Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Check Your Email

(1:00) Every week we send out tens of thousands of emails to marinas - fuel updates, boater review notifications, questions about details, etc. While I know that an email address can change over time, what continues to amaze me are the number of email addresses that bounce but are listed on the marina's website as the contact email address.

(0:53) I'm not talking about my email not receiving a response. I'm talking about it bouncing back with "email not found" or "unknown user" or some such other jarring response. If I can't get through, then neither can your customers.

(0:47) For many marinas this is not a one time problem. It occurs week after week. I believe the implications of this are broad and can actually be quite damaging to your business.

(0:42) I can hear several of you thinking, "Well, that's not a problem, they can just call us." That is the wrong answer. Maybe they'll call or maybe they'll follow up with your competitor who did respond to their email.

(0:35) Good customer service requires that you make it easy for customers to reach you by whatever means they prefer. And you need to respond promptly. More and more often that is happening by email. Not having a correct email address, monitored, and answered is bad for your business.

(0:28) And it's not only a lost dockage or service fee. Having emails bounce back in this fashion makes you look disorganized, unprofessional, and out of touch. Would you want to work with a business who never answered their phone, or worse, whose phone number was disconnected? How long would you wait to correct your phone number? Today your email address is more important than your phone number.

(0:18) Now before you think to yourself, "We don't have this problem," when was the last time you tried your contact email? Take time out today and send an email to all the addresses listed on your website and on ActiveCaptain. If you have one of those contact forms on your website, try sending a request there as well. Make sure it goes through and make sure someone responds in a timely way.

(0:09) I have spoken to many marinas who had no idea these email addresses were not working. Don't leave it to chance. Make sure you are getting and responding to every boater inquiry no matter how it comes in. That's good for business.

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