(1:04) I've always felt that one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your business is to underestimate your competition. I often say, "Always assume they're smarter than you are." I think there's a similar message when dealing with your customers. It's never a good idea to think you can fool them.
(0:54) Last week I discussed being honest in the presentation of your marina. It's just as important to be honest about customer reviews. If boaters sense they can't trust the reviews you have, they will not trust your business.
(0:48) This is so critical to us that we have a variety of ways to sniff out "dishonest" reviews. And trust me, it's not difficult. For the record, we have found that it is far more common for there to be false positive reviews than false negative ones.
(0:40) To ensure that you are gaining the most benefit from the review process, make sure you are encouraging boaters to be honest in their assessment, and yes, that means pointing out your warts as well as your charms.
(0:34) A balanced assessment that details your goods points and not so good points will be given far more credibility than an over-the-top glowing account. Plus, without knowing where you need to improve, how can you become better?
(0:27) Honesty in the review process is becoming more important than every. Last year, a consumer study by BrightLocal found that 85% of the consumers surveyed read reviews before making buying decisions, 73% said positive reviews made them trust a business more, and 79% stated they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. But all of this hinges on whether the consumer trusts the review source.
(0:17) We've known this from the start. You can't beg, plead, or pay us to remove a review that is real and honest. We've even lost ActiveCaptain Sponsors over this fact. So if another site tells you they'll "fix" your reviews if you pay them for advertising, don't waste your time or money. Boaters are smarter than that. They know which sites have review integrity. The rest...they ignore.
(0:07) The best way to build trust with the boating community is to seek out honest feedback, thank every boater who gives it, and listen to what they tell you.
(0:02) And that's the marina minute.