The Ultimate Guide for Self-Storage Operators

Tenants nowadays are highly connected and can quickly find self-storage facilities that meet their requirements within a matter of seconds or minutes. Therefore, if your facilities do not meet their expectations, they can easily switch to another option. 

Extra Space Storage facility

In such a scenario, top 100 operators like Extra Space Storage that have multiple locations and succeed use growth marketing to provide exceptional customer experiences right from the initial interaction.

This guide will address the common questions that every self-storage enterprise has regarding the customer experience (CX) and provide practical measures that can be implemented swiftly to improve CX, irrespective of whether you have 10 or 10,000 locations.

Chapter 1: Understanding Customer Experience

For self-storage operators, understanding customer experience is crucial to the success of their business. CX refers to the overall experience that customers have with a storage facility at every touchpoint, from initial discovery to move-outs. 

SecurCare Self Storage showing lady petting her dog with text saying 'Storage you can trust'

Customer experience management is the process of designing this experience to exceed customer expectations consistently, leading to higher levels of customer loyalty over time.

Customer Experience vs. Customer Service

While customer experience and customer service are related, they are not the same thing. Customer service refers to specific interactions where customers require assistance from the storage facility.

In contrast, customer experience encompasses all aspects of the customer journey, including automation features such as entry control systems. Good customer service is just one component of a great CX, and prioritizing CX can lead to higher customer retention and revenue.

How Customer Experience Drives Business Growth

Creating a great customer experience leads to higher levels of customer retention, which drives business growth. With digital transformation becoming increasingly important in every industry, including self-storage, digitizing processes can lead to more efficiency and a smoother customer journey. 

The benefits of CX can be quite impressive as shown in the chart below.

chart showing the benefits of customer experience for self-storage operators

Furthermore, case studies of successful self-storage enterprises using our platform, such as National Storage Affiliates and Superior Storage, demonstrate the importance of prioritizing customer experience for business success.

Creating a Winning CX Strategy for Self-Storage Operators

Developing a customer experience strategy is crucial to delivering a consistent and scalable experience across every customer touchpoint.

This strategy should aim to deliver value for customers at every touchpoint and prioritize customer communication and data insights.

Importance of CX for Loyalty Programs for Self-Storage Operators

Loyalty programs can be a valuable marketing strategy for self-storage operators, encouraging customers to continue storing their items at their facilities.

However, the success of these programs is heavily dependent on the customer experience. Positive experiences can lead to increased customer loyalty, while negative experiences can damage the success of loyalty programs.

Chapter 2: How Self-Storage Operators Can Develop a CX Strategy

Self-storage operators of all sizes can benefit from improving their CX. By focusing on creating a positive customer experience, self-storage operators can reduce churn and increase revenue.

This chapter will outline 9 steps for developing a CX strategy that can help self-storage operators achieve these goals. We’ll also cover how to put it all together with a CX Flywheel.

Step 1: Develop a Customer Experience Strategy

To begin, self-storage operators should create a customer experience intent statement that describes their goals for interacting with customers. This statement should be 1-2 paragraphs and outline the intended outcome of each interaction with a customer.

Step 2: Collect Data on Touchpoints

Self-storage operators should collect data on each touchpoint of the customer journey by using customer surveys. Analyzing this data can help operators identify weak points and areas where they are excelling, which can be used to improve the overall customer experience.

Step 3: Research Competitor Self-Storage Operators


Researching competitors using competitive benchmarking is a critical step in creating a successful customer experience strategy. By reviewing online reviews of competitors, self-storage operators can gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to improve their own strategy.

Step 4: Map the Customer Journey

To create a successful customer experience strategy, self-storage operators should map the customer journey. The journey should include all stages of the customer lifecycle, from awareness to advocacy.

Step 5: Define the Stages of the Customer Journey

Operators should define the different stages of the customer journey, from when prospects are just becoming aware of their problem to when they are ready to become a customer.

This will provide a better understanding of how to keep customers moving forward in the journey.

self-storage operators need to define the different stages of your customer’s journey as desire, delight, and decide

Step 6: Determine Customer Motivations at Each Stage

Understanding what customers are looking for at each stage is critical to guiding them through the customer journey. Operators can collect feedback to better understand customer expectations and motivations.

Step 7: Plot Touchpoints

Operators should plot all the touchpoints where customers interact with the self-storage facility. This includes physical locations, online channels, and customer service interactions. Understanding how customers are moving from one touchpoint to another is critical to providing a seamless customer experience.

Step 8: Evaluate the Customer Journey

Operators should evaluate the customer journey to see if it is working as intended. This involves looking at the action's customers are taking and identifying any places where they may be leaving the journey. It's important to determine if all touchpoints are meeting the needs of customers.

Step 9: Make Improvements

Finally, self-storage operators should make improvements to the touchpoints that are obstructing the customer journey. For example, if customers are trying to text the operator on a landline that is not set up for texting, the operator should make the landline text-friendly to remove the roadblock.

How Self-Storage Operators Can Create a CX Flywheel

To stand out in the competitive self-storage industry, smart self-storage operators are focusing on creating a successful CX flywheel. Unlike the outdated funnels that shuffle customers from marketing to sales to customer service, the CX flywheel is designed to include every team in the company to attract, engage, attain, and delight customers.

graphic of CX Flywheel showing how to attract, engage, attain, and delight customers

The CX flywheel concept is straightforward: the more customer touchpoints you create, the more data you acquire, and more data leads to more significant insights, personalization, and return on investment (ROI). By blending physical and digital touchpoints, the CX flywheel removes friction and fuels momentum for businesses to propel growth.

For self-storage operators, touchpoints like listings management, review management, and a referral program can attract prospects, while webchat and payment processing can engage and convert them into customers. Customer surveys, support ticketing, and business insights are used to delight customers and enhance their overall experience.

Each touchpoint of the flywheel is responsible for enriching the overall customer journey, powering and spinning the CX flywheel. This leads to an increase in customer engagement and loyalty, which ultimately translates into revenue.

So, if you're a self-storage operator looking to enhance your customer experience, focus on creating a CX flywheel that includes every team in your company to attract, engage, attain, and delight your customers.

Developing a CX strategy is critical for self-storage operators who want to reduce churn and increase revenue. By following these 9 steps and building a CX Flywheel, operators can create a successful customer experience strategy that meets the needs of their customers and drives business growth.

Chapter 3: How to Measure Customer Experience

To effectively manage customer experience, self-storage operators must measure it across different metrics. Here are some key metrics to consider:

Net promoter score (NPS) - This measures the likelihood of customers recommending your business to friends and family on a scale of 0-10. A high NPS indicates that your customers are willing to promote your business.

Customer churn rate - This is the percentage of customers who stop using your business over a certain period. High churn rates suggest that the customer experience you’re providing does not meet their expectations.

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) - This is an indicator of overall levels of satisfaction with your customer experience. To measure CSAT, simply ask your customers how satisfied they are with their experience.

Trends in customer ticketing - Large amounts of customer service tickets arising from particular touchpoints can indicate areas where improvement is needed.

Measuring CX with Online Reviews

self-storage laptop screen saying rate your experience

Online reviews can help self-storage operators improve customer experience at any stage of the customer's journey. Here's how:

Display social proof - Reviews show the value propositions of your storage facility with a voice that customers trust: the voice of other customers. Reviews represent the authentic opinions of your customers, making them a trusted source of information.

Understand overall satisfaction - Customers often provide valuable feedback within reviews that can help you understand both strengths and weaknesses in your overall experience. This can help you improve touchpoints to better serve customer needs.

How to Measure CX with Surveys

To build a great customer experience, self-storage operators need to collect quality feedback. Here are some tips for designing a customer survey:

Keep your surveys short - Surveys that are too long or too complex frustrate respondents, resulting in skipped questions or drop-offs. Keep surveys to 7-8 questions at the longest.

Ask the right questions - While open-ended questions can yield great insight, they take more time for a customer to complete. Avoid asking too many open-ended questions and consider making them non-mandatory.

Order your questions carefully - Starting with a complex question can result in respondents dropping off. Begin with a couple of easy questions to get respondents accustomed to the survey-taking process.

Respond to negative feedback - If a customer provides negative feedback, get in touch with them immediately. Responding quickly gives you a chance to turn the customer's opinion around.

Thank customers for positive feedback - Reach out to customers who provide positive feedback and thank them. A simple "thank you" can help build customer loyalty.

Get your timing right - To get the most accurate results, send customer experience surveys at the right time. The right time depends on whether you're measuring overall customer experience or a specific touchpoint.

Chapter 4: Challenges Implementing a CX Program for Self-Storage Operators

Self-storage operators face several challenges in implementing an effective customer experience program. One challenge is the missed opportunities to personalize the customer experience to fit their unique needs.

Top self-storage CRMs are great to run day-to-day operations, but they fall short addressing CX challenges. That's why successful businesses need an experience marketing platform to collect and analyze data on customers' past interactions with their storage facilities. Keeping records of previous conversations and visits to storage facilities can help businesses personalize the customer experience.

Another challenge is getting humans and technology to work together. Businesses need to ensure that the software they use is intuitive and not burdensome for their employees at all levels to use. It's essential to have tools and technologies that employees can easily understand and use to deliver a seamless and hassle-free customer experience.

Multi-Channel Communication and Data Organization Challenges

Most customers use multiple communication channels to contact self-storage operators, and businesses must stay on top of all customer messages. However, it can be challenging to keep track of messages and data when different teams handle different channels. 

Self-storage operators must adopt an omnichannel approach to CX by investing in an experience marketing platform that keeps track of all customer interactions in one place. This way, self-storage operators can ensure that all customer messages are being monitored and addressed promptly.

Connecting Employee Experience with CX

Self-storage operators can improve customer experience by improving employee experience. Happy employees are better able to serve customers.

Sharing customer feedback with employees, improving team collaboration processes, and conducting periodic employee surveys are some strategies that self-storage operators can use to improve employee experience.

Regular employee surveys can help identify employee concerns and frustrations, which can be addressed to improve their experience and consequently improve customer experience.

Overall, self-storage operators face challenges in delivering an exceptional customer experience. However, by adopting strategies that prioritize personalization, technology implementation, omnichannel communication, and employee experience, self-storage operators can deliver a seamless and hassle-free customer experience that meets their customers' unique needs.

Chapter 5: How to measure ROI of CX for Self-Storage Operators

Self-storage operators who want to improve their customer experience need to understand the ROI of CX investments.

By following these steps, you can calculate your CX ROI and ensure that your investments are paying off.

team mates calculating ROI of CX in office

Define clear goals

To start, set clear, quantifiable goals for your CX investments. It’s important to get buy-in from your team, so everyone understands why you’re focusing on these metrics and how they relate to the success of the business.

Establish a baseline

Before making any new CX investments, establish a baseline for customer satisfaction. For example, if you want to improve your Net Promoter Score, keep a record of where your NPS stands currently. This will help you track the effectiveness of your CX efforts.

Calculate value from improvements

Determine the value of a highly satisfied customer. For instance, if loyal customers spend 30% more than passive customers, then you can predict the increases in revenue from an improvement in NPS.

Subtract costs

To calculate CX ROI, subtract the expenses of your CX investments from your revenue. This will give you a real dollar amount of your returns. If your CX costs outweigh your revenue, it might be time to re-evaluate your CX strategy.

Review Dingo can help self-storage operators improve their customer experience and ROI by providing a platform for customer feedback and communication.

Use these steps to calculate your CX ROI and prove the value of your investments. For additional guidance, check out the Calculating ROI of CX Guide which includes free spreadsheets with formulas for easy calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a CX flywheel, and how does it benefit self-storage operators?

A: A CX flywheel is a customer-centric model that seeks to create a virtuous cycle of attracting, engaging, and delighting customers across multiple touchpoints, both physical and digital. By removing friction and enriching the customer journey, self-storage operators can create momentum and drive growth, leading to increased revenue and loyalty.

Q: Why is it important for self-storage operators to calculate their ROI from customer experience?

A: Calculating ROI from customer experience can help self-storage operators determine whether their investments in CX are paying off, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions that can increase revenue and customer satisfaction. By establishing clear goals, measuring baseline metrics, calculating the value of improvements, and subtracting costs, self-storage operators can gain a better understanding of the impact of CX on their bottom line.

Q: How can self-storage operators use touchpoints to enhance the customer journey?

A: Self-storage operators can use a variety of touchpoints to attract, convert, and delight customers. For example, they can use listings, reviews, and referrals to attract prospects, webchat and payments to convert them into customers, and surveys, ticketing, and insights to delight those customers. Each touchpoint should be designed to enrich the overall customer journey and create positive momentum for the CX flywheel.

Q: What are some best practices for self-storage operators to create a successful CX flywheel?

A: Some best practices for self-storage operators to create a successful CX flywheel include involving every team in the company, using data to gain insights and personalize the customer experience, removing friction across touchpoints, and constantly iterating and improving based on customer feedback. It's important to create a customer-centric culture that values and prioritizes the customer journey, and to measure and optimize the ROI of CX investments.

Final Thoughts

Creating a successful CX strategy can be a game-changer for self-storage operators looking to boost revenue and stand out from their competitors. By defining clear goals, establishing a baseline, calculating the value from improvements, and subtracting costs, you can calculate the ROI of your CX efforts and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Implementing a CX flywheel can also help remove friction and create a better overall customer journey, leading to increased loyalty and revenue.

Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Allen

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