Seamless navigation around self-storage properties
Self-storage has relied on the self-guided experience for longer than most other industries. But the need for interactive self-guided technology has never been as great as it is today to ensure seamless, reliable and safe operations. While Google may get a customer to their destination, it can’t help them navigate the intricate hallways and vast properties of self-storage facilities and get them to their storage units with ease.
“Maps are a commodity feature in most software applications in the storage space, but the key feature we were missing was the interactive component,” said James Hafen, vice president of product development for Extra Space Storage. “The self-storage industry has used static map files that need to be updated by the vendor and they’re very limited in how customers or teams can interact with them.”
Extra Space is one of the most innovative companies in the industry and was seeking methods to provide a better customer experience and create more self-sufficient ways for customers to find and secure a storage unit. On top of improving the customer experience, Extra Space wanted to modernize pricing and create a real-time, accurate and streamlined way to make sure each storage unit was on par with market rates to maximize revenue opportunities.
“The need for interactive maps came about as a way to enhance the self-service journey and provide a better overall customer experience, but we also needed a solution that would have meaningful use cases in terms of reporting and facilities management,” Hafen said. “We wanted to upgrade our revenue management processes and how we price units based on accessibility and premium location.”
Implementing Engrain’s SightMap portfolio-wide
Extra Space storage found the need to implement interactive site maps to establish a better self-service experience and expedited the process at the beginning of 2020. Interactive maps would also support a more robust revenue management strategy and allow onsite teams to do their jobs better.
“We started looking around immediately and found Engrain early on,” Hafen said. “We knew we needed this type of technology to facilitate more of the self-service experiences our customers were looking for and make selecting a storage unit and navigating properties as seamless and intuitive as possible. It’s also a much easier way to visualize our properties and understand vacancy, premium unit locations and how our properties are laid out.”
Extra Space started using Engrain’s SightMap at some of its properties in 2019, and by 2020 it had implemented SightMap across its entire portfolio of more than 2,000 locations.
Customers have the ability to search for and select the storage unit they want and can seamlessly navigate their way around the property to their units.
“These are unique properties and we don’t have standard layouts and sometimes it’s very confusing how we number our units. Giving people a navigable point of reference where they can get from a gate, an office or a kiosk to their unit is the primary enhanced experience.”
Vice President of Product Development, Extra Space Storage