(0:50) No matter how good you may be, eventually every marina will experience a negative review. 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. That old sports cliche is true here, "Your best defense is a good offense."
(0:39) 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 you can take now to reduce the impact of negative reviews coming in the future.
(0:33) 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 promote what you can't deliver. Price realistically. And ensure that what you do offer is clean, well-maintained, and matches the descriptions.
(0:23) 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 to encourage positive reviews from happy customers. People like to offer their opinions and are happy to support the businesses they like. Sponsors should include the custom Review Card in their welcome packets. Surrounding a lone negative review with honest positive ones makes the negative review disappear.
(0:12) 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.