A friend (who is currently moving house) recently had to use self storage for the first time in his life. Since I work in the industry & know most of the players in his area (they all use StorMan), I thought I’d ask which company he ended up going with and why.
Out of all the reasons that he may have picked from – pricing, proximity to his new / old location, size options, opening hours, etc – he said that he chose the facility based on their easy-to-use, helpful website and the fact that he didn’t have to wait for a quote. “I was quickly able to figure out how much space I needed and got a price for it straight away; some of the other companies took two hours to respond!”, he said.
Being in the middle of a move meant no internet (and no desktop computer), so he was reliant on using his mobile phone for research. He commented that some of the storage facilities that came up in his search results (on Google Maps mind you; not Google Search) had hopeless websites that just redirected him to telephone the facility and that others had websites that were completely unfriendly to users on a mobile device; resulting in lots of pinch-to-zoom actions and panning around the screen constantly; “I just gave up on some of them – it was too hard and taking too long”, he remarked.
Said friend is very much like me; we grew up with the internet and are used to getting answers (especially pricing information) almost immediately. If we don’t, then we’ll just move onto someone who does and, well – someone else’s loss is the next company’s gain. It doesn’t matter if the other company was better or cheaper… they’re now not even on “the shortlist”.
Regardless of whether your business believes in the important role that your website plays in driving business to you, it seems to matter to your [potential] customers. Well, to me and my mate, at least. My friend, like me and a growing number of young[er] people these days expect immediate answers to the information they’re seeking. We’ve come to expect it, thanks to our always-on, real-time connectivity, access to push notifications and social media.
So, buzzwords aside, is your website falling short? Would it have made my friend’s shortlist? To find out, ask yourself these questions…
- Does your website quickly and easily demonstrate how much space a person needs?
- Does your website work on a mobile device and / or tablet?
- Does your website provide the pricing information that people want?
- Does your website let people reserve their unit then and there?
If not, perhaps it’s time for a redesign!
PS: In case you’re wondering who he went with in the end, it was Kennards.