You may never have thought of technology having a significant impact on the self-storage industry, reshaping how it works today. After all, self-storage seems pretty straightforward- a few empty rooms to provide storage services to people with extra stuff in their homes. However, you should know that there’s much more to the industry than what appears on the surface. To start a successful business in this industry, owners need to take care of maintenance, leasing, security, and management, among several other issues.
In such a situation, self-storage owners have started incorporating technology into their businesses for greater efficiency and enhanced customer experience. Self-storage companies now use biometrics, management software, and even robots in some places. After all, you can’t run a business successfully in this modern age without technology, can you?If you’re still curious, here are five ways how technology is reshaping the self-storage industry.
The use of self-service technology in the self-storage industry has taken convenience to the next level. Several facilities have built websites customers can use to rent storage units, make payments, and view features and packages.
As a result, customersdo not need to visit self-storage facilities to make preliminary decisions. Mobile apps also allowcustomers to engage with self-storage companies with just a few taps on their phones.Users can view their history, gain access to their storage units, and even get frequent notifications about their belongings. Using a self-storage facility is now easier than ever before.
Kiosks allow people to manage their unit without the need for speaking to a facility manager. With just a few taps, customers can rent a unit and make payments almost instantly. Moreover, a self service kiosk helps to reduce the workload for staff and managers.
The business can run 24/7 without having employees working constantly. It helps to drastically cut operational expenses for business owners while also reducing the risk of person-to-person disease infections as we muddle through the coronavirus pandemic.
Surveillance through on-site cameras was already common in many facilities. However, the footage from these devices was only available to employees working at the facility. Only recently, self-storage companieshave started sharing live footage with people who have rented storage units. With the help of updated smart security cameras, mobile apps, or websites, people can view their belongings in their respective units 24/7. This feature helps to assure customers about the safety of their belongings, providing them peace of mind. As a result, there is greater trust between customers and service providers.
However, remote monitoring is not only used by customers but also by self-storage owners. Remote monitoring helps self-storage owners to view storage unit conditions even if they’re not at the facility. It helps them identify security and maintenance-related issues before they get out of hand.
Biometric identification systems are one of the most essential and effective security systems installed in updated self-storage facilities. Unlike simple locks, it is difficult for intruders to bypass biometric locks. And nor do customers need keys that can easily be stolen or lost. Each person gains access to their belongings by facial or fingerprint recognition.
However, even if a robber bypasses the biometric identification, alarm systems,security personnel will find out immediately. Studies suggest that 60% of robbers avoid breaking into spaces that have biometric ID in place. Alarm systems come with a variety of sensors that can detect intruders. In addition, smoke and fire detectors are installed with alarm systems to send alerts in the case of a fire, allowing staff to take prompt action.
While it may seem a bit too futuristic, the self-storage industry has started using robots to get work done. These machines help to automate tasks, reducing workload for self-storage business owners. But more importantly, robots don’t make any mistakes in dealing with customers and are bound to follow orders correctly. One of the more recent innovations in robotsinvolves kiosk-like machines on wheelsthat assist customers throughout the renting process. Apart from payments and bookings, these robots also give customers an in-person tour of the storage unit.
During the tour, customers can interact with screens on the robot, reading about the services offered by the self-storage facility. The robot can also connect the customer with managers or counselors through the screen if the customer wants further information. However, dealing with customers is not the only task that robots have simplified. Some companiesemploy robots that can help customers load and place their belongings efficiently into the storage unit.
Improved customer service
High-quality customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. Customers get frustrated if people at the front desk ignore their queries, especially in the self-storage industry, where customers often need help. However, with the help ofAI chatbots, self-storage companies can provide 24/7 customer service with immediate responses. Whenever a customer needs to inquire about something, a chatbot can answer all questions instantly on mobile apps or websites. Butif the chatbot cannot answer a question, the request is forwarded to live call centers.
However, uninterrupted customer service isn’t the only good thing about using chatbots. Unlike human employees, chatbots don’t make any mistakes or errors in responding to customer inquiries. As a result, customers always receive the correct answers, improving customer relations. Moreover, using a chatbot is much cheaper than hiring employees for the same purpose. According to IBM, chatbots reduce customer service costs by 30%.
Also read: Why Market Intelligence Is Essential to Your Business
In the modern age, no business can survive without making use of technological advancements. The aforementioned technologies allow the self-storage industry to run efficiently and effectively, providing various features and benefits to customers. Long gone are the days where customers had to rent units, transfer belongings, or monitor their stuff on their own.So, if you’re planning to start a self-storage business, consider paying attention to the tips mentioned above. Or if you think such facilities are too old and dusty to store your precious belongings, think again!