Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Whole Package

(1:14) With the holiday season just behind us we've all probably opened our share of packages. A truly thoughtful gift will include the whole package - a lovely presentation, a thoughtfully selected item, and everything you need to use and enjoy it right away. It makes you feel special.

(1:07) If you've ever seen the disappointment on a child's face when a lack of batteries prevents them from playing with a new toy, you understand what I mean.

(1:03) To provide boaters with a true 5 star experience you need to ensure that they are getting the whole package. By this I don't mean that you must provide every possible amenity. But you must give them what they are expecting at your location.

(0:57) First, determine what type of stop you are - a convenient overnight stop, a place to relax and enjoy, a provisioning and get things done stop, etc. Then consider what a boater will need and expect when coming in and determine what you can offer yourself and what you can offer from the surrounding area.

(0:51) Too often I find that marinas do a very poor job of letting boaters know what services are available to them outside of the marina. These are valuable assets that can play a crucial part in determining where a boater stops.

(0:45) It is not good enough to have business cards on a table or in a rack. You need to cultivate an understanding of who are the quality businesses that can serve boaters. Include this information in your Welcome Packet and on your website. Make sure the Services section of your ActiveCaptain marker is filled in with business names and contact information.

(0:38) I understand that being in a position to recommend a business can be delicate. Understandably, I hear marina staff express concern about how a bad experience with an outside business they suggested can have a negative impact on the boater's impression of the marina itself. However, not being able to offer assistance can make you appear unknowing or uncaring.

(0:30) Don't worry, we've got your back. This year we will be releasing new capabilities that will allow boaters to rate the services they use in the same way they currently rate you. So now it will be fellow boaters who are rating an engine mechanic, a diver, or a canvas shop from their experiences.

(0:23) You'll be able to link to these boater reviews for nearby services on your website site so you no longer need to recommend a business in the dark. You can choose to include only the highest rated, the ones you're familiar with, or all the service providers within a certain geography.

(0:15) Ultimately, it is about information. Better and more unbiased information helps boaters make better decisions.

(0:11) So start thinking about what services you can suggest both onsite and nearby. Decide which ones should be highlighted and we'll give you the information you need to present it to boaters.

(0:06) Give me a better experience by offering the whole package and I'll give you more business.

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