Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Make It Personal

(0:53) Those first interactions dockside will set the tone for a transient visit. A well trained and friendly dockhand not only makes the docking experience a positive one, it starts the boater in a positive place for the rest of their stay.

(0:46) While first and foremost I want a dockhand who is competent and attentive, adding a personal touch will make me feel really welcomed and that goes a long way to ensuring I'll enjoy my stay and return. Dockhands should greet me at the dock as if I'm a new arrival in their neighborhood - because basically I am!

(0:39) Too often the boater is tied up, plugged in, and then left to their own devices. Instead give me a handshake, tell me your name, and welcome me to your marina. Ask me if there is anything I need, maybe tell me about happy hour or on a hot day where the pool is.

(0:32) Try to remember something personal about me and use it during my stay. My name would be terrific but honestly, as someone who has great problems remembering names, it could easily be something else. Where I'm from, pets I have onboard, or the team logo that I'm sporting on my jacket can all be things remembered and acted on to make my stay special.

(0:24) Some marinas keep notes on boaters who have come in before so they can remember their power requirements and slip preferences. How about including that I have dogs onboard and meeting my boat with a couple of treats in hand and information about a new dog park? Or maybe I love the oysters at your bar and remind me that Happy Hour includes two for one.

(0:15) High-end hotels have offered these sorts of special touches for years. Marinas can learn a lot from them about building customer loyalty. Start thinking about the kinds of things that are important to your customers and how you can bring the personal touch to the boaters coming into your marina.

(0:08) It's often the little things that one remembers the most. Make sure that all of the aspects of a boater's stay are special, both the big and the little. I'll not only become a loyal customer, I'll tell others as well.

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