It is with great excitement that I am looking forward to our first ever Staff in Storage Training and Development Retreat to be held at the Marriott hotel in Melbourne April 30th – May 1st.
Our two-day, one night program is value packed with learning experiences to ensuring your staff can bring their best to your business every day. The Retreat promises to educate, enthuse and motivate front of house self storage staff. Operational, Australian and New Zealand legal content, personality based sales training, customer service, how to get more online referrals, website optimisation and software education sessions will improve staff skills and their value to your self storage business.
Hands on and motivational sessions – including How to Shoot Videos for Promotional Use in your Business, Breakfast with an Expert, lessons from SSAA 2014 Manager of the Year Temeike McLean, and an up close and personal encounter with former INXS front man Ciaran Gribbin – are balanced with a fun evening at Melbourne’s fabulous Trunk restaurant, all guaranteed to inspire and energise attendees. I have no doubt members who have the sagacity to send their staff will reap significant rewards when Retreat attendees return to their businesses wiser, more competent and motivated. Make sure you don’t miss out on our generous Early Bird rates and book today
Those who book by Tuesday 31st of March will also go into the draw to win back the cost of registration (for 1 delegate). This Early Bird Prize is generously sponsored by Universal Storage Containers.
For more information about what the Retreat entails please click here.
Obviously terminology is not just restricted to the space, it can even be extended to customers. Are they customers, clients or even guests? Which would you rather be?
How you describe yourself could even be a point of difference that people remember. When taking someone on a facility tour and referring to your guest services, or saying many of our guests may help you to grab their attention. They are likely to remember you as the place that had guest’s and not just customers. The trick with this kind of language is to make it subtle. Never make a point of it or say we don’t have customers, we have guests, just make sure that it is the way you naturally use the words in conversation.
Obviously, the language tool is the most potent when talking on the phone. This listener is relying entirely on your words and voice to generate their mental images. Remember people don’t think with words, we think with images. Words are just a way of getting images from one persons mind to another. So when you are talking to someone on the phone, they are creating a mental image of something. It could be a picture of you, it could be a picture of your centre, or it could be a picture of a beach in Fiji. How well you communicate on the phone and the language you choose will shape that picture.
Obviously your audience will play a factor in the language you use. If you operate in a very working class area, the language you use may differ from that in a more upper-class area. Some people will change their approach depending on the type of person they are talking to. This is difficult when communicating over the telephone, as you really have no idea what type of person you are talking to. How often have you met a person you had spoke to on the phone, only to find they were completely different to hoy you imagined? Even when in person care should be taken when adjusting your language based on a persons appearance. There has been many a story about the run down looking bloke enquiring about a self storage unit and then paying on his gold Amex. Besides, your language should fit your facilities’ image, and your target audience, so match your language to that.
Consider the terminology that you and your staff are using, and how this fits in with your corporate image. If you have a state-of-the-art, purpose built concrete facility, will referring to your product as a shed do it justice? Do you really treat your customers like guests, and is your focus on retail, like a shopping centre? Like your corporate image, consistency is the key. Make sure that your language is consistent in all publications, advertising and that your staff are fully trained on the correct terminology. Consider how your staff greet people. “G’day how can I help you” will give an entirely different perception to “good morning Madame, can I be of assistance”. Link it all into your corporate image and make sure that when you or your staff are talking to people that the image they are creating is the one that you want your business portrayed as.
When self storage first began you would often find operators asking customers to come over and have a look at what size shed would suit their needs. Even today many consumers think of storage sheds when thinking of self storage. As the market has grown many operators have moved away from words like shed or facility, and now refer to units, centrers, spaces and even guests. So what is in a name and what effect do they have on customer perception?
Most customers have a limited knowledge of self storage until they have actually visited a self storage business or used the services offered. Often perceptions are based on the visuals from driving past facilities or local advertising. This means that a potential customers’ idea of self storage can easily be shaped through contact with your facility. Presentation of the site, conduct of the staff, first impressions are all important when first greeting a potential new customer. So to, is the language you use and the way you describe your business. How you and your staff perceive and describer your business will be communicated to potential customers as soon as you greet them.
The importance language plays in communication is often overlooked, but careful use of words can bring an entirely different response from a person For example, think of a wristwatch..now think of a time piece. Chances are that the timepiece you thought of was something of higher value than the wristwatch. Why? A wristwatch is just a timepiece, they mean the same thing, or do they? Often different words that describe the same thing can generate entirely different images or perceptions from the listener. What images does shed, conjure up in your mind, or unit or space. More importantly, what kind of images do these words conjure up in your customers’ mind?
Continuing with the shed example, a simple thesaurus search will show that shed is aligned with words such as hut, shack or lean to, and also means discard, get rid of or drop. Not overly positive images. Unit is compared with element, part piece or section. Space can have many meanings including room, freedom, opening, gap or place. While all could equally be used to describe your product, each will inevitably produce a different image or perception in your customers mind.
A centre, by definition, is the hub or nexus; a very positive word. It is also associated with retail and customer service through the use of shopping centres, fitness centres, service centres and medical centres. Facility is also a fairly positive word by definition, with meaning such as resource, ability, feature or service. It can also be associated with industry and science as in research facility, nuclear facility, correctional facility or medical facility.
Some self storage centres want to be viewed as part of the retail trade and use language consistent with what customers would relate to as being more retail. In this context words like facility or complex are more appropriate for factory, industrial or even prison environments. Many self storage centres invest a lot of energy, money and time in the presentation of the property and it is important not to undermine this by describing them poorly. Words like shed have a very unsophisticated sounds do them and don’t help to enhance the image of the product or industry.
TO BE CONTINUED
All year round, the weather temperature varies drastically; in the summer, the temperature will sky rocket to over 30 degrees and even higher, while in winter it will plummet. While all normal storage facilities are quite sturdy and secure, they are not always resistant to the changes in temperatures. If you are looking to store things in self storage for an extended period, then you will need to consider whether your storage unit is insulated and how the temperature changes outside will affect your household items. Whether you are storing computers, plastic containers or artwork, hot and humid conditions can degrade or damage any of these items, especially if they are packed and stacked close together. This is why you should consider choosing a climate controlled storage unit, especially if your area experiences extreme temperatures.
How should I store my items?
Needless to say, your belongings will need to be packed securely so that they can survive any kind of transportation and movement. There are a lot of ways you can pack depending on whether you are looking at non-climate controlled or climate controlled storage options. If you are choosing a non-climate controlled storage, make sure that the packing cases are sturdy and insulated. Secondly, don’t wrap items in direct contact with plastic. During increased temperatures, the plastic might melt and stick to your item. Similarly, if you are going to be using newspapers, make sure that you have placed a film of clean tissue in between the newspaper and your item otherwise you risk the transfer of the printer ink in high temperature and humid conditions. For certain items, you may need to either make them airtight or allow for breathing, depending on what they are. For climate controlled self storage rooms, you can be more relaxed about packing. Another thing to keep in mind is that the climate controlled environment within the storage unit may fluctuate between a mild range, so the things that you store in them should make allowances for it.
What kind of items can I put in climate controlled storage?
Before you begin to put away things into climate controlled storage, you have to decide which specific items would benefit most from being stored there. Certain electrical items such as laptops, televisions etc. can be damaged by changes in humidity, extreme temperatures and condensation so these would benefit greatly from being in a climate controlled environment. Also, seasonal clothing, clothing made of special fibres, leather goods, photos etc. will also benefit from being in temperature controlled surrounding with appropriate packaging. However, the climate controlled storage is mostly needed for various kinds of artwork, important documents, antiques, furniture, wine, curios and other precious and fragile items in your possession. If these are not stored in regulated temperatures and humidity, they might be damaged beyond repair.
Ella Andrews is passionate blogger and professional writer with great flair for home maintenance and self storage projects. She’s been writing about similar topics for a long time, but is also constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. For more information see: France removals.
Some good tips for customers moving into self storage.
Before you hire a Self storage service, make sure you do your homework well and look for the best ways to pack or store your stuff. Here are few tips for the first timers that make you work easier.
Use plastic compartments: If you can bear the cost of it, try to utilize cardboard boxes for self storage as you know it’s easy to reuse them for other purposes. Cardboard boxes are alright for moving, yet for capacity, you will need something that is more durable and which bugs can’t undoubtedly snack into. Plastic holders are considerably more convenient for placing things in a storage space. Not just would they be able to stand the variances in climate better, yet in the event that you are utilizing clear plastic, then you can without much of a stretch see what you have put away in the case. Plastic boxes are…
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An interesting perspective on Storage in Asia – a stark contrast to Australia.
If you live in a large metropolitan city, then space is one major constraint. If you consider Singapore, for instance, there is a limited scope for the city to expand laterally and only skyscrapers are the answer for building new homes and offices. So it is quite normal to find small 600square feet apartments in which 3-4 members of a family have to squeeze in. In such a predicament, you always wish you could take some storage space for rent in Singapore. Luckily, there are such facilities available at reasonable costs and storage space for rent can be hired for both short-term and long-term in Singapore, and for both individual purposes and commercial ones as well.
Types of Storage Available
The companies which offer storage space for rent in Singapore usually establish their facilities in many locations across Singapore, so that people from all districts can avail the facility…
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