Tuesday, September 1, 2015

3 Star Reviews

(0:52) Lately I've been paying attention to the 3 star reviews that come in for marinas. I began thinking about what they mean. Are they bad? Are they acceptable? How can a marina best learn from them?

(0:47) In general, I find that they are not what I would consider negative reviews. They typically mention positives about their experience and sometimes mention where the customer was disappointed. In fact several of them conclude with "we'll be back." And a returning customer is definitely a positive.

(0:40) What most of these reviews are saying is that the boater's most basic expectations have been met but they weren't exceeded. As I've written before, reviews are heavily tied to a boater's expectations of what their experience will be. There will be one expectation for a $1 per foot marina in a remote location and quite another for a $3 a foot marina that calls itself a "resort".

(0:31) The important message to take from a 3 star review is that while the experience was not necessarily seen as negative, you didn't provide an exceptional experience. You didn't "Wow" the boater.

(0:26) There are several things you should do when that 3 star review comes your way. First, study it, maybe even more than your other reviews. Often, the boater will tell you why you missed a couple of stars. This is invaluable information. Remember, this boater isn't necessarily unhappy with you, so they're not angry or ranting. They're just giving you a real assessment.

(0:20) Then you should consider reaching out. For example, "Thank you for staying at our marina. Here at XYZ Marina we are always looking for ways to improve the boater's experience. Please let us know how we can make your next stay with us a 5 star experience. We look forward to seeing you again in the future."

(0:08) Any good business knows that it is only through honest and thoughtful feedback from your customers that you can improve. Three star reviews can be the perfect opportunity to do this.

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