As we move closer and closer towards a digital world, self storage, like every other industry, has to look at new ways to keep up with an ever changing landscape. Customer’s expectations change. People are becoming more and more reliant on digital devices and expect companies to keep pace. With this in mind, we undertook a review of our operations and found a major process where were falling behind, our customer sign-up form.
While paper-based forms have been perfectly adequate in the past, they’re not so efficient any more. Copying the details into our computer system would take staff up to 20 minutes per form. Handwriting was difficult to decipher, which left us vulnerable to mistakes and incorrect contact details, and some clients found filling out a manual form a long and tiresome process.
To make this process more efficient and accurate, but still easy for clients, we’ve developed a digital sign-up form called iSign. The brainchild of Fort Knox’s Guy Wilson and Nathan Thomson, iSign was put together by Developer James Kung and Graphic Designer Corey Osmond. Bunking down in Fort Knox’s research and development hub over a number or weeks, iSign was built from the ground up, with every aspect of the original customer sign-up procedure reviewed, analysed and adapted.
We developed iSign as a Windows application, which runs with a direct link from the Fort Knox staff computer to a separate interactive, touch screen display for the customer. The system completely removes the need for any paperwork or manual filing usually associated with traditional sign-up. Once the data is entered and sign-up is finalised, the collected information is instantly stored in both Sitelink and Sharepoint. It also generates a PDF of the self storage contract, plus any other relevant information, which is emailed directly to the client.
One of the biggest benefits with iSign is that it’s reduced our overall sign-up time by over 60%. This works out to a huge 15-20 minute time-saving for each client. We’re also seeing fewer errors in customer information and more satisfied clients.
iSign is currently in beta testing at our Moorabbin self storage site over the Christmas period. We have an expected roll-out date, across all Fort Knox sites, in early February 2015.
Corey Osmond is Digital and Design Manager at Fort Knox Self Storage