent storage? After all, our goal is the same as the Disney goal and that is to give customers such a memorable experience that they will want to come back. But I hope you will apply this same principle to whatever service oriented business you are in. The concept is the same. By writing a script and sharing it with your people, they will know what world-class customer service looks like in your industry.

As they drove into the parking lot of the self storage facility they had driven by numerous times, they were struck by how clean and neat this storefront was compared to the store they just left. The landscape was simple but inviting, the lawn was freshly mowed, there was not a piece of trash to be found and you could actually see clearly marked parking stripes. As they approached the front door, Mrs. Rogers was quick to notice how clean the windows were. The signs in the window were professional looking, not a curled up piece of paper from the office printer taped to the glass.

The store manager had seen them drive up and when they entered the office Mr. & Mrs. Rogers were surprised to find the nice lady standing in front of the counter to greet them. At the last store they had just left, they had to wait for several minutes while the woman sitting behind the counter finished her cell phone call with her friend, but at least now they knew who got voted off the island last night. The store manager introduced herself with a warm smile and firm handshake. Again, unlike the lady at the last store they were at who wore a t-shirt advertising the local college, this store manager was very professionally dressed and well-groomed. Mrs. Rogers, ever conscious about her surroundings, quickly noticed the well-arranged display of moving supplies and made a mental note to ask about boxes.

At the last place they went, the store manager asked them what size unit they needed, but this store manager asked what they needed to store and after hearing what they listed suggested a size that would fit everything. The size suggested was smaller than they had thought they would need and would be a nice savings. The store manager also gave them some good tips on how to pack their unit to save space. The manager then suggested they go take a quick look at a couple of different sizes to make sure they would work, but first Mr. Rogers excused himself to the restroom. When he stepped inside the restroom, he thought, “Wow, she must have just cleaned in here.” The place was spotless. This was certainly not what he expected at a self storage facility.

When they went outside, there were expecting a long hike on the property but the store manager invited them onto the golf cart. There was a golf cart sitting outside the office of the first place they went, but it was loaded down with an array of locks, brooms and trash cans, so they both made the assumption that golf carts were not for customer use, but this golf cart was totally different. It had obviously been freshly washed. The floor covers had been Armoralled, and there was even a place for Mrs. Rogers to sit the water bottle the store manager had given her earlier.

When they had looked at a space at the other business, the grounds were riddled with cigarette butts, pieces of trash and Mr. Rogers even noticed a couple of nails and screws just looking for a tire to puncture. Here, the property was just as clean as everything else they had seen. It almost looked like the pavement had been vacuumed it was so clean. The manager wanted to show them a non-climate controlled space first and when they pulled up to the door, as she had been explaining the features of the property, she mentioned about the ease of being able to pull up to the door of a non-climate controlled space – something neither of them had considered. They also silently noted how clean the unit was. There were no cobwebs dangling from the door and there was a convenient rope hanging from the center of the door that even someone as vertically challenged as Mrs. Rogers could easily reach.

When they walked inside the climate controlled building, the first thing they noticed was how the floors had a mirror shine to them. The second thing they noticed was how comfortable it was inside. What the store manager told them had made perfect sense, rather than renting a 10×10 climate controlled space, which was really a little out of their budget, they could actually save a few dollars by renting a 5×10 climate controlled space for their photos, leather chairs and electronics, and rent a 5×10 non-climate space for their garden tools, clothes and boxes of household items. When they decided on the spaces they wanted to rent, they were surprised once again when the store manager pulled out 2 disc locks from under the back seat of the golf cart that were keyed-alike. She told them they only sold disc locks because they offered much more security than regular hasp locks. She removed the company locks from the units and the Roger’s placed their new disc locks on. Already the Rogers were feeling a sense of relief that they wouldn’t have to spend any more time looking for storage.

Filling out the rental agreements was painless as the store manager explained everything and gave knowledgeable answers to all of their questions. When they got to the end of the process, the store manager told them insurance would be required. At first, Mr. Rogers wanted to decline stating they had home-owners insurance that would cover it, but when the store manager explained that most home-owners policies do not cover stored items or if they do, they have a $1,000 deductible and then went on to explain that since they only intended to rent storage for a few months, if they did have a claim on their home-owners insurance, they would run the risk of having their premiums increased FOREVER, not just for the few months they had the storage. Now it all made sense.

Just as they were finishing up and the store manager was pulling all of the boxes they purchased, a man came in they had seen earlier mopping the hallway floors in one of the climate controlled buildings. As Mr. Rogers went to get the boxes they had purchased, the man said, “Oh no sir, allow me” and carried the boxes out to their car.

As Mr. & Mrs. Rogers drove away with big smiles on their faces, they began discussing the experience and how much different it was from their previous experience. As Mr. Rogers was telling his wife about how clean the restroom was, she exclaimed, “It’s been so long since I’ve seen it, I almost forgot what great customer service felt like. Who would have ever thought I would find it at a self-storage facility?”

Approach every day as thought you are a Broadway actor about to give the performance of your life, then view the customer as your audience. What do they want to see from the moment they pull into your parking lot until they drive away? What information do you need to give them and how should it be delivered? Make the customer experience “world class” so that at the end of your performance, they give you a standing ovation and will be anxious to tell others about the wonderful experience they had with you.

By Monty Raintey

http://www.montyrainey.wordpress.com

 

Youtube for profits

 

Picture of me on Youtube

http://youtu.be/L6M_V2CpFnk  Check it out!  I am sure you will enjoy it and maybe it will help you either lose a couple of pounds or help  you become rich or both.

I could write a 100o word description on  my book Crush Your Competition or I could upload a photo of the book – a picture is worth 1000 words or I could upload a Youtube video – a video is worth 10,000 words and is a lot easier!

The same goes for your self storage facility.  You have brochures, you have pictures, you have a web site with both pictures and words.  Now is the time to take it to the next stage by setting up a Youtube page for your business.

With today’s digital cameras, anyone can make a movie.  You can make several 2 minute movies highlighting your facility. They should highlight:

Your office and the products you sell (don’t forget to highlight your manager).

Climate control vs. regular units & sizes available.

Your location and your web site.

Dedicated RV & boat storage.

Various unit sizes.

Your security and other unique selling features.

A heart felt thank you to your clients and the community for their support.

Videos of your community.

It easy to go to www.youtube.com, open an account and down load the movies onto the site by following the directions.  You can add a link on your web site links page so people can see more videos of your site.  This is also one more step in giving your facility a better web presence and better search engine optimization (SEO) for your web site.  These days, the young generation is skipping Google and going directly to YouTube to do their searches.

Learn how to add written info about your company on your videos for a bigger impact. It’s one more step to making you a specialist and giving your clients what they want.

To Success!

Marc

 

 

Yellow pages

Daily I read people are cuting back from their yellow pages adds.  What amazes me is they are cutting back for $10,000 plus yellow page fees.  Wow!

A couple of years ago I eliminated all my yellow page adds.  The real key is take that money and reinvest it in your marketing.  When we used to look in the yellow pages we were first looking for a phone number of a company we wanted to call and secondly to see what companies provided a certain service we were looking for.

In other words spend 2/3 of that saved money making sure people are looking for you when the decide they need storage and 1/3 of that saved money to make sure they can find your phone number and address.

Finding your number:  Clear & bold on your web site, Facebook page, email signature, YouTube page and any other social networks.  When “Self storage, your home town” is searched for  does your web site & phone number come up on the first page? Most people do not check the second page.  If not you have some SEO (search engine optimization work to do.  Make sure each of your web sites/social network sites have links to your other sites. Get cross links with other businesses in Town to improve your SEO.  Make sure your site list your home town several times and that your town and surrounding towns are listed in the key words.  You could even purchase YourhomeTownSelfStorage.com for $10 a year and then have it forwarded to your web site.

Take the other 2/3 savings to boost you marketing

– 50% on the environment – new landscaping and flags & brighten up the office + more products.

-50% on customer service & smiles – take a class, read a book and go to a self storage association meeting to learn more about marketing and customer service + Free stuff for the clients

Its time to redirect your yellow page spending for more profits!

 

 

 

 

Week 90 You Need A Simple Marketing Plan

Why do you need a simple marketing plan? Because 75 percent of written goals come true! And it will help make your cash register sing! Here is week 90 from my just published book Crush your Competition to give you a head start on writing your marketing plan for this year

Week 90

You Need a Simple Marketing Plan

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Norman Vincent Peale 1898-1993

Boxes for customer convenience and profits

Your business plan for the next year can be as simple as choosing which ideas in this book to implement or improve upon in the next year. However it is not a plan until it is written down.

A marketing plan will help you and your employees do more with less.  Doing more with less is one of the universal principals of becoming wealthy in business.  Many people simply set a budget, however, a budget is your least important item.   After a reading this book you will be ready to prepare a simple written marketing plan.

Your marketing plan summary should be a single page and include:

A goal for the next year or appropriate time frame

Time & money to be available for marketing

A list of your target audience and target location.

It the summary should be followed by an outline of your existing marketing goals and projects to be continued and new projects to be added along with details and a marketing calendar.

First determine all the weapons that are appropriate for you and your staff. Prepare a list of the specific changes you are going to implement for the day to day operations of your facility. Then prepare a monthly calendar of the specific marketing and advertising events for the next year. Then review and improve regularly.

You need to clearly state your specific goals of your Marketing Plan. Here is one example:

The goal of our marketing plan is to get potential clients to visit our property (or secondly to call our office) so we have the opportunity to rent them a unit with an end result of increasing our profits by $24,000 this year.  We will make this happen by implementing two marketing idea in this book every week.

You need to clearly establish your Target Audience and Target Areas.  Here is one example:

Our target audience includes commercial and residential clients.  The residential clients include people moving, making home repairs, people with full garages or basements, boat & RV owners, owners of summer cars.  Our commercial clients include clients who need temporary or permanent storage. 80% of our marketing dollars and efforts will be spent on the Town of xxxxx , 10 % on the Town of zzzzzz and 10 % on the town of yyyyy.  Many management programs will tell you where your clients are from.  Some management programs allow you to keep track of what promotions or particular advertising attracted customers to your facility.  They will help you to determine how to apportion future marketing time & marketing budgets.

Here are a few more things to include in your written marketing plan.

Item————————————Dec 31, 2012—————————-Next year

Units rented

Commercial clients

Merchandise sales

Referral rentals

Emails for news letter

Brochure holders out

Advertising partners

Web Links to our web site

Web link out from our web site

Facebook likes

Web hits per month

Budget

Landscape Budget

Gross income

Net profits

Few businesses make a marketing plan and even fewer follow their plan.  The value of planning is not the plan but in the planning.  Planning will give you excitement and confidence.  Planning teaches you about your business and your clients. Seventy five percent of goals written down actually happen.

You will get some extra renters by thinking about a marketing plan; you will get even more renters because your prepared a marketing plan; but the big bucks come when you implement your marketing plan.