(1:10) Eventually every marina will experience a negative review. No matter how high your standards or how closely you adhere to them, occasional mistakes are made by every business. It's also true that some customers just can't be satisfied. The issue isn't receiving the negative review, it's having a solid strategy for handling them.
(0:58) I have written multiple Minutes about negative reviews which you can
find on my blog. But the first and most effective steps you can take to
deflect a bad review are the ones made prior to its occurrence. Here are
three steps to take now to reduce the impact of negative reviews coming
in the future.
(0:50) First, make sure customer expectations are realistic. The most common reason for a negative review is not that the marina lacked a pool or a 5 star restaurant. Negative reviews happen when the customer's expectations do not match the services or quality found. Honestly present your strengths. Do not tout capabilities you cannot deliver. Price realistically. And ensure that what you do offer is clean, well-maintained, and matches the descriptions.
(0:36) Second, make sure satisfied customers speak out. There is no better way to reduce the impact of a negative review than to have it lost in a sea of positive ones. It is important that you actively encourage positive reviews from your happy customers. How? Ask. Many marinas feel funny about asking. But you shouldn't. Most people like to offer their opinions and are happy to support the businesses they like. Surrounding a lone negative review with honest positive ones makes the negative review disappear.
(0:16) Third, treat every customer well. You are in the service industry. You must provide good service if you want happy, returning customers. Be helpful and courteous. Go the extra step to make every boater feel like they are welcome. Arriving into a slip is one of the most terrifying parts of most boater's experience on the water. Make it feel safe and welcoming. It's hard to write something negative about a friend.
(0:02) And that's the marina minute.