Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Small Stuff

(1:04) The majority of time we spend on the radio with a marina is receiving directions about where to dock. When a boater comes into an unfamiliar marina, it can be very daunting trying to figure out which fairway to go down, how the docks are laid out, as well as having to think about wind, current, and other docking issues.

(0:57) My experience of docking at your marina is most likely the first impression I will have of your business. And we all know how important a first impression is for setting the tone for a boater's stay. Anything you can do to improve that experience will translate directly into more positive reviews.

(0:49) I thought about this as we pulled into Spring Cove Marina in Solomons, Maryland. We have been to Solomons many times over the years. It is a busy harbor with many nice facilities and it can be confusing finding the marina you want, let alone your specific slip.

(0:43) While we have been to Spring Cove Marina several times in the past and know where it is located in the harbor, it can still be challenging to find the exact slip we will be in. But Spring Cove found a way to make it much easier.

(0:37) As the harbormaster was directing us in over the radio, she told us to, "look for the blue flag at the end of the dock." That's when I noticed that the T-heads for each dock row had a large flag. Each row used a different color. It directed us right to the spot we needed. We could then see the harbormaster waving us in. It was brilliant.

(0:28) The next evening we had some friends over for a drink, cruisers who were also staying at Spring Cove. It was their first visit here and as they talked about how they were enjoying the facilities, they mentioned the flags.

(0:22) A couple of days later, they wrote a 5 star review:

(0:20) "Agree with the other favorable reviews. Very comfortable environment and services. Pool a plus. But to me the best thing is the great signage on the docks including large colored flags unique for each dock (e.g., 'look for the green flag at the end of your dock'). With the slip map online, the flags and good directions, finding our slip was a breeze reducing docking anxiety."

(0:11) A flag on the dock may seem like a small thing but notice how the ease of finding their docking space dominated the review. It really is that important.

(0:07) Think about how you can make a boater's docking experience better and you will see the results in your reviews. And better reviews means more business.

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