Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Can You Hear Your Customers?

(0:55) Every Monday morning we send out a fuel update email to marinas in our database. If you have fuel and don't receive one please let me know. If you do not carry fuel and still receive one, click on the Edit link to turn them off.

(0:48) After the 10,000+ emails go out we receive a report on the email addresses that have come back to us. Amazingly the number one reason is an "over quota" or "storage exceeded" error. The number two reason is an invalid email address. These errors occur despite being sent to the contact email listed on the marina's website.

(0:38) Now I'd like to think that you are distraught by the mere thought of missing an ActiveCaptain email. But what should really be bothering you is that if our emails are bouncing back then so are communications from potential customers. Make sure that you are hearing your customers when they try to reach you.

(0:30) Check to ensure the email addresses you list on your website are good and that goes for contact forms too. As soon as you finish the Marina Minute go to your website and try to send an email communication. Make sure you do not receive an error and that it has been received by someone in your organization that will reply. If this doesn't happen, put "get the problem fixed" at the top of your to-do list.

(0:20) I've heard the arguments about too much spam, the boater can just call on the phone, etc. That's the wrong answer. You need to communicate in the manner that is the most convenient for your customers, not for you. Today many boaters will make their initial contact via email. Make sure you are not turning them away.

(0:12) Yes, spam is a terrible nuisance, get a good spam filter and just deal with the rest. Did you shut off your phone in the days of telemarketers?

(0:08) Making communication easy, friendly, and responsive with potential and existing customers is critical to expanding your business and keeping the customers you have. Make sure that you're listening whenever and however they are trying to reach you.

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