Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The New Reality

(1:04) Last week I talked about some examples of how you might be sending messages to boaters that are unintended. It's easy when you walk past things every day to fail to see them as others do, or to not see them at all. If you missed last week's Minute you can always read past Minutes on my blog. The link is on the right.

(0:55) The second example I gave included an image posted by a boater of a questionable sign at a marina. He didn't simply describe the sign he didn't like. He showed a picture of it. How many of you felt a shiver when you saw that? You can see it again here:

(0:47) It's no longer the paparazzi who can snap unflattering photos and publish them. With YouTube and Facebook, and yes, even eBoatCards, anyone can document their experiences and publish them for the world to see. Of course, they can post positive images also and many do.

(0:39) When we first released ActiveCaptain we found some marinas weren't happy with the notion of having boaters write reviews. It took some time and some education but they came around. The quality marinas actually came to embrace the new reality of customer reviews. They have thrived is this new world.

(0:31) Unless you've somehow missed the advent of Facebook and blogs and YouTube, it should come as no surprise that customers are now documenting their experiences with more than words. They are using pictures and video to show their peers what they are experiencing, both good and bad. The blog entry I referred to last week is a good example.

(0:23) Are you prepared for the new realities coming as your customers start to document your facilities? In the same way that customers have turned away from self-proclaimed experts for service and product reviews, boaters are looking to their peers to provide the real story in visual form. Remember what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

(0:14) We all know that visual media can be powerful. Make sure that your facility can measure up. Make it someone's job to ensure that your facility is clean and appealing. If you didn't walk the grounds and check your signage after last week's Minute, don't let another week go by. And as you look around think about how it would look as a picture on the Internet. Now's the time to make your marina picture perfect.

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