in a recent White Paper written by Open Tech Alliance, the leading providers of Insomniac kiosks and call centre technology, big increases are being seen by operators using not only kiosks but online technology to book and pay for self storage spaces.Centreforce agrees.
Change in customer behaviour rewards self storage sites with online transactions.
“This trend mirrors what we have noticed with customers using RapidStor technology” Dallas Dogger from Centreforce said. We developed RapidStor online move in technology over four years ago, it started off very slowly, but sites every day now rent storage spaces to their customers online 24/7
Consumer behaviour has changed and nowhere is it more noticeable in the growth in online transactions in the self storage industry through 2014 2015. Both OpenTech and Centreforce have seen the significant rise in the transaction numbers that come from online move in technology and kiosk use.
Online bookings and payments are now impacting the self storage industry in Australia quite dramatically and there is evidence to suggest that self storage sites that use online move in technology and payment technology may have an edge over competitors that do not use the same technology.
“Customers are impatient” Dogger said. In the old days customers would ring up and chat to a person behind the counter, often it was the only way they could make a genuine enquiry into the product or service. With online technology now providing an opportunity for a customer to browse through products pick the product that they want and buy it immediately, reduces that interface and into reaction with store staff.
In parallel with this new paradigm of customers buying online, customers are well educated into the products that they wish to buy, often embarrassing ill informed salespeople behind the counter who have not done their research into their own products nor their competitors.
Gone are the times when you can simply rely as an operator to have a price list in front of you and discuss price with customers – they are better informed and that most likely they have done their research on the web, they already know the prices and they know what deal they can get. They are researchers.
With online move in technology the deal is presented in real time as it interacts with software like SiteLink Web Edition displaying units available for rent in real time including any specials. The prospective customer only has to select that space fill in a few details at the credit card details and the deal is done with them receiving only seconds later a fully filled out self storage agreement.
Presenting the self storage agreement on site to the manager means a fast move in process that normally can take up to half an hour on site without this technology.
Both kiosks and online payment technology provide additional services to customers by giving them the flexibility to pay their accounts online at a time that is convenient to them rather than waiting for store operating hours. Customers do expect at least an online payment portal so they can pay their fees due online at the time that suits them. Overall the effective online payment strategy on your self storage website means that you are offering choice to your customer and allowing them to make the decision when to pay which is especially important if the customer is overseas or are in the forces.
With in-store touchscreen and tablet capacity for online move ins, the process of moving can be labour-intensive and these tools can help reduce the labour costs for owners.
As more and more kiosks become available in Australia for self storage use and more and more sites have online payment and move in technology more customers will become accustomed to using these methods for dealing with self storage operators and will expect these services to be available at other stores that they might visit especially if they move.
Interestingly the statistics reveal that more people pay online in the colder months of the year. Convenience makes it possible for people to pay without venturing out especially in harsh environments.
It was not that long ago that face-to-face communication between customers was the normal way of conducting business. With proven online technologies and payment interfaces, face-to-face communication has reduced at those self storage facilities that use these technologies.
Online payment technology online move ins online reservations and kiosk all our additional tools to make it easier for your customers to interact with your self storage facility at a time that is convenient to them which may not always be during business hours and is plenty of evidence to suggest that these tools are used after hours especially by shift workers.
Self storage facilities that adopt these technologies are showing to their customers that they are prepared to provide additional convenient services for them to use, empowering them to interact with their customers more than just during business hours and that’s important aspect of being competitive in the self storage marketplace of today.
With thanks to OpenTech Alliance for information provided along with RapidStor online move ins.