Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Straight From the Horse's Mouth

(0:55) There are times when I wonder if my musings are crossing the line into nagging. But then I remember what I thought was nagging from my mother generally proved to be good advice. I trust you feel the same here.

(0:49) One theme I have addressed repeatedly is the importance of good customer service right from the start. It sets the tone for the boater's experience on the right, or wrong, course. I've written about VHF communications, dockhand interactions, and other areas where customer service lives. But I'm sure there are those of you who are tired of hearing me say it and I thought it might have new impact coming from someone else.

(0:40) I noticed a review that came in for a marina recently and tucked it away. It is the perfect example of the importance of first impressions. And because it comes from a fellow boater, your potential customer, I hope it will grab your attention. Oh, and it was a 5 star review.

(0:33) "Whenever I come into a marina (which is not often these days) the first thing I like to see is a dock crew ready to help. First impression, I'm there two minutes after opening and when I make the call, two guys are trotting down the dock to meet me as I land. The fuel dock, clearly marked on the right side of the marina as you enter has a full set of round fenders (like 20 plus) to protect your boat - that tells me they care about their customer. First rate operation."

(0:24) This boater felt welcomed and cared for right from the start. Eager dockhands and fenders at the fuel dock are things boaters do not always see, but should. This stay had an exceptional start, setting the tone and leading to a 5 star review.

(0:17) I'll add one other suggestion that will benefit both marinas and boaters. Make sure your staff is easily visible to boaters. I love seeing dockhands outfitted in matching tops. The brighter the color, the better. Catching sight of a navy or beige shirt from the water is practically impossible. Make it a bright yellow and they'll pop out at me. And that not only helps when docking, I can now find someone to help when I have a question or need assistance once I'm in.

(0:08) And like eager dockhands and fenders at the fuel dock, it sends me the message that you care and want to help. That leads to positive reviews and returning customers. Both are good for business.

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