The Internet has become a staple of most Americans everyday lives. Techonology is everywhere and people rely on it heavily, which is hopefully no surprise to you. In an episode of the hit sitcom “Modern Family,” the Dunphy family tried to go without technology and it was a catastrophe. The Dunphy family is a great representation of an average American family because just like the TV family, real families rely on the Internet for just about everything. Ask most people how they book vacation and they’ll tell you they used the Internet. Since businesses know that the Internet is huge, they are finding ways to make the Web more user friendly to give themselves a leg up on the competition. Just having a functioning site won’t cut it anymore. It is up to you what you want to do with your storage site to make it more competitive and appeal to people like the Dunphys who love their technology. One idea is transparency.

What I mean by transparency is that you should let your customers know as much as possible about the storage unit they are booking. Be as clear as glass on what they are getting for their money and any policies you have. Tell them and tell them in a simple fashion. Tell them, on one screen, whatever you can about a unit. You can give its dimensions and how much a unit like that can hold on average. Tell the customer if it is climate controlled. Let them know what floor of your facility their unit is. You could even post a map and let them choose from available units. Tell them how much the cost of the unit will be at current rates.

You don’t have to do all of these, but choosing a few would be nice. Personally, I do a lot of online shopping and I find it irritating to have to call, or worse yet wait for a call, about a quote. I’m aware that a lot of prices aren’t posted due to fluctuation, but posting a price or having an automatic email sent with current pricing is a nice touch. People can make a quicker decision because cost is a big part of a purchasing choice.

Posting pictures is also a great way to easily share information about your company to help persuade people in your company’s direction. Sharing information can help make a customer happier because they feel in control. For example, some cruise ships now let you see exactly what room you will be booking and for how much. I know before I even step on board what my room will look like, what amenities will be there, and where it will be. You can do that same thing, to an extent, for storage customers. Put up lots of pictures. Show them what security measures you have in place. If you own a Miami storage facility, show the customers what hurricane readiness features your facility has. Post pictures of your office, of a person standing in a unit, what the parking situation looks like in relation to some of the units… anything that could provide useful information. People like to judge based on looks, so let them judge your business in a positive way. Sharing information via photos help people to visually see benefits of your facility.

Allowing customers to know the precise location of their potential mini storage unit is risky, but the benefits can be worth the trouble. Yes, you might have people who will complain and want a different unit or insist on finding a way to have a unit closer to the parking lot, but on the other hand, letting them know up front what they can get can save a lot of future headaches. People know what is available before they show up so they know how to be prepared when moving into their unit. They already know if the unit is on a second floor and they need to be prepared to maneuver the stairs or an elevator. Also, giving the customer the control to pick something is a big deal. People like control. It might be a pain to update your site but customers will appreciate you going the extra mile.

Being open with customers about what they’re getting is smart. Knowledge will help the customer choose you quicker. If they can see from your site everything they need to know but have to wait for another company’s site for a call back, they just might choose you over the competition. Transparency is also a great way to save you problems with customer complaints. They already know what to expect so they shouldn’t be shocked to see that your facility is three stories tall and that they’re unit is an elevator ride away.

Think about what you can do on your website to make it more convenient. Think about the Dunphy family and how they live on their technology. Embrace these tech savvy people and make them want to book with you.