Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Make It Work

(1:08) I love finding examples of terrific customer service. It's especially nice when it happens in my own backyard.

(1:05) I was sitting at the Castine town dock on a busy afternoon recently watching the boats in the harbor. Castine has a small face dock where boats can dock for a couple of hours to visit our charming town.

(0:59) The dock was full with a visiting boat hovering out in the harbor waiting for another boat to pull out. As the boat pulled away a second boat started moving towards the spot. The harbormaster politely informed them that another boat was ahead of them waiting to pull up to the dock.

(0:53) Having seen similar situations turn ugly, I appreciated him taking control of this situation in a friendly and professional manner. But it didn't stop there.

(0:49) He then told the second boat, "We really want you to come visit our town. Give me a few minutes and we'll make it work."

(0:45) He proceeded to tie up the first boat and then worked to shift the other boats on the dock around to make a space. He waved the waiting boat in with a smile. That's customer service at its best.

(0:39) He not only turned a potentially volatile situation into something positive. He made two groups of boaters feel welcomed and satisfied. He brought a little economic development to the town. And he created two potential ambassadors for Castine. Can you say positive reviews?

(0:30) Does your staff go the extra step to "make it work" for boaters? It would have been easy to simply wave the second boat on. And I don't know that I would have called that bad customer service nor think that it would have led to a negative review. It's what most of us would have, at a minimum, expected.

(0:21) But exceptional customer service is when one does more then is expected. The best part is that it is often something quite simple, like taking a few moments to retie some boats to make a space or telling a boater that you really want them to come to your facility.

(0:10) The next time you or your staff is faced with a situation were you have to tell a boater "No", stop and consider if there is a way to make it work. Do the unexpected, find a way to meet the boater's need and you will be rewarded with happy customers and more business.

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