We had some great dinners in Las Vegas at the Self Storage Association Convention with some really great long time clients. We really enjoyed the face to face time which we don’t get to do very often.

Among conversations about our service, their business, and the self storage industry in general some interesting things came up one of which we want to pose today — how do you effectively track walk in customers? One of our clients that is very meticulous in their tracking efforts knows exactly where their calls, website traffic, and email leads come from and how they convert. The one piece they feel that they are missing and don’t currently have a solution to is how to track walk in traffic. We all know that walk in traffic doesn’t necessarily all mean that they just walked in or drove by your storage facility. Most likely over half the time they saw another ad of yours or found you on the Internet. So how do you effectively tell where these customers are coming from?

We all know that you can ask the customer but we also know how reliable that is most of the time. So the one semi-solution we came up with, which I’d like to get others’ opinions on, is utilizing multi-channel pricing in order to track which medium a customer came in on. Let me explain. Say you have a 10×10 available and the regular rate is $100. Using multi-channel pricing you could charge $100 to a true walk-in customer at the facility; however on your website and other Internet advertising channels you may offer that same 10×10 for $90 and in a direct mail piece you may offer it for $88. The way this plays out is that when a customer walks in to your self storage facility needing a 10×10 and your manager tells them that it’s $100 if they make no comments about that you know that it’s most likely a true walk-in customer.

However, if that person has seen your ad elsewhere for $88 or $90 you better believe they will let you know it! And when they do, you’ll know exactly what made that customer walk into your storage facility. The reason I said that this is a semi-solution above is that as we were discussing it there were plenty of questions of how to implement something like this that came up. So we realize that this may seem very complicated, but if implemented it may help solve this problem.

Is anyone out there doing anything like this and do you feel that it’s helping you more effectively track your marketing sources? If so please share your thoughts and comments!