5 Ways Self Service Kiosks are Enhancing Self Storage Facilities
Self storage solutions have been around for a very long time, and the industry shows no signs of slowing down. There are management software, marketing solutions and rental solutions for self storage companies, from storEDGE for example, which were created to make running a self storage business more efficient and productive. It only makes sense that self storage companies would come to realize that interactive kiosks are the perfect fit for the self storage industry. This is frankly because of their self service attributes. Individuals who rent self storage units are already utilizing a self service solution. Why not continue to make the self service solution more useful for everyone?
Here we discuss in detail five different ways that self service kiosks provide added value to the self storage industry.
An Assistant for Your Facility Manager
You may have someone managing your facility, or facilities, but overhead from hiring more employees can be incredibly expensive. You facility manager may need an assistant some of the time and those times may not always be predictable. Helping your facility manager while keeping payroll costs down is possible with an interactive kiosk.
While your facility manager is on the phone, helping a customer, giving a tour, or doing one of the countless other things they must attend to, an interactive kiosk will assist with a multitude of other tasks. If you need a way to showcase available units, and then rent them, your self service kiosk can do that. You can install web based, rental software on an interactive kiosk and allow potential customers to select an available unit and then rent it with the touch of a finger. If they need to downgrade, which we understand is preferable to moving out completely, they can do so right at the kiosk. The downsizing process is effortlessly completed and they are ready to move to their new unit.
Some of your renters may prefer to pay their storage bill at the self service kiosk and that can be done securely with cash, check or by card. It all depends on what payment method you prefer to accept. You can also sign renters up for storage insurance directly at the kiosk, thereby eliminating the need for your facility manger to process the forms. And if a customer has a question, you can add a VOIP solution to connect them to a call center operator, or virtual assistant, who can further meet their needs.
Also, if you would like to add marketing materials, such as virtual tours of units, brochures they can print and take with them, a photo gallery or links to your website, these can all be accessed at the interactive kiosk. You decide the customer journey at the kiosk and lock the interface down to ensure your customers only use the kiosk for what you want them to.
Stay Open for Business 24/7/365
Not everyone works a 9-5 M-F schedule and part of the appeal of self service is that you don’t have to operate on a traditional schedule. If you aren’t always open for business, you are missing out on additional self storage revenue. You need to have a way to rent units when your customers want them. Your interactive kiosk will greet customers when they walk in, on their own schedule, and allow them to easily rent any available unit in a few minutes.
Using your interactive kiosk to capture business opportunities that you are currently missing is an important way to stay ahead, or keep up with, the competition. Interactive kiosks are being found in more and more self storage facilities and if you aren’t providing an easy self service solution for renting a unit, someone else will! You definitely do not want to miss out on new rentals just because you aren’t open when a customer needs you to be. Allow your potential customers a way to make self service and self storage work for them.
“We use self-service kiosks at the facilities I manage, not only because they facilitate after-hour transactions and allow us to eliminate marginal office hours, but even more so because they allow us to manage the entire operation, including truck rentals, moving supplies, etc., with one professional manager most of the time, much like the airlines and some other retailers use kiosks to minimize staffing needs. Furthermore, not the majority yet, but many people actually prefer to use a self-service kiosk and will walk right up to it without hesitation.”
–Jim DiNardo of J. Dinardo Consulting, Specializing in the Self Storage Industry-
Convenience for New and Existing Customers
Many times a self storage rental is a temporary service. Those in self storage talk about the 4D’s – death, divorce, downsizing and dislocation.
When someone passes away, family members often rent a self storage unit to house their loved one’s belongings until they can spend the time to decide what to do with these items. Divorce happens, as do separations, and co-habiting relationships end every day. During this time, individuals need a self storage space while they settle into a new living situation. Downsizing happens for a wide variety of reasons – from empty nesters to income changes and more – and when you have accumulated a lifetime of stuff, what can you do when you no longer have the room? The last D, dislocation, happens when changing living arrangements because of divorce (back to that other D) or cross country moves or closer moves but perhaps to a space that just doesn’t work with your existing furniture.
Every situation involving the 4D’s is stressful and customers want their self storage experience to be simple. This is where self service kiosk solutions create convenience for your customers.
Renting a unit, downsizing a unit, or vacating a unit can all be accomplished through a touch screen kiosk with a web based software such as storEDGE’s Rental Center. As mentioned before, it is important to increase your open times for new customers and to allow the self service kiosks to meet your existing customers’ needs. Making renting easy. Make paying your bill easy. Make changing codes on their units easy. Convenience is incredibly valuable. Self service kiosks exist to make utilizing self storage solutions convenient for all of your customers.
Provide Another Level of Security
Of course you have video cameras installed all over your storage facility, but what if you could record new renters and require both a swipe of their driver’s license and a biometric scan? You can do all of this with a self service kiosk. Not only will customers (that you may not want to rent to) think twice when they know they are required to provide self identifying information, but you can ensure that only those who are supposed to be there after normal business hours are there.
Added levels of security show customers that you are serious about keeping their storage units protected, but also that you are serious about keeping them safe while visiting your facility.
Increase Your Self Storage Facility’s Value
We are a nation obsessed with technology. From our smart devices to video game systems to virtual reality experiences, we are always looking forward to what is coming next. Technology aids us daily in our work, our education and our home lives. We have adopted touch screens and have been moving toward an all-digital environment, living in the cloud, which is (funny enough) how technology uses self storage solutions.
Because of all of these reasons, self service kiosks will add value by not only saving you time and money, but will also increase your facility’s perceived value by your current and potential customers. Self service solutions show that you are a business that is current with the times and that you find value in creating greater conveniences for your customers.
If one day you decide to sell one, or more, of your storage facilities, you can rest assured that by having a self service kiosk solution that you will increase the sale price for your facility. Any potential investor will appreciate the use of self service technology in addition to traditional ways of managing self storage units.
Final Thoughts on Self Service and Self Storage
As you can see, these are only 5 reasons to add interactive kiosk solutions to your self storage business. We are confident that there are many more ways interactive kiosks can play a role in the self storage industry, and also that you can expand your offerings and tailor the solutions to your specific business needs. If you would like more information on interactive kiosks for the self storage industry, or you would like to discuss a potential kiosk project, please click to contact us below.