Irvine, California — O’Neil Software, Inc., a provider of technology solutions for commercial and corporate records management for over 30 years, recently announced that L&R Storage Ltd, UK has assumed a leadership role, moving their on premise RS-SQL over to the O’Neil’s new cloud service – Hosted RS-SQL.
With locations in the West Midlands, L&R Storage, Ltd provides secure document storage, shredding, indexing and scanning services to clients on a national scale. The company was formed in 2002, succeeding the previous organization (L&R Services, which offered archive services from the mid-80s).
Stephen Rose, Business Development Manager for L&R Storage Ltd states: “We had used O’Neil’s RS-SQL software on premise for nearly 5 years, with great success. However, our servers were in need of an upgrade and we were going to open a new facility. Although accessing the database from this new location was possible, using 3rd party ‘log me in’ applications, we found this method to be unreliable, unresponsive and often lagged,” he points out.
Stephen continues: “Additionally, we wanted to free ourselves from maintaining and supporting today’s cutting-edge technology on premise. Turning over those responsibilities to O’Neil, our need to invest in back-end IT infrastructure and administration staff dropped dramatically, along with the need for data centre space. Now we get more reliable, secure and quick access to our RS-SQL database, located at our Corporate Headquarters, anytime, anywhere, irrespective of physical location. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He concludes: “We’re also able to experience increased record centre productivity and cost savings; greater IT and business agility; higher system availability; enhanced security; and are automatically and regularly upgraded to receive the latest enhancements in O’Neil’s technology. O’Neil’s Hosted RS-SQL cloud service was the perfect solution for us and we are glad to be the “first” European record centre to utilize their offering.”
David Holt, CEO of O’Neil Software notes: “L&R’s movement to our hosted software solutions, along with several other early adopters, allows us to provide full system and platform services, that fall well within our expertise and years of experience. Traditionally, O’Neil has been an applications software vendor of mission-critical vertical market software for records management. That will continue to be a major part of our core business. But with an integrated service approach, we can achieve efficiencies in terms of performance and cost that were not possible before as strictly an applications vendor.”
About O’Neil Software
O’Neil is also known as the industry pioneer for barcode tracking, portable printers, wireless handhelds and web technology. The company provides worldwide coverage, with offices in California, Florida, United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit our website at http://www.oneilsoft.com.
Chris Spisto, 949-458-1234
1. What is your name and what is your position?
Lee Cameron, Managing Director of Australian Mobile Storage
2. How/why did you first become involved in self storage?
I stumbled into storage industry when I was involved with a few guys doing property development back in 1989 in Brisbane. We planned to build a storage facility on land we had bought the DA with to build in Cannon Hill, Brisbane. We proposed we would let it up and sell it. But after operating it for a few years, even during the recession we had to have, decided it was a great business and had great growth potential so restructured the ownership and then went on the develop 2 others over the next 10 years.
3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?
I think the 2 biggest changes would be making use of the land volume much better by going up and a lot better technology being introduced into the industry to help manage the people and facility.
4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self storage?
I try to work together with the staff, making decisions collectively and so they have “ownership” of any decisions, so choosing carefully the right type of person to work with is so important. The people in self storage have to be able to relate to such a variety of types of customers so it is very important they are people oriented even if they don’t have the technical skills to start with. Experience in the industry is probably not the most important attribute they need. It can sometimes be a hindrance.
5. What is your message to members of the SSAA?
ALL members must go to a conference, especially owners. I have been attending Conferences since 1990 when we had the inaugural meeting in Sydney. I have missed about 3 since then but I find that you can always learn from not only the meetings and presentations but from fellow members. Early days it was a lot more closed to sharing ideas and facts but it has gained a lot more openness as the industry has developed.
The next best thing to do is attend regional meetings. A more collective voice can then be heard and taken back to the Association for the good of all.
6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for self storage?
The biggest threat to the self storage and the Association is always bad operators. They want to have the protection of the Association and all that it offers but then not uphold any sort of standards of operation. They could have disregard for the reputation of their own operation or the reputation of the Association.
Competition is healthy but the biggest problem will always be discounting, especially during tough economic times which we have endured for some years now. Seems no matter how many times we hear the reasons why we should not resort to discounting at conventions and from experts, it seems operators know only one way to get more business in tough economic times. The bottom lines of all operators gets affected and to claw values back to where they should be will unfortunately take a while before they see net “growth”.
7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self-storage?
Unfortunately I don’t see many opportunities for growth in self-storage until more confidence starts to build within the housing markets and within business generally. We have endured a government who were more concerned with trying to pad their own political nest and touting to the unions rather than genuinely helping business and the economy. Maybe this new pro-business government will make a difference. At least it is saying all the right things so far.
8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?
I think Self Storage will become more user-friendly for the customer. Ease of signing up, electronic document management and who knows where technology will take us in the next 10 years. I think the best thing we can do is keep up with these changes and make it work for us and the customer. But besides all this most people do want to still know a person, a face, that they are dealing with rather than a computer or some faceless person. It has moved this way for the past 10 years but customers will get sick of this, like they are Facebook, and turn back to older communication ways which are more genuine.
9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.
Relaxing and exploring the Amalfi Coast in Italy or Cruising the Mediterranean. Would be great to mix some golf in there too but the wife would not be that keen on it.
10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes…
An arrogant person.
11. What is your guilty pleasure?
Golf on a week day.
12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Dog person but don’t have either.
13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Value advice from wiser, older people who you trust.
If you’re like me, you’ve had plenty of experience with bad customer service. Just think about the last time you had a bad experience with a product or a service…
Perhaps the product or service did not live up to the sales pitch. Maybe the company was unresponsive to your calls or emails. Maybe they did not do what they said they were going to do. Or they gave you the run-around when you called to report a problem or ask a question.
If you think about it, all of these negative experiences boil down to one thing, a lack of customer service. And a lack of customer service usually stems from a lack of customer focus. It seems many businesses have simply lost sight of who they are really in business to serve.
Instead of the old saying, “the customer is always right,” many businesses seem almost bothered by customers these days. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret from my early ad agency days. We used to have a saying, “this business would be great, if it wasn’t for the clients.”
How ridiculous is that?! We wouldn’t have had a job if it weren’t for the clients (I’m older and wiser now!). Yes, sometimes clients can be difficult, but they are the reason we are in business. Our job is to serve them. If they are upset, we should welcome the opportunity to find out why, and use that information to improve our product or service.
Yes, sometimes you’ll run into someone who is being totally unreasonable and you just have to deal with it. But very often, client complaints uncover a problem or something we can improve upon.
So make it a point to really listen to your customers. Make a commitment to treat all your customers well. After all, giving great customer services is one of the best and cheapest marketing tools available. When you treat your customers well, or even better, when you deliver beyond their expectations, you will be rewarded.
Those happy clients are the same clients who will happily refer you. The opposite is also true. If you disappoint a client, or don’t deliver what you promise, or you just plain treat them badly, they will likely tell everyone they know how horrible you are. In fact, those disgruntled clients are more likely to talk about you than your happy clients. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it usually works.
The good news is, it’s not hard to give great customer service. You simply have to be aware and make it a priority. Following are 10 tips to help you offer stellar customer service.
1. Be accessible
Your customers should be able to get a hold of you, or someone in your company, if they have a question or if they need service. Provide multiple ways for your customers to get in contact with you, such as email, phone, mail or fax.
2. Respond in a timely manner
Make it your policy to return all phone calls or emails within 24 hours. And, if you cannot commit to that, then determine what timeframe you can manage and let your customers know upfront they can expect to hear back from you within that amount of time.
3. Listen to your customers
Often when a customer calls or writes to complain, they just want to be heard. In fact, sometimes, just listening is all you need to do. Take the time to listen to what your customers have to say before you start responding or defending your product or service. They may just have a point.
4. Treat your customers with respect
Even if the customer on the other end of the phone is acting irrationally, or being rude, don’t lower yourself to their level by reciprocating. Treat everyone with respect and you will be respected in return. Plus, you never know when someone’s just having a bad day, and they happen to be taking it out on you (we’ve all done it).
5. Don’t argue with your customers
You can never win an argument with a customer. Because if you do win, you’ve more than likely alienated the customer and you’ve lost their business. We all know the customer isn’t really always right, but instead of focusing on what went wrong and defending yourself, focus on how you can solve the problem or fix the situation.
6. Honour your commitments
If you say you will answer emails, then answer them. If you offer a guarantee, then honor it. Nothing spoils a customer relationship faster than being promised something and not getting it.
I got a nice email last week from a client that made me realize just how important this is. Here’s what he wrote:
“Many thanks for your prompt and comprehensive reply. Your personal interest, caring and enthusiasm is clearly apparent. Most company owners invite you to respond and promise to reply personally, they seldom do so …”
Yes, it took me some time to respond to his email. But I promise email support to all clients who purchase my 10stepmarketing System and therefore it is important to honor that commitment. If I ever get to the point I can no longer respond due to the volume of requests or other time commitments, I will stop offering this service, not just stop responding.
7. Do what you say
If you say you’re going to call someone on Tuesday, call them on Tuesday. It’s as simple as that. If you want your customers to trust and believe you, you have to follow through and do what you say.
8. Focus on making customer relationships, not sales
The long-term success of your business rests on your ability to make long-term customer relationships. If you sacrifice relationships to make short-term sales, your business will be short-lived.
9. Be honest
Don’t exaggerate the results your product or service will provide. Don’t promise things you cannot deliver just to make a sale. I see hype all over the web these days; everything is a quick fix or a silver bullet. It suckers people into buying the product, and then the product doesn’t deliver. Think that customer is ever going to make another purchase from that business? Not likely. Be honest and direct about what your products and services can deliver.
10. Admit when you make a mistake
No one’s perfect. We all make mistakes; it’s part of learning. So when you do make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up or deny it. Just admit it and if necessary, do something to make the situation right. Your customers will appreciate it and they’ll be more likely to stay customers.
So how does your customer service measure up? Are you practicing these 10 steps and offering stellar customer service? If not, I challenge you to take your service up a notch. Approach it like Ken Blanchard and instead of just being satisfied with happy customers, create “Raving Fans” (a great little book if you haven’t read it).
Commit to putting these 10 tips into practice. Get to know your customers. Make them the focus of your business. It’s one of the keys to marketing success and best of all, it doesn’t cost very much!
Irvine, CA – Remote hosting is something that is growing in popularity today and why wouldn’t it? It can provide great service at a great price. There’s no hardware to buy, an in-house IT team is not required and companies can free themselves of the responsibility for maintaining their on-premise software installation. For these very reasons and more, it can be a wise choice and one that many of O’Neil Software customers have chosen to make, or are actively considering. This way, they can continue to access O’Neil’s state-of-the-art technology, reduce IT expenditures and focus more on growing their records management business.
O’Neil Software, Inc., a provider of technology solutions for commercial and corporate records management for over 30 years, recently announced their Hosted RS-SQL service. When considering all the costs associated with running O’Neil’s RS-SQL (for example, hardware and software maintenance, system upgrades and backups), in an internal record centre server environment, a great deal of economic value can be realized by taking advantage of O’Neil’s new service. This offering negates the need for record centres to make large investments to manage local IT resources, for the purpose of running and maintaining an RS-SQL installation. By using the O’Neil cloud service, record centres have a competitive advantage. They can focus more time directly on their records management customers and new opportunities, knowing that O’Neil has their back on the application software and technology services side.
David Holt, O’Neil’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) notes: “Through economies of scale and the leveraging of O’Neil’s core competencies, our company can offer record centres advanced technologies and services at a significantly reduced cost. For example, databases hosted by O’Neil will be encrypted. We will do this at a cost far below what a record centre would have to pay, if it tried to implement it independently and on-premises. And it’s quite likely that database encryption will become a pre-requisite for meeting the requirements of existing and emerging regulations for protecting sensitive data in the health and financial arenas.”
About O’Neil Software
O’Neil is also known as the industry pioneer for barcode tracking, portable printers, wireless handhelds and web technology. The company provides worldwide coverage, with offices in California, Florida, United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit our website at www.oneilsoft.com.
Chris Spisto, 949-458-1234
NOVEMBER 11 – Sees the release of the long-awaited SiteLink E sign™ technology that will allow Self Storage sites that use SiteLink Web Edition to use electronic signatures on electronic Leases and store them electronically for future use for up to 7 years.
“This is a game changer’, said Dallas Dogger from SiteLink International. “For years we’ve talked about the paperless office; we have tried scanners and we have tried all sorts of things, now SiteLink have delivered a method to electronically sign Leases and License agreements. This new eSign™ technology is part of an overall strategy to create a fully paperless office with all documents being stored online and being made available to facility managers and facility owners even after the customer moves out”.
“This feature is as big as online payments were back in 2007”, Dogger said. “eSign™ will give Self Storage facilities a new competitive edge in signing immediate business”.
The core eSign™ technology lets tenants sign and complete a License agreement or a Lease when renting a unit on a website and this technology will be integrated into RapidStor, Australia’s leading technology for online move ins shortly. Electronic signatures can be captured at store level or via email as well.
SiteLink have created a new audit report which shows statistics of the License agreement or Lease have been completed correctly, eliminating more paper, reducing printing costs.
The Licenses or Leases are stored within SiteLink for up to 7 years after tenant vacates, providing ongoing record compliance and access.
Additional features also allow local call centres to send documents for signing, increasing the possibility of a lease being completed by as much as 40%.
These documents can be legally defended with certificates and forensics to prove that these documents are tamper-proof.
Tenants will be able to sign documents with a mouse and SiteLink eSign™ uses a predefined font on portable devices like tablets and smartphones. Customers will be able to sign leases in person or by email or on your website and there are also manager signature options as well.
The other side of electronic Leases and Licences is reporting and auditing and SiteLink Web Edition provides capability to view all Lease history and review leases through every step of the process and history is automated with every lease sent signed or approved.
SiteLink’s Corporate Control Centre has an eSign™ console which provides signing notifications about manager approvals, completed documents and documents that have been voided.
These electronic documents are legally binding with a certificate embedded on the last page of the lease and SiteLink also captures document forensics like IP address timestamps and other details.
Fully implemented, eSign™ should see the end of the need to store leases on site in filing cabinets and ultimately in storage archive boxes, freeing up valuable space in the office and facility that can be used for income making like increasing merchandise space.
eSign™ is a free service integrated into SiteLink Web Edition and is another example of the commitment made by SiteLink to deliver the very best features as part of users ongoing subscription services.
Self Storage sites benefit by keeping up to date with these latest technologies; reducing costs, saving paper, reducing printing costs and much more.
Large pads of agreements will be a thing of the past, with electronic forms easy to update as industry associations and legislators update terms and conditions on agreements.
For more information – Dallas Dogger – SiteLink international firstname.lastname@example.org
eSign™ is a registered Trade Mark of SMD software Inc and cannot be used without permission.
SiteLink Web Edition™ is a registered Trade Mark of SMD software Inc and cannot be used without permission.
Climate controlled wine storage is becoming increasingly popular within Self Storage, many facilities all over the country now offer this service. Your wine is too valuable, and fragile, to risk damage through poor storage. Climate control wine storage offers a convenient, affordable means to allow your wine to mature to its full potential. This is not just for the big collectors, wine enthusiasts of all sizes use our wine storage facilities, as well as wine merchants, restaurants and boutique wineries.
The best thing about your wine in Self Storage, is that you can access it any time you want (within facility operating hours in some cases). So if you feel like getting out one of your prize drops for a tasting, you are only a short drive away, just like going to the bottle shop, except you won’t need any money!
Wine will prematurely develop if stored in an environment that has large temperature variations, particularly if these occur frequently. Climate controlled wine storage is maintained within a couple of degrees Celsius all year round, usually at around 16 degrees C, which is ideal for maturing wine.
There is more to preserving wine than just temperature. If wine is stored in conditions that are too dry, the cork will shrink and cause leakage. Too moist, and mould and contamination may occur. This is why wine storage is climate controlled, to maintain stable humidity within a range that will prevent damage to the cork and also assist in the development of your wine.
Vibration and Handling
Vibration is also a problem for maturing wine, frequent jolts or vibrations during its development can be detrimental. With your product in wine storage you control every movement of you wine. Unlike wine warehouses, where your product may be moved without you knowing, in self storage you hold the key, so no-one handles your wine without you knowing. The facilities are all built on solid foundations and there is little if any vibration though the shelving.
So if your wine is good enough to save, it is worth putting into climate controlled self storage.