Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Increasing Reviews - Preparation

(1:03) One of the most common questions I receive when working with marinas is, "How can I increase my number of reviews." I'm going to take a few Marina Minutes to explore this and look at what has become a critical component of business success today - customer reviews.

(0:55) Whether you are selling a product, a slip, or a service in a marina you can not ignore the role played by customer reviews. The hotel and restaurant industries were the first to enter this arena and after more than a decade have many lessons to offer.

(0:46) First, make no mistake, good, unbiased customer reviews are good for business. The Harvard Business School did a study that showed that a 1-star increase in a restaurant's Yelp rating translates into a 5-9% increase in revenues. This shows that it's not just the number of reviews but also the number of stars that are import. And increasing your average requires some preparation.

(0:34) The best way to get a positive review is to create an experience boaters will find worth talking about. Make sure that expectations are exceeded and consider the amenities or experiences you can offer that will get boaters talking. Never oversell what you offer as this can easily backfire and lead to a negative response which we see often. Rather under-promise and over-deliver. On ActiveCaptain there are as many low-key, basic marinas with high ratings as high as resort style ones.

(0:19) Make sure you have a great team in place and that they are prepared. The more positive interactions a boater has the more likely they are to write a positive review. Your staff needs to understand the importance of reviews and ways to be involved. Set goals and make a habit of sharing boater reviews with your staff so they can see the things being done well and the things that need improving.

(0:06) A focus on consistently providing exceptional service will increase the number of positive reviews you receive.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.