Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What's In A Number?

(1:10) Boater reviews are the pride and the bane of marinas. Every week I receive emails from marinas with questions about how to manage their reviews.

(1:05) Properly managing your reviews, both positive and negative, is important for your business. There are two articles I wrote some time back on this subject that you can access from the Sponsor page:

(1:00) It can be easy to simply dismiss a negative review but it is better to understand the review and form a strategy to deal with it. Of course, the content is critical but I find that most marinas ignore the additional information available about the reviewer.

(0:55) Having a better understanding of the boater who wrote a negative review can help you get the most out of the review and help you better respond.

(0:50) When you are looking at a review on the ActiveCaptain website, notice that beside the captain name is a number in parentheses. This is the number of points the boater has accumulated using ActiveCaptain. It suggests the level of experience the boater has and how engaged they are in using their boat. Both of these factors are important.

(0:42) Remember, when a boater reaches 250 points they become eligible for an ActiveCaptain hat. In fact, obtaining points is the only way to receive a hat, so pay attention when you see one.

(0:37) Next you can click on the captain name for some additional choices. Selecting "Captain details" will display some additional information the captain has entered, such as the type of boat, length, etc.

(0:31) You can select "Show reviews/comments" to see the other reviews they have entered. Is there a review for your competitor? Are many of their reviews negative? It can shed light on what is important to that captain.

(0:24) While we all need to use caution when making generalities, I think it is fair to say that you may react one way to a review from a boater with 350 points than one with only 10 points. The boater with 350 points has likely written many review. The boater with 10 points means that your review is the only one they have written.

(0:16) I want to be perfectly clear. I am not saying that you should ignore the second, low-point captain's review or that you can't learn from it. But realize that some boaters might not be your customer and suggesting an alternative facility might be the best thing you can do. Every good marketer should be able to describe who is and who isn't their perfect customer.

(0:07) Make sure that you are using all of the tools available to you to manage your online reviews. In today's online world, they are critical to success.

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