Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Be Exceptional

(1:11) It is a rare 5 star review that does not mention an exceptional staff. It is no surprise to me. How can any experience be truly 5 star if it includes inattentive, incompetent, or nonexistent staff?

(1:05) The tone for every transient stay is set by those first interactions, from hailing on the radio to grabbing my lines to tying me safely to the dock. Follow that with a friendly greeting and a knowledgeable dockhand and you are well on your way to a satisfied boater.

(0:58) By contrast, I have seen many reviews that state that while the marina was lovely and the location superb, a star (or 2) was removed because the staff was unfriendly or couldn't be raised on the radio. There is simply no reason for this.

(0:51) Renovating bathrooms and upgrading docks can be costly endeavors. While a smile and a helping hand costs nothing. Make sure that every aspect of the boater's interaction with you and your staff is extraordinary.

(0:44) How? Start with your staff.

(0:42) Lead by example. Great customer service starts at the top. Treat your staff the way you want them to treat boaters. Not only will you be showing them how it is done, you will be creating a more satisfying work environment. After all, it's easy to be friendly and helpful when one is feeling happy and satisfied.

(0:34) Give them the training and support they need. Ensure everyone knows the proper way to communicate on the radio, how to tie a line, and what the issues might be when approaching the marina. Arm them with the resources required to satisfy the customers needs. Information about marina amenities, nearby attractions, emergency resources, and even local knowledge about weather and water conditions is invaluable to someone who is new to your marina.

(0:24) Make the goals clear. To perform a job exceptionally you must first understand the scope and expectations for that job. Make sure every employee knows what their job entails. Be specific. It's easy to think dockhands simply handle lines to bring a boater safely to the dock. An important job indeed but they are also greeters and ambassadors. They are that first impression your mother taught you about.

(0:15) Discuss and reward performance. Exceptional customer service is not something you setup once and forget. Use your reviews to understand where you are doing well and where you need to improve. Give that feedback to your staff so they can improve. Acknowledge instances of exceptional service and use those instances when you fall short to learn and become better.

(0:06) Work together to make every boater's experience is exceptional and you'll be rewarded with repeat business and 5 star reviews.

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