Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Be Afraid

(1:02) Fear is a powerful motivator. It is something that marketers know and sometimes utilize. Who hasn't seen an ad for the nightly news that says something like, "Something in your home right now can cause sudden death. Tune in at 11 to find out what it is." Now excuse me, but if they truly cared about my well-being they'd just go ahead and tell me what it was.

(0:52) I'm not bringing this up because I think you need to use fear to attract more boaters. Quite the opposite. We're out here on the water to enjoy ourselves.

(0:47) I'm discussing it because I repeatedly see "internet and social media marketers" preying on marinas' fears about negative reviews. I've received emails that say, "We all know that only unhappy customers write reviews." Oh, really? Or, "Online review sites make it easy for disgruntled customers or competitors to do damage to your brand."

(0:38) It might be OK if what they said was true. It's not. And there are plenty of statistics to prove it. According to Google, 80% of all reviews online are four or five stars - 80%. Closer to home, our own experience with ActiveCaptain shows these same results. As soon as there are more than a couple of reviewers for a given facility, most reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

(0:30) So despite the continuing "sky is falling" claims of companies vying for your marketing dollars, the vast majority of what consumers have to say is positive. If you are running a quality business you have nothing to fear and everything to gain from encouraging boaters to leave reviews.

(0:21) Of course, even the best marinas eventually receive a negative review. But even that is not to be feared. They can help you improve, bring out renewed support from your fans, and actually will have little, if any, impact on your online reputation. I've covered how to handle negative reviews in previous Minutes.

(0:11) Don't be afraid of the review process. Embrace it and benefit from it and be sure to work those positive reviews.

(0:07) On the other hand, if your marina offers poor customer service and has bad facilities with no desire to improve, then you should be very afraid.

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