Moving online is hugely beneficial for your business, but will also come with challenges. Here are some tips on how best to handle online bookings and incoming enquiries.
Technology dominates business and will continue to do so in the future. With that in mind, technology-based solutions for self storage businesses continue to advance themselves. The most useful (and more fundamental) is moving bookings online. The same could be said about hosting enquiries online as well. Both methods aim to streamline this mundane aspect of running self storage, but both will also be failed opportunities if you don’t learn how to manage these avenues of doing business. Implementing and using them incorrectly could potentially make your life even more difficult.
The benefits of moving bookings and enquiries online
Moving business operations online is proven to make it run more efficiently in the modern tech landscape. More and more businesses are moving online, and there isn’t much reason for yours not to. Added efficiency, removing clutter, and centralising all the important business operations seems like a no-brainer these days. You won’t have to deal with poor phone connection leading to a wrong billing address, or customer data being lost in a stack of papers. Moving bookings and enquiries primarily online will streamline these processes, making your life much less stressful.
Handling internally v.s. handling externally
One of the first considerations when handling online bookings and enquiries is whether you want to do them internally or externally. Internal management will mean you have much more control over how to handle bookings and enquiries. What they say, what information they ask for, how they reinforce your businesses’ brand, all of this will be much more easily managed by you if they are dealt with by people under your employ. Of course, handling them internally will also mean hiring more employees, which might not be worth it for some. Moving online will also hopefully increase the number of bookings and enquiries you receive, so there is the chance your employees won’t adjust to receiving the large influx of business and can end up sacrificing customer service. On the other hand, outsourcing will probably be cheaper, and those hired to handle enquiries will likely be heavily trained on dealing with questions and bookings quite quickly and efficiently. However, you will possibly sacrifice the control you have over exactly how they handle bookings and enquiries. As well as making things a little harder to fix when errors crop up.
Tips on how to manage online bookings and incoming enquiries
Perhaps the most important tip to take away. Customers are increasingly prioritising ease and convenience when it comes to customer service, and while moving online will already help in this respect, you should make sure you respond quickly. Customers will likely be showing interest to a large set of companies, who are your direct competitors, so responding first will go a long way in convincing them to stick with you. If you lag behind, there’s no doubt your competitors will step in to take customers where you left off. Especially nowadays, where most everything is online and attention spans are getting shorter, the expectation for businesses to be fast and streamlined is even greater.
While speed is obviously important, you also have to ensure that you’re giving customers relevant and accurate information. Think of it this way, there’s no use being there first if the response you give isn’t helpful. Being accurate and helpful is key to building trust with your customers. In the long run, making your company seem trustworthy only appeals more to prospective customers, and greater businesses in the future. Being a trustworthy company starts with giving the correct information to customers time after time, with minimal errors.
This is more relevant for enquiries, but it’s being personable and friendly when responding to customer questions is always the right way to go. People respond more positively to a company that actually cares, rather than dealing with automated messages or being directed to the FAQs section. Similar to being accurate with your responses, being friendly is a simple way to boost your customer service, and goes a long way with building strong relationships with your customer base, which again will only benefit you in the long run.
The final tip is to be consistent. Responding to stacks of bookings and customer enquiries can at times be a monotonous task. Set a few routines when doing them to make it sort of second nature. Stick to them as it saves you and your staff loads of time. It also makes sure that you end up with the relevant customer information every time. Knowing exactly what to say, what to ask, what information is still missing, means that both you and the customer have all their questions answered.
Moving bookings and enquiries online is a beneficial step for your business. Hopefully, the tips given here will make the transition even more stress-free, and help your self storage business in the future.
Managing your self storage with Storeganise
Integrate with Storeganise to move all your booking processes online. Customers can view, manage and automatically make bookings online from any device on the customer portal. With our new e-sign feature, get your customers to electronically sign their self storage agreement for speedier booking time and better back-end management for your business.
Get a firsthand look by booking a personalised demo.
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