Tech in the Self-Storage Industry: Managing & Leveraging Data in 2022

25th November 2021

After a period of reconciliation for the industry after the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2021, we’re expecting 2022 to present new opportunities for self-store businesses to expand and grow in the coming twelve months with the help of developing technologies and the integration of current tech too.

At Store Log Flog, we’re very passionate about evolving the industry with new and exciting technology and in this blog, we’ll be taking a look at some of the tech both emerging and current that you should be taking advantage of to take your business to the next level in 2022.

Background

The self-store industry has developed considerably in the past decade or so, and even though the industry has been slow to adapt at times, it is now adopting technology to improve the customer experience.

During the height of the pandemic, many facilities saw an increase in occupancy rates due to increased demand. This gave operators the opportunity to utilise the data they have at hand to drive operations, improve their marketing abilities, and improve the overall tenant experience.

Increased Data Flow

Over the years, self-store facility operators haven’t been well equipped to understand how best to utilise crucial information about their customers.

Although, the industry may seem very simplistic, technology is now enabling the collection of GDPR-friendly data to create more personalised experiences and tailored marketing campaigns.

Self-store owners and managers are now utilising this technological leap to learn how potential customers are interacting with their brand, but also what needs to be done to improve their processes for current tenants.

By using this data in the right way, self-store businesses can create opportunities for increased online sign ups, identify what items tenants are storing in their facilities, and create a more hands-on experience in 2022, which has been largely lacking in the industry over the years.

Although the idea of “data” may seem a little overwhelming, there’s a good chance you already have access to it through channels you’re using every day, for example:

  • Your Website – your website is often your most significant source of data. Depending on the size of your business, you could be receiving hundreds of visitors everyday and by not tracking this information you’re missing out on vital data. You can track website visitors across years, months and days, the location they are visiting the website from, what pages most interest them, conversions and much, much more.
  • Phone Calls – phone calls are another source of customer data. You can learn a lot about what a customer wants and who they are by simply talking to them over the phone. Also, if this is a new lead, you can gain a good grasp of how they came to find your self-store facility in the first place.
  • Face-to-Face – although this is often considered to be an outdated practice, talking to your customers face-to-face is one of the most valuable data gathering sources in your arsenal, and it means you can tailor any future conversations to serve what that specific customer requires.

The Future of Data & The Storage Yard

To illustrate just how far data systems have come along is self-storage, below we’ve outlined some of the best examples of data-powered applications in self-store:

Industry Specific Chat Bots

The evolution of technology in self-store has made the industry far more competitive than ever before – to the extent that those not embracing technology may start to fall behind.

These days if a customer is looking to make contact with a business, their first port of call is the website, and your website is one of your biggest outlets for gathering the data that will power your customer and marketing strategies.

One of the best things that a self-store operator can utilise is an industry specific chat bot, which are capable of unlocking self-store units remotely, answering common questions and even letting potential customers know what units are still available on site, and all without needing human intervention, which is far more convenient for both parties.

Multi-Channel Communication

In order to improve the way you manage your prospects and current customers, you need to be communicating with them across the channels which they are frequently utilising. By doing this you can elevate your customer service experience to the next level, where you’re doing away with reactive management and stepping out on the front foot instead.

For example, let’s say a new customer lands on your Facebook page and sends a message enquiring as to whether your facility is capable of storing a considerable range of very rare and valuable antique items, they uncovered in a house clearance.

From a business point of view, you now have their name, contact information, location and what they’re looking to store – which means you can give them a call and discuss their needs in greater detail.

You have an entire spread of platforms available to you, so it certainly is worth putting your brand across a range of them to ensure you’re servicing the needs of both current and new customers.

Smart Kiosks

Image from kiosk.com

These days, tech advances have made it possible for customers to access their units around the clock. Rather than needing someone onsite all day, every day, smart kiosks can replicate some the administration tasks that a self-store manager would usually undertake.

Using an automated system like this can also aid overall operational efforts too. For example, a tool like this can help with tenant onboarding, when they’re moving their stuff into their unit and are often capable of answering general questions about their lease.

This also offers another data source for management, while also offering another layer of convenience for the customer, who then won’t need to wait until staff have arrived to ask simple questions out of hours.

How Store Log Flog Can Help Self-Store Businesses

At Store Log Flog, our founder Dominic Willson has been involved in the industry for many years, and when he saw a potential gap in the industry, he was quick to develop a technological solution to suit that particularly need.

Self-store owners can offer our app as an added chargeable service to their customers, which allows them to create a digital replica of the storage space and log exactly where they have stored their items all at their convenience.

This means that as a self-store owner, you have a greater understanding of precisely what is being stored in your units for insurance purposes.

The app also features an integrated chat feature, which allows two-way communication to ensure that no question will go unanswered and new customers can contact their chosen store yard directly without needing to visit multiple facilities beforehand.

By downloading the Store Log Flog app, you have the perfect companion to help your tenants log, map, and store all of their valuable items to give you a view of precisely what is being stored on your premises.

The Store Log Flog app is now available to download for free from Google Play or the Apple Store.

If you’d like to learn more about Store Log Flog, why not contact us today?

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