Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Customer Service

(0:58) Whether you're running a marina, a boat yard, or a facility that offers both, the key to success is through exceptional customer service. Customer service refers to every interaction that every member of your organization has with the boater. It is the accumulation of these interactions that will create the impression that the boater will have of your marina. It will determine whether the boater returns and what message will be conveyed to others - that all important word of mouth advertising. Even a single negative interaction can have a significant impact on the boater's impression.

(0:48) It is common to focus on marketing as the way to increase business and profits, and there's no question that great marketing can bring you new customers. But true success is developing customers that will come back again and again while telling their peers. After all, a satisfied customer is your best salesperson.

(0:41) Good customer service is designed to meet the needs of your targeted customer. Understanding and meeting those needs better than your competition will bring more boaters to your facility. Today's consumers are more educated, better informed, and have higher expectations. And, as we've discussed before, they communicate with others online.

(0:33) Your services must be designed to meet and satisfy the needs of boaters. By its very nature this is not a one-size fits all proposition. You must treat every interaction as unique, focusing on specific needs at the moment.

(0:27) Surveys show that most customers do not return to a business because of an indifferent attitude from owners, managers, and/or employees. Unfortunately, only a small percentage will let you know they had a problem. Most will simply leave and not come back. Yet they will tell others about their bad experience whether in person or online.

(0:20) You can never address the importance of good customer service with your employees too much. It is also up to you to make sure they have the knowledge, tools, and flexibility to provide high quality service and to fix a problem when it arises. Handling a complaint quickly can in itself create strong customer loyalty.

(0:14) Remember, retaining your existing customers through good customer service is the most cost effective way to increase revenues. According to Vic Hunter, author of Business to Business Marketing, it can be 30 to 40 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to manage existing customers. Therefore, a 5% increase in overall customer retention equates to a 25% to 55% increase in profitability of a business.

(0:05) Good customer service is good for boaters and good for your business.

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